Journal Voucher

Article byRatnesh Sharma
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Journal Voucher Meaning

A Journal voucher is a document of every financial transaction, having the necessary information such as the identification number of the voucher, date, description of the business transaction, amount of transaction, applicable taxes, a reference to other evidence, the signature of the maker and signature of the authorized person, used recording the transaction in the books of the organization.

Key Takeaways

  • A journal voucher is a document used to record financial transactions in the general ledger.
  • It includes information such as the date of the transaction, a description of the transaction, the accounts affected, and the amounts debited or credited.
  • Journal vouchers are used to make adjustments to accounts or to correct errors in accounting records.
  • Journal vouchers provide a permanent record of financial transactions and are often used in conjunction with the journal to prepare financial statements.

Explanation

Journal Voucher

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Types

Journal Voucher types

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Purpose

Features

  1. The journals are standardized
  2. Every journal voucher requires information on the following:
  3. Every journal voucher requires the approval of an authorized person.

Example Format of Journal Voucher

#1 – Purchase of Machinery

Journal Voucher Example 1

Explanation

The company purchased plant & machinery on credit. Plant & Machinery is a real accountReal AccountReal accounts do not close their balances at the end of the financial year but retain and carry forward their closing balance from one accounting year to another. In other words, the closing balance of these accounts in one accounting year becomes the opening balance of the succeeding accounting year.read more in nature (i.e., an asset for the organization). It is not usual for the organization’s business to purchase the plant & machinery daily. Hence, a company cannot issue a purchase voucher. To prepare a document in the records, the company can use a Journal voucher containing all the above details. The invoice from the vendor is used as evidence for the said Journal voucher.

#2 – Provision for Outstanding Expenses

Journal Voucher Example 2

Explanation

At the end of every accounting year, the organization must make estimates for the expenses that will be relevant for the end part of the accounting periodAccounting PeriodAccounting Period refers to the period in which all financial transactions are recorded and financial statements are prepared. This might be quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, depending on the period for which you want to create the financial statements to be presented to investors so that they can track and compare the company's overall performance.read more. Hence, provisions need to be made. However, the actual bill from the relevant parties (if any) is received in the next accounting period. The documentary evidence is not available. Thus, journal vouchers help serve the purpose. As evidence, a working is prepared wherein the basis of amounts is provided. The assumption is generally based on the management’s experience. Since actual payment is not made & the relevant vendor is not easily identifiable, the outstanding expenses (liability) account is credited in the books of account.

Documents Required for Preparation of Journal Voucher

Use & Importance

  • It is used for recording the non-cash & non-trading types of transactions.
  • It helps the auditors understand the impact of financial transactions in a business.
  • It acts as evidence for future reference.
  • It forms the basis of rectification entries.

Journal Voucher vs. Journal Entry

  1. The words “Journal voucher” and “Journal Entry” are interchangeable. However, there is a difference between the two. The former is the inception of any financial transaction & the latter is the effect given in the books of accounts.
  2. Journal entry is recorded in the journal, i.e., the primary books of accounts, while vouchers are the record documents kept as evidence for the journal entry.
  3. Journal entries can be simple (i.e., one debit and one credit) or compound (i.e., one or more debits and/or more credits). However, there is no such difference in journal vouchers. Any number of journal entries can be drawn from one journal voucher.
  4. The next step after the journal entry is posting the entries to appropriate ledgers. On the other hand, the next step of the journal voucher is recording the transaction in the system.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Conclusion

Journal vouchers are the inception of the recording of any non-cash transaction. These have a material impact on the profits or losses of an organization. However, these entries serve the purpose of the accrual basis of accountingAccrual Basis Of AccountingAccrual Accounting is an accounting method that instantly records revenues & expenditures after a transaction occurs, irrespective of when the payment is received or made. read more of the organization. Also, these transactions are ignored at the time of preparation of the cash flow statementCash Flow StatementA Statement of Cash Flow is an accounting document that tracks the incoming and outgoing cash and cash equivalents from a business.read more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who prepares a journal voucher?

An accountant or bookkeeper typically prepares it. The accountant or bookkeeper ensures that all financial transactions are accurately recorded in the accounting system. After the voucher is ready, it must be approved by a supervisor or manager before the transaction can be posted to the accounting system.

How do journal vouchers differ from journal entries?

Journal vouchers and journal entries are used to record financial transactions, but some key differences exist. For example, journal vouchers are typically utilized for adjustments or corrections to accounts, while journal entries are used to record regular business transactions.

Is a journal voucher a source document?

A journal voucher is not generally a source document but a supporting document. It is prepared based on source documents and provides additional information and details about a transaction. In other words, this voucher supports a journal entry, a financial transaction record posted directly to the accounting system.

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