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2-3Journalizing and Posting to Accounts
As illustrated, a transaction is first recorded in a journal. Periodically, the journal entries are transferred to the accounts in the ledger. The process of transferring the debits and credits from the journal entries to the accounts is called posting.
The December transactions of NetSolutions are used to illustrate posting from the journal to the ledger. By using the December transactions, an additional review of analyzing and journalizing transactions is provided.
Dynamic Exhibit 2-1Copyright © Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved
The posting of the preceding December 1 transaction is shown in Exhibit 5. Notice that the T account form is not used in Exhibit 5. In practice, the T account is usually replaced with a standard four-column account as shown in Exhibit 5.
Exhibit 5Diagram of the Recording and Posting of a Debit and a Credit Ledger, NetSolutions
The debits and credits for each journal entry are posted to the accounts in the order in which they occur in the journal. To illustrate, the debit portion of the December 1 journal entry is posted to the prepaid insurance account in Exhibit 5 using the following four steps:
- Step 1.The date (Dec. 1) of the journal entry is entered in the Date column of Prepaid Insurance.
- Step 2.The amount (2,400) is entered into the Debit column of Prepaid Insurance.
- Step 3.The journal page number (2) is entered in the Posting Reference (Post. Ref.) column of Prepaid Insurance.
- Step 4.The account number (15) is entered in the Posting Reference (Post. Ref.) column in the journal.
As shown in Exhibit 5, the credit portion of the December 1 journal entry is posted to the cash account in a similar manner.
The remaining December transactions for NetSolutions are analyzed and journalized in the following paragraphs. These transactions are posted to the ledger later in this chapter (see Exhibit 6). To simplify, some of the December transactions are stated in summary form. For example, cash received for services is normally recorded on a daily basis. However, only summary totals are recorded at the middle and end of the month for NetSolutions.
Dynamic Exhibit 2-1Copyright © Cengage Learning. All Rights ReservedBusiness Connection
Microsoft’s Unearned Revenue
Microsoft Corporation develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of computer software products, including, Word®, Excel®, and the Xbox® gaming system. When Microsoft sells its products, it also provides technical support and periodic updates on those products for a period of time. Thus, at the time of sale, a portion of the proceeds is unearned (deferred) for these services. As time passes and services are provided to customers, Microsoft records a portion of its unearned (deferred) revenue as revenue.
To illustrate, the following excerpt was taken from a recent financial statement of Microsoft:
Unearned revenue … include(s) payments for: post-delivery support and consulting services to be performed in the future; Xbox Live subscriptions and prepaid points; Microsoft Dynamics business solutions products; Office 365 subscriptions; Skype prepaid credits and subscriptions; Bundled Offerings; and other offerings for which we have been paid in advance….
During a recent year, Microsoft recognized as revenue $48,498 million of unearned revenue, which is 57% of its total revenues. For a recent year ending June 30, Microsoft also reported on its balance sheet a liability for unearned revenue of $33,909 million. Thus, the recording of unearned revenue is a significant item for Microsoft.
Source: Microsoft Corporation, Form 10-K, For the Year Ended June 30, 2016.Link to Apple
In a recent year, Apple incurred advertising expense of $1.2 billion. Apple reports advertising expense as part of Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses.
Computerized Accounting Systems
Computerized accounting systems are widely used by even the smallest companies. These systems simplify the record-keeping process in that transactions are recorded in electronic forms. Forms used to bill customers for services provided are often completed using drop-down menus that list services that are normally provided to customers. An auto-complete entry feature may also be used to fill in customer names. For example, type “ca” to display customers with names beginning with “Ca” (Caban, Cahill, Carey, and Caswell). And to simplify data entry, entries are automatically posted to the ledger accounts when the electronic form is completed.
One popular accounting software package used by small- to medium-sized businesses is QuickBooks®. Some examples of using QuickBooks to record accounting transactions are illustrated and discussed in Chapter 5.
Dynamic Exhibit 2-1Copyright © Cengage Learning. All Rights ReservedExample Exercise 2-3
Journal Entry for Fees Earned
- Prepare a journal entry on August 7 for the fees earned on account, $115,000.
Follow My Example 2-3
Practice Exercises: PE 2-3A, PE 2-3B
Example Exercise 2-4
Journal Entry for Owner’s Withdrawal
- Prepare a journal entry on December 29 for the payment of $12,000 to the owner of Smartstaff Consulting Services, Dominique Walsh, for personal use.
Follow My Example 2-4
Practice Exercises: PE 2-4A, PE 2-4B
Exhibit 6 shows the December 31, 2018 ledger for NetSolutions after the transactions for both November and December have been posted.
General Ledger for NetSolutions on December 31, 2018
Example Exercise 2-5
Missing Amount from an Account
- On March 1, the cash account balance was $22,350. During March, cash receipts totaled $241,880, and the March 31 balance was $19,125. Determine the cash payments made during March.
Follow My Example 2-5
AnswerUsing the following T account, solve for the amount of cash payments (indicated by ? ):
Practice Exercises: PE 2-5A, PE 2-5B