What is a Posting Reference Column?

Definition: A posting reference column, often abbreviated PR, is a column in the general journal that is used to indicate when entries have been posted to the ledger accounts. In other words, it’s a column in the journal that allows bookkeepers to mark the posted journal entries and keep track of the ones that still need to be posted in the future.

What Does Posting Reference Column Mean?

Since posting the same entries to the T-accounts would result in errors and improper balances, bookkeepers have to make sure that each journal entry is only posted once. This can be difficult to do when general journal has hundreds or even thousands of entries without a posting reference column.

The PR column is traditionally located between the account description column and the debit column of the general journal. When the bookkeeper posts journal entries to the ledger accounts, he or she can enter the number of the posting account in the PR column next to the debit or credit.


Take Bob’s purchase of a company vehicle for example. Bob has assigned his cash account the number 101 and his vehicle account the number 150 in his accounting system. When Bob purchases the vehicle, he records debit in the vehicle asset account and a credit in the cash account. When Bob’s bookkeeper posts this entry to the asset account ledgers, the bookkeeper would put a 150 in the posting reference column next to the vehicle account debit and a 101 next to the cash account credit. This shows that not only both of these entries have been transferred to the ledger accounts, but it also shows what ledger accounts they were transferred to.

In this way the PR column serves a double purpose. It indicates that the entry has been posted and what account it was posted to.