Bookkeeping is a little like physics – there are unbreakable rules. So to paraphrase one of them, “For every debit, there is an equal and opposite credit.” But in QuickBooks, that is not always obvious. The “implied side” of a transaction is not staring you in the face most of the time.

The balancing side of every transaction is there nonetheless, so that your general ledger zeroes out and your financial statements work as they are supposed to.

Where do you find the implied side of the transactions? Sometimes you want to know (or confirm) what the offsetting entry is behind the scenes. That’s where the Transaction Journal comes into play.

You can simply run the Reports / Accountant and Taxes / Journal report. It will show every transaction within the reporting date range (which you can change) and it will break out the debits and credits of every transaction into columns for the accounts that are affected.

In this example (which I split into different lines for viewability), Mr. Teschner made a payment against his customer account. You see the split in the Journal report: Checking account 10100 was debited (increased) by $5,000 and Accounts Receivable account 11000 was credited (decreased) by $5,000.

Example of Journal Report in QuickBooks

You can change the dates on this report to focus on a particular date or date range, or you can click Customize Report / Filters to limit the Journal report’s output to particular accounts you wish to see.

A faster way to pinpoint one particular transaction is to pull up the customer, vendor, employee, etc. in its respective Center.

Let’s say you want to see the implied side of an invoice that posted to a particular customer.

Go the Customer Center and click on the customer you want. You’ll see the customer’s transaction in the right-hand pane.

In this example, let’s say you want to see all the debits and credits associated with invoice 1024, the last transaction in the listing.

You just right-click on that transaction, and select “View Transaction Journal”, like this:

Journal transaction detail

A new window will pop up with the debits and credits for that specific transaction. Here’s the rightmost columns of information in the window:

Viewing the transactions journal in QuickBooks

Nice! This is faster and easier than running the big Journal report and filtering down to this level. You see that the implied side of the transaction is listed first: accounts receivable. That’s the implied side of the invoice transaction.

This is a pretty obvious example. But in cases where you’re not sure what the offsetting debit or credit was, you have ways to find out.

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