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Lesson 8a: Cash Disbursements Journal

Michael Sack Elmaleh , CPA, CVA

A cash disbursements journal is designed to capture all the important elements of each cash disbursement. Below is an example of a cash disbursements journal. The first column indicates the date of the payment. The second column indicates the check number issued. The third column indicates the party who received the payment (usually called the payee). The fourth column indicates the amount of the disbursement. Columns five through fourteen represent account categories. Placing the amount of the payment in a specific account category column indicates the nature of the transaction. For example, the first check in the journal, written to La La Land Realty, is clearly for office rent because the amount of the payment is placed in that column.


This journal was widely utilized in manual accounting systems but is largely obsolete with the advent of computerized general ledger software such as Quickbooks. That said many small businesses still issue manual checks and the check register is in effect a single entry form of a cash disbursements journal. However most general ledger software can generate reports that look like the above cash disbursements journal.

Go to Lesson 8b: Cash Transactions Posting Example
Click here for a tutorial on how to generate a cash disbursement journal in Quickbooks.
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