General Journal Overview (v5.0)

Modified on Wed, 20 Sep 2023 at 09:36 AM

Purpose of this document


In Ceres, General Journals are used to post information into the General Ledger Chart of Accounts and other accounts.  General Journals are also used to post cost allocations and other adjustments to the accounts.  The General Journal is also used for entering information for Recurring journals, which are used when a company needs to allocate recurring entry lines.


This document explains how to use General Journals to post information into the General Ledger Chart of Accounts and other accounts in Ceres.


Ceres Object release 5.00.00 is required for the functionality described in this document.

Table of Contents


General Journal Structure


General Journals have three layers:  Templates, Batches, and Lines. These layers help the user in the process of creating and posting journal entries. It also helps the user track all postings.



General Journal Templates

Journal Templates allow you to work in a journal window that is designed for a specific purpose. That is, the fields contained in each Journal Template are the ones needed for a particular part of the program.  For example, you do not need to use the same fields when you post a purchase invoice as when you post a payment.

There are several standard General Journal Templates set up as menu items in the General Ledger, Agencies & Receivables, Purchases & Payables, and Fixed Assets application areas. They cover the most common routines used in Ceres, and in all of these Journal Templates, you can post entries to G/L, Agency, Donor/Vendor and Fixed Asset accounts.


Creating General Journal Templates


1. The General Journal Templates can be accessed from Departments à Financial

    Management à Setup à Administration  à General à Journal Templates.




2. A List of General Journal Templates will display.  To create a new Journal Template, select Home à New.



3. Select or input values in the following fields.

Name:  Enter a unique Name to identify the Journal Template that is being created.


Description:  Enter a brief description of the Journal Template you are creating.


Type:  Determines what the Journal Template window will look like based on the type of work that will be done in it.  To see the options, click the Assist Button in the field:


Recurring:  A checkmark in this field indicates that this is a recurring journal.

Bal. Account Type:  Select the Balancing Account Type from the List.

Bal. Account No.:  Leave this field blank, it will be populated when the journal entry is created.

No. Series:  Enter the Code for the number series that will be used to assign document numbers to journal lines in this Journal Template. To see the number series that is set up in the No. Series table, click the Assist Button in the field.  If there is also a number series code in the Posting No Series field, then the number series in the No. Series field will only be used to assign a temporary number. The temporary number will be replaced upon posting.

Posting No. Series:  Enter the code for the number series that will be used to assign document numbers to ledger entries that are posted from recurring journals using this Journal Template. To see the number series that is set up in the No. Series table, click the Assist Button in the field.

Source Code:  Select the Source Code from the List.

Reason Code:  Select a default Reason Code for this Template. Typically left blank here and chosen on the line when the entry is created.

Post Recurring Zero-Amounts:  A checkmark in this field posts the zero amount lines in a Recurring Journal.   Leave this field blank if you do not want the zero amount lines to post.  Please note that this field can only be checked when the Type field is Recurring.

Force Doc. Balance:  A checkmark in this field requires that the Document Number be the same on all in the Journal to post.

Force Balance by Fund:  A checkmark in this field to require that the entries be in balance by Fund to post.

Force Posting Report:  A checkmark in this field forces the Test Report to print when the Journal is posted.

Other fields can be displayed, such as Test Report Id and Test Report Name.  These fields are initialized when a Journal Template is created.

General Journal Batches

Journal Batches are created based on the Journal Templates.  Batches that are created from a specific Journal Template have identical:

  • Structure
  • Default Settings
  • Information

These settings may be changed to suit the needs of a particular batch.

Journal Batches are frequently used to separate tasks from another. For example, in the Payment Journal you may have separate batches for:

  • AP Checks
  • Wires or ACH (electronic payments
  • Manual Checks

AP check payments may have a different approval process than wires or ACH payments. To keep AP check entries from becoming mixed with wires or ACH entries, separate batches may be assigned.

 Creating General Journal Batches


1. The General Journal Batches can be accessed from Departments à Financial Management à General

    Ledger à Tasks à General Journals.  Select a Journal Template from the General Journal Template List.  If a

    List does not appear, a single Journal Template has been setup which you will be in.



