What is a Cash Receipts Journal?

Definition: The cash receipts journal is a special section of the general journal specifically used to record all receipts of cash. In other words, the cash receipts journal is a separate journal only used to record cash collections.

What Does Cash Receipts Journal Mean?

Credit sales and sales made on account are not usually recorded in this journal because there isn’t any cash collected in these transactions. This way an accountant or bookkeeper can analyze the amount of cash collected and recorded during a period separate from all other journal entries in the general journal.

The cash receipts journal can be subdivided into different sections as well. For example, many companies want to know and evaluate the amount of cash they collected from sales, credit customers, and other sources.


Cash collected from sales is pretty self-explanatory. When a retailer sells merchandise to a customer and it collects cash, this transaction is recorded in the cash receipts journal.

Cash collected from credit customers is not so simple to record. When a customer purchases inventory on credit, the sale isn’t directly recorded in the cash receipts journal because no cash has actually been collected. Instead, the accounts receivable account is debited and the sales account is credited. When the credit customer returns to pay off his account, cash is collected however. This receipt of this cash is recorded in the journal.

Other sources of cash often include banks, interest received from investments, and sales of non-inventory assets. When a business gets a loan from a bank, the transaction to record the loan is made in the cash collections journal.

You can think of it like this. Whenever a company receives cash for any reason, the journal entry is recorded in the cash receipts journal.