Special Journals are designed to facilitate the process of journalizing and posting transactions. They are used for the most frequent transactions in a business. For example, in merchandising businesses, companies acquire merchandise from vendors, and then in turn sell the merchandise to individuals or other businesses. Sales and purchases are the most common transactions for the merchandising businesses. A business such as a retail store will record the following transactions many times a day for sales on account and cash sales.
In order to save time for journalizing the entries, and posting the entries to the general ledgers and subledgers, Special Journals are used instead. An accountant can be specialized in a type of journal entry and several accountants can work each on 1 or more different types of journal entries only thereby using a better division of labour.
The types of Special Journals that a business uses are determined by the nature of the business. Special journals are designed as a simple way to record the most frequently occurring transactions. There are four types of Special Journals that are frequently used by merchandising businesses: Sales journals, Cash receipts journals, Purchases journals, and Cash payments journals.