Examples of Accounting Journal Entries

For any bookkeeeper, recording financial transactions for small business owners through journal entries, whether it is manual or with the use of accounting software, is the first step of an accounting system and accounting cycle. Journal entries use two or more accounts also known as double-entry bookkeeping or double-entry accounting and generally have the following features:

  • Journal entry is an integral part of the double-entry accounting system.
  • There is at least one debit side and one credit side entry in a journal entry.
  • General journal entries can record any number of debits and credits provided the total of both tallies.
  • Journal entries can be used to record movement in all company accounts i.e. assets, liabilities, income, expenses such as payroll expenses or depreciation expense, dividends, common stock and capital.
  • Journal entries are made in chronological order.
  • The entries made in journals are then posted to individual general ledger accounts which are then used to prepare the trial balance and financial statements such as a balance sheet or income statement of a business entity.
  • The recording of debit or credit in a journal entry depends on the change in the value the account category being booked. E.g. increase in asset and expense is a debit while an increase in liability, income and equity is a credit. Remember debits equal credits!

Having a detailed understanding of how the journal entry works, we can now move on to practical examples to view the practical application of journal entries illustrated by the following comprehensive example:

George intends to develop a mobile app that creates and tracks personal budgets. He has registered a startup business by the name of G. Tech to fulfill his aim. The entity was registered on 1st Jan, 2017 and at the end of the month, the following transactions were identified, George wants journal entries for to be passed for these transactions and have contacted you for help. Review the transactions and journal entry examples accordingly.


1st Jan George deposited $50,000.00 from his personal savings and borrowings into the business bank account.

1st Jan Company registration charges of $750.00 were paid to registration consultant from business bank account.

3rd Jan  Purchase of computer equipment worth $500.00.

3rd Jan Office premises is acquired for a monthly rent of $900.00 payable at the start of each month. Real Estate agent’s commission of $1,000.00 is paid at the spot.

4th Jan George withdrew $230.00 from the business bank account for groceries. On the same day, another expense of $100.00 for fuel was paid by George from his own pocket, George believes this fuel expense should be charged to business since most of the traveling would be for business development.

8th Jan George hires a developer and a business analyst on monthly salaries of $5,000.00 and $2,800.00 respectively.

15th Jan The newly hired developer collaborates with a freelance IT service provider to get a module of the app configured, the freelancer worked for 4 hours at $40.00 per hour. The payment would only be made after a test run and approval from George.

20th Jan George made a payment of $1,250.00 is the monthly installment for his auto loan from his business account.

28th Jan As the application goes into the testing phase, George wants to let a word out about his product and spends $300.00 on marketing from the business account.

31st Jan Salaries for the month of Jan and Rent for Feb is paid.


DateDescription Debit (USD) Credit (USD) 
1st JanBank50,000.00  
1st JanCapital 50,000.00 
Narration: Increase in asset and equity accounts. 
1st JanCompany Registration Expense750.00  
1st JanBank 750.00 
Narration: Increase in Expense and Decrease in asset Account. 
3rd JanComputer Equipment asset500.00  
3rd JanBank 500.00 
Narration: Increase in one asset account and a decrease in another. 
3rd JanPrepaid Rent841.93  
3rd JanBank                     841.93 
Narration: Rent for 29 days starting from 3rd Jan to 31st Jan (900 x 29/31 = 841.95) resulting in the creation of an asset i.e. prepayment and decrease in asset bank account. 
3rd JanEstate Agent Commission            1,000.00  
3rd JanBank                   1,000.00 
Narration: Increase in expense and decrease in the asset account. 
4th JanCapital               230.00  
4th JanBank                       230.00 
Narration: Decrease in both the capital and asset accounts. 
4th JanFuel Expense               100.00  
4th JanPayable to George                       100.00 
Narration: Increase in both expense and liability accounts. 
15th JanProfessional services expense               160.00  
15th JanPayable to Freelancer                       160.00 
Narration: Increase in both expense and liability accounts. 
20th JanCapital            1,250.00  
20th JanBank                   1,250.00 
Narration: Decrease in both equity and asset accounts. 
28th JanMarketing Expense               300.00  
28th JanBank                       300.00 
Narration: Increase in expense and decrease in the asset account. 
31st JanSalaries Expense            6,038.71  
31st JanBank                   6,038.71 
Narration: Salaries for 24 days = 7800 x 24/31 = 6038.71 as an increase in the expense and decrease in asset account. 
31st JanPrepaid Rent for Feb               900.00  
31st JanBank                       900.00 
Narration: Increase in two asset accounts i.e. prepayment and bank. 
31st JanRent expense for the first month               841.93  
31st JanPrepaid rent paid on 3rd Jan                       841.93 
Narration: This entry records the rent expense when it is due i.e.at the end of the accounting period, at the time of payment on 3rd Jan, the prepayment was created as an asset. This is an example of adjusting journal entry usually made at the time of period end or closing of accounts. 

These are just a few examples of accounting journal entries for a small business.  Entering entries is critical in order to prepare accurate financial statements that help keep a company operating efficiently.  We have more examples of journal entries on our site to help with understanding the concept. Going back to accounting basics with the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity in mind will also help clarify the process of journal entries.