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f you use QuickBooks Online to track your business finances, you'll likely need to record a journal entry at some point. Journal entries document financial transactions, such as equipment depreciation, accruals for future expected expenses, and sales. In this article, learn how to make a journal entry in QuickBooks Online.

Step-by-step guide to recording a journal entry in QuickBooks Online

1. Access the journal entry menu

After logging into your QuickBooks Online account, select the "+" icon in the top right-hand corner. A drop-down menu containing "Create" will be visible. Click "Create" and choose "Journal Entry." After clicking "Journal Entry," a journal entry data form will appear. [How to Record a Journal Entry in QuickBooks Online | Fundera]

2. Create a new journal entry

The first two pieces of information you fill in will be the date and the journal entry number. QuickBooks Online automatically lists today's date in the date field, but you can change the date if necessary. For example, you can change the date to the previous month if the transaction occurred then.

You'll need to decide on a journal entry number. If this is your first journal entry, you can choose "001" or something similar. QuickBooks Online will apply subsequent numbers to future journal entries.

Next, you'll need to enter the amount of the transaction and the accounts it should impact. Every journal entry affects at least two accounts: one as a debit and one as a credit. Debits increase an account balance, while credits reduce it.

For example, assume you're entering a journal entry to record your $1,500 office rent for the month. You paid the rent from your checking account, so you would credit checking for $1,500. Then, you would debit the office rent expense account for the same $1,500.

All journal entries should net to zero. You'll receive an error message from QuickBooks Online if they don't.

Finally, you'll want to enter a description for each journal entry you record. Your description should clearly describe the transaction so anyone reviewing your books will understand it. [How to Record a Journal Entry in QuickBooks Online | Fundera]

3. Review and save the journal entry

After entering all the details for your journal entry, review them carefully. It's easy to make mistakes, such as selecting the wrong account or entering an incorrect amount. A quick review can save you future headaches and help you keep your books in tip-top shape.

Once you're satisfied with the journal entry, click "Save and new" to make a second journal entry or "Save and close" if you're done. [Create journal entries in QuickBooks Online (]

How to edit an existing journal entry

To edit a previously recorded journal entry, run the journal entry report. This provides a list of journal entries you can review to find the one you need to change. To pull a report, navigate to the "Reports" menu, select "Journal," and designate the reporting period. All journal entries made during that period will appear, and you can choose the one you wish to update. Once you open the journal, you can adjust the amount, date, accounts, or description. [How do i navigate to a saved journal entry to made an edit? (]

Tips for managing journal entries in QuickBooks Online

Many companies follow a monthly close cycle, recording all entries and finalizing their books for the prior period. A well-organized close process ensures you don't get behind on your accounting and have up-to-date financial information to make critical business decisions. [6 Rules for Journal Entries |]

QuickBooks Online offers a few features that can streamline your accounting process. You can set up recurring journal entries, which automatically record repetitive transactions in which amounts and accounts don't change. For instance, you could schedule recurring journal entries for your office rent or an equipment lease. [How to Record a Journal Entry in QuickBooks Online | Fundera]

Another helpful feature is the ability to link your business bank account. When you connect a bank account, QuickBooks will automatically import all financial transactions associated with the account and create entries for each one. You can approve each transaction or adjust it as you see fit. The linking feature saves you time since you won't need to record each transaction manually. [Connect bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online (]

Consider Novo if you're looking for a business banking solution that integrates well with QuickBooks Online. Through Novo, you can seamlessly link your bank account to automatically update your QuickBooks Online accounting transactions without manually recording them yourself.

Key components of a journal entry

Every journal entry you record in QuickBooks Online should contain these elements.

  • Debit: This increases your business assets or expenses. You'll note an amount in the debit field and the account it impacts.
  • Credit: This decreases assets or increases liability and equity accounts. Most sales also credit the income statement. You'll identify the credit amount of each journal entry and the account it should affect.
  • Description: All journal entries should include a description. This describes the transaction that is occurring.
  • Transaction date: The date of your journal entry should reflect when the transaction happened.
  • Journal entry number: Use this to index and retrieve the journal entry later. [Message from FreshBooks]


It's not hard to record a journal entry in QuickBooks. Navigate to the new journal from the QuickBooks Online home screen and fill in the applicable information, including the date, amounts, journal description, and accounts impacted. After reviewing the entry, save it, and QuickBooks will automatically update your financials.

While recording journal entries may seem tedious, staying on top of your accounting is essential. Regularly updating your books to reflect new transactions makes you better positioned to make informed financial decisions. Plus, you'll have up-to-date information you can use to file your business tax returns when they're due.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A.: Member FDIC.

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