The problem is actually that in these consumer oriented packages the
paradigm is different. In Gnucash the chart of accounts is fundamental. In
Quickbooks the  initial screen shows a set of tasks: add a customer, pay
bills, enter charges, etc. Clicking on these brings up a set of account
names, customers, vendors, etc. Underneath the user is creating a
transaction but parts of it are hidden. (This happens to a limited extent
in the Basic Ledger view in Gnucash.)
Let me describe writing a check in Quickbooks, I either click on Write
Checks on the Quickbooks desktop or go to the Bank menu and click on it
there. I choose the correct  checking account and am presented with an
image of a blank check. I fill in the Pay To and the bottom part of the
screen will show a split and will suggest an account. After filling in the
remaining parts of the check and scanning in and attaching any related
documents, I go to the split, select the appropriate account, enter a memo,
customer, job, or item. Additional splits can be added and the check can be
printed.
The point is that the user is not seeing the transaction as a whole, is not
seeing credit/debit or even more friendly versions of labels, and that the
interface is task oriented. With a task oriented system situations arise
which are not covered by the tasks in the user interface; those situations
can be handled by a journal entry. Making a journal entry in Quickbooks is
like Gnucash, i.e., double entry accounting. Here is an example list of
journal transactions from Intuit's site:

   - Opening balances in a new file
   - Adjusting entries
   - Asset purchases
   - Depreciation
   - Interest on loan accounts
   - End of financial year adjustments
   - Sales amount from a different industry software that is required in
   the accounting software
   - Company transfers, different entities in two different files
   - Stock adjustments
   - Capital contributions
   - Owner drawings

The Gnucash documentation could make some general statements about
differences between Gnucash and other accounting software, but it would be
too much to expect specifics about the other software.
Dale

On Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 4:44 AM Fred Bone <fred.b...@dial.pipex.com> wrote:

> On 12 August 2019 at 12:57, Mike or Penny Novack said:
>
> > On 8/12/2019 12:45 PM, Clint Chaplin wrote:
> > > This is also similar to NetSuite, which is an on-line double entry
> > > bookkeeping service, and where "journal entries" are a special case
> > > transaction, even though by definition everything is really a journal
> > > entry.
> > >
> > It is definitely a terminology confusion.
> >
> > In the old days, especially with "cash book" accounting*, a "journal
> > entry" referred to a transaction that was not affecting any of the cash
> > accounts. So mainly corrections and adjustments (example: recording
> > depreciation).
> >
> > It has no real meaning in a "virtual journal" system like gnucash.
>
> Indeed. But what is the meaning in the systems being referred to in this
> thread? The matter will undoubtedly arise again.
>
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