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A journal is used to enter business transactions into an accounting system. Traditionally, a typical journal entry includes the date of the transaction, the name(s) of the account(s) affected, the amounts to be debited and credited, and the reason for the transaction. In a very small company, a single journal, called the general journal, may be sufficient; but most accounting systems will have at least a cash journal and probably a sales journal as well. After transactions are entered in a journal, they are then posted to the general ledger and eventually summarized in financial statements. Although modern electronic systems have made the traditional paper journal mostly obsolete, the basics of bookkeeping and accounting as reflected in journal entries remains intact.

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