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How to Make a Journal Entry in QuickBooks Online

by skyover

Journal entries are a fundamental part of accounting that allows businesses to accurately record their financial transactions. QuickBooks Online (QBO) provides a user-friendly platform for making these entries, streamlining the accounting process for both small and large businesses. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of making a journal entry in QuickBooks Online, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the process and its significance.

Understanding Journal Entries

Before diving into the process, it’s essential to understand what a journal entry is. In accounting, a journal entry is a record of a financial transaction in the accounting books of a business. It typically involves a debit to one account and a credit to another, ensuring that the accounting equation (Assets = Liabilities + Equity) remains balanced.

Journal entries can be used to correct errors, allocate expenses, or record accruals and deferrals. They are crucial for maintaining accurate financial records and ensuring compliance with accounting standards.

Steps to Make a Journal Entry in QuickBooks OnlineStep 1: Access the Journal Entry Feature

  1. Log in to QuickBooks Online: Start by logging into your QuickBooks Online account.
  2. Navigate to the Plus (+) Icon: At the top right corner of the screen, you will see a Plus (+) icon. Click on it to open the Create menu.
  3. Select Journal Entry: Under the Other column, select the “Journal Entry” option. This will open the journal entry form.

Step 2: Enter the Journal Date

  1. Date Field: At the top of the journal entry form, you will find a field labeled “Date.” Enter the date of the transaction. This is the date on which the financial event occurred.

Step 3: Fill in the Journal Entry Details

  1. Account: In the first column, select the account that you want to debit or credit. This could be an expense account, revenue account, asset account, etc.
  2. Debits and Credits: Enter the debit amount in the “Debits” column and the credit amount in the “Credits” column. Ensure that the total debits equal the total credits to maintain a balanced entry.
  3. Description: Add a description for the transaction. This helps in identifying the purpose of the journal entry when reviewing the financial records later.
  4. Name: If the transaction involves a specific customer, vendor, or employee, you can select their name in the “Name” column.

Step 4: Save the Journal Entry

  1. Save and Close: Once you have entered all the necessary details and ensured that the debits and credits are balanced, click on “Save and Close” to record the journal entry.
  2. Save and New: If you need to make another journal entry immediately, you can select “Save and New” to save the current entry and open a new journal entry form.

Step 5: Review and Edit Journal Entries

  1. View Journal Entries: To view or edit journal entries, go to the Accounting menu and select “Chart of Accounts.” Choose the account associated with the journal entry and click “View Register.”
  2. Edit Entries: Find the journal entry you want to edit, click on it, and make the necessary changes. Ensure that any adjustments still result in a balanced entry.

Common Uses of Journal Entries in QuickBooks OnlineCorrecting Errors

Journal entries are often used to correct errors in the accounting records. For example, if an expense was recorded in the wrong account, a journal entry can be made to move the amount to the correct account.

Allocating Expenses

Businesses may need to allocate expenses across different departments or projects. Journal entries allow for precise allocation of these expenses, ensuring accurate tracking and reporting.

Recording Accruals and Deferrals

Accruals and deferrals are accounting adjustments for revenues and expenses that have been incurred but not yet recorded. Journal entries help in recording these transactions, ensuring that the financial statements reflect the true financial position of the business.

Adjusting Entries

At the end of an accounting period, adjusting entries are made to update the accounts for accruals, deferrals, depreciation, and other adjustments. These entries are essential for preparing accurate financial statements.

Tips for Making Journal Entries in QuickBooks OnlineDouble-Check Entries

Always double-check your journal entries to ensure that the debits and credits are balanced. An unbalanced entry can lead to inaccurate financial reports.

Use Descriptive Narratives

Include clear and concise descriptions for each journal entry. This practice helps in understanding the purpose of the entry when reviewing the financial records in the future.

Maintain Supporting Documentation

Keep supporting documentation for each journal entry, such as invoices, receipts, or contracts. This documentation provides evidence for the transaction and is useful during audits.

Regularly Review Financial Statements

Regularly review your financial statements to ensure that all journal entries are accurately recorded. This practice helps in identifying and correcting errors promptly.

Seek Professional Advice

If you are unsure about making a particular journal entry, seek advice from a professional accountant. Properly recording complex transactions is crucial for maintaining accurate financial records.


Making journal entries in QuickBooks Online is a straightforward process that plays a vital role in accurate financial record-keeping. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your journal entries are correctly recorded and balanced. Whether you are correcting errors, allocating expenses, or recording accruals and deferrals, journal entries are essential for maintaining the integrity of your financial statements.

For businesses looking to optimize their use of QuickBooks Online, consider exploring Saasant’s comprehensive tools and services tailored to enhance your accounting processes. Saasant offers a range of solutions designed to streamline your financial management and improve overall efficiency.

By mastering the process of making journal entries in QuickBooks Online, you can maintain precise financial records, ensure compliance with accounting standards, and make informed business decisions.

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