Add or edit a single manual journal

Add a new manual journal to the general ledger, or edit an existing manual journal.

You'll need the Standard + All Reports or Adviser user role to add or edit manual journals.

Add a single manual journal

  1. In the Reports menu, select All Reports.

    If you have the Adviser user role, you can also access Manual Journals from the Adviser menu.

  2. Under Accounting, select Journal Report.
  3. Click Manual Journals to get to the manual journals screen.
  4. Click New Journal.
  5. Enter the journal details into the relevant fields, then click:
    • Save as draft or Save & add another to save the journal without posting it to the general ledger.
    • Post or Post & add another to post the journal to the general ledger.
If you Post & add another journal, the date of the posted journal is used for the new journal.

Journal fields

Journal fieldDescription
NarrationThis fields is mandatory. Enter a title to help you search for the journal. This field displays in the manual journal list and the Journal Report.
Default narration to journal line descriptionSelect the checkbox to copy the journal's narration into each line item description.
Show journal on cash basis reportSelect the checkbox if you want the journal to display on cash based reports, such as the Statement of Cash Flows and cash basis activity statement.
DateThis field is mandatory. Select the date you want the journal to post to the general ledger (effective date).
Auto Reversing DateThis field is optional. Select a future date on new or draft journals to reverse the journal automatically on the selected date.
Amounts are

This field is mandatory and defaults to No Tax.

  • Select Tax Exclusive to add the tax to each line item amount.
  • Select Tax Inclusive to include the tax with each line item amount.

The journal shows as tax exclusive when it's saved or posted.

DescriptionEnter a description for each line item. If you selected to use the default narration for the description, click into each description field for this to populate.
AccountSelect the account code for each line item. Some system accounts can't be selected in a manual journal.
Tax Rate

The tax rate for each line item defaults to the tax rate assigned to the account in your chart of accounts. The tax amount shown in the journal total depends on your selection in the Amounts are field.

You can't edit the tax rate if No Tax is selected in the Amounts are field. Select Tax Exclusive or Tax Inclusive to change the tax rate.


This field is optional. If tracking is set up in your organisation, select the relevant tracking option for each line item, or select Add new tracking option to add another tracking option to the tracking category.

If you only use tracking on one side of your journal (debit or credit), Xero creates a balance entry using the Tracking Transfers system account.

Debit and credit amounts

Enter the debit or credit amount for each line item.

When you enter the account code for the second and any subsequent line items, Xero automatically enters the credit or debit journal balance, and adds the tax amount to the GST account when you post the journal.

The total debits must equal the total credits before you can post the journal.

You can use the inbuilt calculator to work out your debit and credit amounts.

Add a new line

Click Add a new line to add a new line item to the journal.

Click the delete icon journal - button delete item.png beside the line item to delete it.

Edit a manual journal

Draft manual journals display on the Draft tab and can be edited, copied, reversed or deleted. Once a journal is posted, it displays on the Posted tab. A posted journal can be made into a repeating journal, or reversed, voided, copied or edited.

To edit a manual journal:

  1. In the Reports menu, select All Reports.

    If you have the Adviser user role, you can also access Manual Journals from the Adviser menu.

  2. Under Accounting, select Journal Report.
  3. Click Manual Journals.
  4. Select the tab for the status of the journal you want to edit.
  5. Click the journal you want to edit.
  6. Click Journal Options, then select Edit.

Re-order line items within a journal

Click and drag the 6 dots at the side of a line item to reorder the lines in the journal.

Once you have started moving the journal line, the line will appear to float.

Editing a reversing manual journal

  • If you void the original journal, the associated reversing journal is also updated.
  • If you void multiple journals in bulk, all associated reversing journals are also voided.
  • If you void the original journal, the original and associated reversing journal show on separate lines in the history and notes.
  • If you edit the original journal, the associated reversing journal isn't updated automatically. You will need to edit it manually.
You can't create reversing journals from already posted or existing repeating journals.