Using a Filler Account on the First Line of Journal Entries
When you enter Journal Entries, it is best to create a line at the top with zero amounts in the debit and credit column. This section drills down on those reasons.
When creating this zero‐posting first line, it is best to use a separate Bank type account called “Journal Entries.” It is also best to enter a Memo onto this line, but not a class or job.
It is best to use a filler account on the first line of Journal Entries for the following reasons:
Protection from Unwanted Posts to Customers and Jobs
When you enter a name on the top line of a Journal Entry, the name from the first line will also affect the second and subsequent lines, for any line where the Name field is blank.
For example, on the Journal Entry below, the job name “Abercrombie, Kristy, Family Room” appears on the first line only, and there is a blank line below on line 3, the line with a credit of $3,000.
Journal Entry Filter Account reporting
When recording this type of Journal Entry, QuickBooks will post both the $1,000 debit (line 1) and the $6,000 credit (Line 3) to the “Abercrombie, Kristy: Family Room” job as shown below.
Journal Entry Reporting
The Journal Entry below includes the “Journal Entries” bank account on the top line. So, since the top line does not include a name, QuickBooks will not “ghost post” the name to any of the empty name fields on the entry.
Journal entry with JE account
Since the there is no name in the top line, the $6,000 credit to Subcontractors cost does not affect job cost reports for the “Kristy Abercrombie, Family Room” Job.
Job cost reporting
Accurate Cash Basis Adjustments for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.
If Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable is on the top line of a Journal Entry, the entry will have no impact on the Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable on the cash basis Balance Sheet.
To impact both the accrual basis and cash basis Balance Sheet, you must enter Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable on the second or subsequent lines of the Journal Entry. Using a filler account on the first line ensures these two accounts are never accidentally placed on the top of the entry.
A Complete Record of All Adjustments Regardless of What Transaction Type You Use
At times you may have to use transactions other than Journal Entries to post adjustments in QuickBooks. The most common reason is the need to affect both an Item and an Account when making the adjustment. For example, if you debit or credit an Income type account on a Journal Entry, the adjustment will show on the Profit & Loss but not on sales reports like the Sales by Item Summary report.
If you use the Journal Entries bank account consistently on all adjustments (Journal Entries, Sales Forms, Checks, etc.) you can filter detail reports to show only transactions that include the Journal Entries bank account. This will give you a composite list of all adjustments. You can also quickly view a list of adjustments by opening the Journal Entries account register.