Differences between Journal and Ledger

Journal and ledger both terms are first heard when you start reading accountancy subject, in other words without learning about these two terms one cannot imagine learning accountancy. While both journal and ledger are books of entry, however there are many differences between two of them.

Journal and Ledger Differences-

  1. Journal is the book of primary entry and therefore any financial transaction is first entered in journal whereas ledger is the book of second entry in the sense that various accounts are transferred from journal to ledger after they are posted in the journal.
  2. The method of recording various financial transactions in journal is called journalizing while the process of recording various financial transactions in the ledger is called posting in the ledger.
  3. While in journal various entries for transaction is made every day as and when transaction happen whereas in case of ledger it is usually prepared at the end of month.
  4. In case of journal emphasis is more on accuracy of identifying the nature of account, date and amount of transaction while in case of ledger emphasis is more on balancing the various accounts so that correct balances are carried forward in trial balance which in turn will lead to accurate profit and loss account and balance sheet of the company.
  5. While recording figures in journal, transactions are the basis of classification, whereas in case of ledger, account is the basis of classification for recording figures.
  6. While in case of journal one needs to remember the basic rules of accounts so that correct account is debited or credited and there is no balancing done of journal entries whereas in case of ledger balancing of accounts is imperative.


As one can see from that there are many differences between journal and ledger, however both journal and ledger are important and indispensible in order to prepare financial statements which in turn will reflect the true and fair position of the company over the financial year.

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