Definition: Posting journal entries is the process of transferring recorded business events from the general journal to the ledger. In other words, posting is the next step in the accounting cycle after journalizing.
What Does Post Journal Entries Mean?
The first step in the accounting cycle starts by identifying events and analyzed them to see how they affect the accounting equation. After events are identified, they can be record in the general journal with a journal entry. These entries record the transaction’s effect on the accounting question in the accounting system.
Once the transaction is recorded, it must be transferred to the ledger accounts. This process is called posting. This is where all of the journal entries recorded in the general journal are transferred to the individual account ledgers. You can think of the posting process like taking the journal entries and transferring them to T-accounts. This way we can total each account and keep track of it’s balance at all time during the year.
If accounting cycle didn’t include the posting process, there would just be a big list of journal entries in the general journal at the end of the accounting period with no way to total how much is in each account. Posting essentially organizes the journal into account balances.
When each entry is posted its ledger account the journal entry number is usually placed next to the entry in the T-account. This leaves and audit trail to follow back all of the entries in the ledgers back to the original entries in the journal.
This process has to be done to every single entry in the general journal. As you can imagine, this would be a full time job trying to post every entry manually. Modern computerized accounting systems perform the posting process automatically as soon as an entry is made in the journal.