2. Select the arrow in the Batch Name field at the top of the General Journal.

3. To create a new Journal Batch from the General Journal Batches Page, select Home à New.


4. Select or input values in the following fields.

Name:  This must be unique to the Journal Batch being created.   You can repeat the Journal Batch Name for multiple templates. For example, the Agency Journal may have CHECK and CC Journal Batches called CHECK and CC and the Purchase Journal may have a single DEFAULT Journal Batch.

Description:  Enter a brief description of the journal template you are creating.

Bal. Account Type, No. Series, Posting No. Series, Bal Account No. and Reason Code:  All of these fields populate based on the parameters of the Journal Template, but can be overridden.

General Journal Lines


Journal Lines are the entries that must be posted.  The lines entered in a journal are temporary and can be changed as long as the journal has not been posted.

Creating General Journal Lines


1. The General Journal Lines can be accessed from Financial Management  à General

    Ledger à Tasks à General Journals.




2. If multiple General Journal Templates are setup a List will display.  Select the Template you want to use.



3. Select a Journal Batch from the Batch Name field.  Only the batches that are associated with  the Template

    that was selected will display.



4. Update the Lines as follows.


Posting Date:  Enter the Posting Date.

Document Type:  Select the Type of entry from the List.

Document No.:  Enter a Document Number.  If system assigned, the Document No. is automatically filled in by the number series assigned to the Batch.

Account Type:  Select the Account Type (G/L Account, Agency, Vendor, Bank Account, Fixed Asset, IC Partner, Grant, or Donor) from the list.

Account No.:  Select the Account Number from the List; The List is filtered based on the Account Type field.

Description:  Enter a brief description of the transaction.

Fund No.:  Select or input the Fund that pertains to each Journal Lines.

Dimensions:  Select or input the Dimensions (Department, Project, etc.) that pertain to each Journal Line.

Debit Amount, Credit Amount, and Amount:  Enter the amount.  Credit amounts must be entered with a minus sign in the Amount field.  Alternatively, you can input positive amounts using the Debit Amount and Credit Amount fields. The Amount field controls the sign so positive Credit Amounts will display as a negatives in the Amount field.

Note:  The amount fields that display  on the General Journal Page are based on which option was selected in the Show Amounts field in the General Ledger Setup.  The options are:  Amount Only, Debit/Credit Only, or All Amounts.

Balancing Account Type:  Select the offsetting account type from the list. To see the options, click the Assist Button in the field:

Balancing Account No.:  Select the offsetting account number from the list; the choices available are based on the Account Type.

Reason Code:  Select the appropriate Reason Code from the List.

Reviewing the General Journal

1. After all the Journal Lines have been entered confirm the Total Balance field at the bottom of the Page is $0.

    The debit and credit amounts must be in balance by Posting Date, and/or Document No. or Fund before the

    Journal will post.



2. Run the Test Report for a final review of the data.  The Test Report can be accessed from

    Actions à Functions à Test Report.  Select Preview to preview the report or Print to print a hard copy of

    the report.



3. Place check mark in the Show Dimensions field to print the Dimensions on the report.   Below is an example

    of the Test Report with the Show Dimensions checked.




4. For a preview of how the entries will post, select Home à Process à Preview Posting.

5. From Posting Preview Page, highlight the entries you want to preview then select à Home à Process Show

    Related Entries.



Note:  Asterisks * will display in the Document No. field to indicate that the entries have not yet been posted.

Posting the General Journal


1. The General Journal must be posted before the General Ledger is updated.

2. For a preview of how the entries will post, select Home Process Preview Posting.

3. Post or Post and Print the Journal.  Select Actions à Functions à Print or Post and Print.  Select Yes to

    confirm that you want to post the journal lines.

Related Topics

  1. General Journal Import
  2. Cash Receipts Journal
  3. Bank Deposits
  4. Budget Overview
  5. Budget Import by Dimension

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