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Datasets - Journals

Workflow Concepts

Active Ledger allows a user to use any workflow pattern that they are comfortable with. Generally, this falls into one of two main patterns:

1. Perform changes in Active Ledger and export in bulk at the end of the job 

Here, the basic flow is as follows:

  1. Import the client accounting file into Active Ledger at the start of the job
  2. Make changes by creating journals inside of Active Ledger 
  3. At the end of the job, export a balancing journal and enter into the client accounting software
  4. A user may or may not reimport the client accounting file into Active Ledger after this process to confirm both are identical

In this system, journals are used to perform all changes. Active Ledger will let you create these journals, and will provide a balancing journal comprising all these changes after the end of the job.

2. Working with the client's live file

Here, the basic flow is as follows:

  1. Start by importing the client accounting file into Active Ledger 
  2. Make changes directly in the live client file
  3. Reimport the client accounting file on a regular basis into Active Ledger so it reflects changes made.

In this system, journals would only be used in Active Ledger to perform 'presentation' based changes which the user does not want to be reflected in the client file. For example; The client file may have several small accounts that need to be tidied up for the reports. In Active Ledger you could do a 'presentation' journal to move the balances into other existing or new accounts, without impacting the client file.

Note: In Active Ledger, you can create a journal in any dataset, including datasets that have no trial balance, which means it is also possible to use the journals as a method of creating an accounting file or trial balance from scratch.

Creating journals

Navigate to and open the relevant Dataset, and click on the Journals tab. To create a new journal click + New Journal, as shown below:

When creating and editing journals, the following fields are relevant:

Journal Details
Journal TypeThis will determine how the journal is incorporated into the dataset. Required
Two options:
- Journal
- Opening Balance Adjustment Journal
Journal No.This is automatically created by Active Ledger and can be edited. You can use this to identify your journals.Required
DateThe date represents the posting date of the journal. Be careful to ensure that the date entered is inside the dataset date range.Required
MemoThis is for your reference and internal use only. It is a field to enter any additional notes about the journal.
Export Journal to Client File (checkbox)This is to set the status of the journal. If this field is ticked it will be included in the balancing journals. Generally, this is unticked for presentation journals (i.e. journals to make the reports presentable). Ticked by default
Journal Lines
Account NoThe account number is the number assigned to the chart. Simply type the account name and/or number and select the appropriate account from the drop-down. You can create a new account by entering a unique value in this field. 
Account NameIf you selected an existing account above, the account name will automatically populate. You can create a new account by entering a unique value in this field.Required
ClassIf you selected an existing account above, the account class will automatically populate. If you created a new account by entering unique values above, give the new account a class in this field.Required
Seven options:
- Assets
- Liabilities
- Equity
- Revenue
- Cost of Sales
- Expenses
- Other
DebitAmount to be debited in the account.At least one DR is required
CreditAmount to be credited in the account.At least one CR is required
QuantityThis is where you can put the number of items for calculations such as livestock. 
DivisionIf you are using divisional reporting this is where you can select the correct division. For more information on divisions see the knowledge article: Accounts - Divisions.
MemoThis is for your reference and internal use only. It is a field to enter any additional notes about this individual transaction line.

If you need to use more than the five available lines, simply click Add Lines to see additional lines.

HINT: Double-clicking on the final debit/credit will auto calculate the amount required to balance the journal.

To post the journal click on Add Journal.

Editing and deleting a journal

Editing a journal

Navigate to and open the relevant dataset, click on the Journals tab and select the relevant journal from the menu. The fields which are editable are the same as when creating a journal. After editing the journal click on Save Journal.

You are also able to copy an existing journal by clicking on the relevant journal from the list and selecting the Copy as New Journal button. This is useful for reoccurring journals or for creating reversing journals by using it in conjunction with the Switch Dr/Cr button.

Voiding a journal

You are unable to delete a journal, but it can be made void. Select the relevant journal from the list and click on the Void Journal button at the bottom. To find this journal, tick the Include Void Journals checkbox above the list of journals. From here you can select the journal (now shown crossed out in grey) and reinstate it if required.

Note: You are unable to void import journals.

Audit log

Active Ledger maintains an audit trail for all journals to keep track of any changes made. To view this, select the relevant journal from the list and then click on the Audit Log button. This will give you a full list of when the journal was created/imported and when and by whom a journal was altered and/or voided.


Journal status

The status of a journal can change as the job progresses. By default, any imported journals will be marked as 'Imported' and any newly-created journals will have the status 'Pending Export'.

To learn more about updating the journal status and posting journals back to the client file, see the knowledge article: Datasets - Balances - Trial Balance.

The following is a list of statuses for journals:

  • Imported - those that were imported from the client file 
  • Not Exporting - presentation journals used for reporting that will not be posted back to the client file
  • Pending Export - those that will be posted back to the client file
  • Exported - those already posted in the client file
  • Balancing - consolidated journal that was exported to the client file

Right-click menu

From anywhere within the Journal section you can right-click to bring up the following menu options:  

Note: Exporting via the right-click menu DOES NOT update the status of the journal - this needs to be done in the Datasets-Balances section by clicking on the Prepare a Balancing Journal button. 

Cashflow journals

You can create dedicated journals that will only affect the Cash Flow Statement and not the underlying data.

Navigate to and open the relevant dataset, click on the Journals tab and then the Cashflow Journals tab. To create a new journal click + New Cashflow Journal.

From here you enter the details of the journal by selecting the Report Line and/or Reconciliation Line from the dropdown menus that the adjustments need to be made to.

If you need some assistance, click on the Insert an Example button. The dropdown contains the three most common scenarios for adjustment. Selecting the relevant example will automatically select the correct Report Lines. Then simply update the figures (by default these are set at $10). 

When you have finalised everything, click the Add Journal button.

Creating journals from Smart Suite's connected workpapers

Journals in Active Ledger can also be created while working within connected workpapers. 

From within the workpaper, right-click on the account balance you would like to prepare a journal for to bring up the menu options. Select View General Ledger.

A dialogue screen will pop up showing the current ledger items associated with that account. Clicking on the Add Journal button will take you to Active Ledger where you can prepare the journal in the usual manner.

After clicking Add Journal, return to your workpaper. If you click on the refresh button in the General Ledger screen the new journal will show in the ledger. 

Click OK to return to the Index and then click on the Refresh Trial Balance button to update the balances with the new journals.

Next article: Datasets - Journals - Reports

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