Sales and Cash Receipts Journal

There are many different types of sales journals and cash receipts journals available. To simplify your bookkeeping, we recommend a combined sales and cash receipts journal. If you are going to be recording sales and cash receipts manually in a journal, visit an office supply store. They will have many different kinds for you to choose from. Look at the different column headings, and choose the one that best meets the needs of your business. If you will be using computer software, you probably won't have to decide which type of journal to use. Your program will probably have some type of sales and cash receipts journal, but may allow you to customize it based on your type of business.

Assume that your business is a retail sales outlet that extends credit to some customers. Here is an example of a few entries in a combined sales and cash receipts journal. The following transactions occurred:

  • On February 2, you sold, on credit, $476 worth of goods to Sandra Shaw. Sales tax on that amount is $24. Since Shaw owes you a total of $500 (476.00 + 24), your accounts receivable have increased by that amount.
  • Also on February 2, Tamara Dwight paid you her account balance of $1,359.
  • On February 5, several customers bought merchandise for cash. Total cash sales were $682. On those sales, $34 of sales tax was collected, adding up to a total of $716 of cash receipts from your customers.
  • On February 6, Sandra Shaw paid her balance of $500.
  • Upon completion of this journal page, you should foot all five amount columns. Since you are using a double-entry accounting system, you can check to see if all entries were recorded correctly. Make sure the sum of the debits equals the sum of the credits. Total debits: 2,575 + 500 = 3,075. Total credits: 1,859 + 1,158 + 58 = 3,075.

  Accounts Receivable  
Date Description Invoice
Cash Debit Debit Credit Sales Credit Sales Tax Payable Credit
2 S. Shaw - sale on account 10034   500   476 24
2 T. Dwight - received on account   1,359   1,359    
5 Daily Cash Sales   716     682 34
6 S. Shaw - received on account   500   500    
Totals 2,575 500 1,859 1,158 58

If the sum of the debit columns doesn't equal the sum of the credit columns, you have a problem that you should investigate right away. You may have recorded one of the amounts in the wrong column. Maybe you charged the customer the wrong amount. Or you might have simply added incorrectly when computing the totals. It is usually easy to pinpoint the error because the debits should equal the credits for each transaction.

Your sales and cash receipts journal will probably have more columns than our sample. For example, you could have more than one column for "Sales" by splitting your sales into categories. You might have one column labeled "Parts and Supplies Sales" and another labeled "Service and Repair Revenue." This could provide you with more meaningful information. The way you do business might require additional columns. For example, if you give a discount to your charge customers who pay within 10 days, you could add a column labeled "Sales Discounts Dr."