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Working with General Journal Templates, General Journal Batches and General Journal Lines

In Dynamics 365 Business Central (and Dynamics NAV) most financial transactions are posted to the general ledger through dedicated business documents, such as purchase invoices and sales orders. However, you can also process business activities such as purchasing, paying, or refunding employee expenses by posting journal lines in the various journals in Business Central. Most journals are based on the General Journal, and you can process all transactions on the General Journal page by inserting journal lines.  

Journal templates in Business Central allow you to work in a journal window that is designed for a specific purpose. Different journal templates have an individual page with specific functions and fields that are required to support those functions.  

How to set up a General Journal Template in Business Central

To setup a journal template, you can search for “General Journal Templates” from the global search icon.

Each journal type is set up with its own journal template. Journal templates provide the basic journal structure where users can specify default information for all batches that are created by using the template.

General Journal Batches

Journal batches are created based on the journal templates. All journal batches that are created from a specific template have the same structure, default settings, and information defined in the template. Generally, you would use batches to separate one user’s entries from another. For instance, you would create a batch called “PAYROLL” to process payroll transactions and another user can create a batch called “MONTHLY” to process monthly journal entries. You can define your own journal batch for the general journal that has your personal layout and settings, such as a dedicated number series, balancing account type, balancing account no., copy gst setup to jnl.

For each general journal template, a default general journal batch is automatically created, which contains default information from the journal template. However,  you can change them for a specific journal batch.

If you want to create additional batches for a journal or change the settings of the default journal, follow these steps:

On the “General Journal Templates” page,

  1. Select Template > “More options” to display the “Navigate” action menu.
  2. Select Navigate > Template > Batches.
  3. Click on Batches to open “General Journal Batches” page. To create a new general journal batch, select New.

General Journal Lines

The journal batch contains journal lines where you can insert actual transaction. The information that you enter on the journal line is temporary and can be changed while it is in the journal. When you post the journal, the information is transferred to ledger entries on individual accounts, where it cannot be changed. However, you can unapply posted entries and post reversing or correcting entries. Below example illustrates journal lines entered to reclassify one expense account to the other.

Posting with a general journal always creates entries on general ledger accounts. For example, when you post a journal to a customer account, an entry gets posted to a general ledger receivables account because of the “Customer Posting Group” defined on the customer.

Apart from the general journal, there are different journal templates set up as standard in Business Central for different purposes. They are as follows:

Cash Receipt Journal – Used to record or register customer payment/refund

Payment Journal – Used to prepare/post vendor payment/refund

Fixed Asset G/L Journal – Used for posting fixed asset transactions such as acquisition, depreciation and disposal. When you enable a fixed asset activity in the “G/L Integration” section on the “Depreciation Book Card” page, the Fixed Asset G/L Journal page is used to post transactions for the activity.

Fixed Asset Journal – Used for posting asset transactions that do not have “G/L Integration” enabled. Typically, used for posting fixed asset opening balances.

Recurring Journal – Used to post recurring transactions. You can post in fixed or variable amount, specify automatic reversal entries and use allocation keys with recurring as often as you want and you only need to set it up once.