What are the books of prime entry?

The Books of Prime Entry will record transactions from the sales documents. The Books of Prime Entry will later become part of the double entry accounts. There are usually 5 books:

  • Sales Journal
  • Sales Returns Journal
  • Purchase Journal
  • Purchase Returns Journal
  • Cash Book

Sales Journal

This is a list of all the items that have been sold that are credit transaction. It is made from any sales invoices provided in that day. 

The credit sales are passed to the sales ledger.

Sales Returns Journal

This is a list of all the sales that have been returned that are credit transaction. It is made from any credit note provided in that day. 

This passed to the sales ledger.

Purchase Journal

This is a list of all the stock that has been been bought that are credit transaction. It is made from any Purchase invoices provided in that day. 

This is passed to the Purchase Ledger.

Purchase Returns Journal

This is a list of all the stock that has been been bought that are credit transaction.

This is passed to the Purchase Ledger.

Cash Book

The cash book will show

  • Changes in cash
  • Changes in bank
  • Discount received
  • Discount allowed

On the debit side the cash book will increase – the debit side will have cash, bank and discount received

On the credit side the cash book will decrease – the credit side will have cash, bank and discount allowed


The source documents that go into the debit side are

  • Cash income receipts
  • Till roll totals
  • Paying-in slip counterfoils
  • Debit card Receipts
  • Bank Transfer Receipts

The source documents that go into the credit side are

  • Cash expense receipts
  • Cheque Counterfoils
  • Standing orders
  • debit card payments
  • Bank transfer payments
  • Bank charges and interest

The debit side will go to the sales ledger or the general ledger

The credit side will go to the purchase ledger or the the general ledger

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