Voucher In Accounting

Updated on April 8, 2024
Article byShrestha Ghosal
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Voucher In Accounting? 

A voucher in accounting is a significant document generated by a company’s Accounts Payable department and it helps authorize, record, report, and authenticate the financial transactions within an organization. It acts as tangible evidence of a financial transaction and helps maintain proper financial records in the company.

Voucher In Accounting

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An accounting voucher includes essential details, including the transaction date, the parties involved, a description of the transaction, and the amount involved. They come in various forms, each serving a specific purpose. The vouchers ensure accuracy and transparency in financial reporting by providing a clear picture of the economic activities.

Key Takeaways

  • A voucher in accounting is a document the Accounts Payable department of a company issues, and it aims to authorize, record, report, and authenticate the financial transactions in the company.
  • The vouchers act as proof of a transaction that took place. They aid in maintaining the company’s financial records accurately.
  • These vouchers comprise all the necessary data related to a transaction, and they document the financial activities comprehensively. The supporting documents, including the receipts and invoices, provide valid information about the transaction process.
  • The accounting vouchers help identify and classify the types of transactions. They help companies assess their economic status, prevent unauthorized transactions, and make informed financial decisions. 

Voucher In Accounting Explained 

A voucher in accounting is a critical document that acts as a tool for recording and substantiating the financial transactions within the company. It proves that a transaction has occurred and provides all the information from the initial economic event to further entries into the accounting system. They play a crucial role in maintaining accurate financial records, ensuring transparency, and facilitating the auditing process.

A voucher contains all the essential information associated with a transaction and is beneficial for documenting financial activities accurately and comprehensively. They help properly classify and recognize economic events, ensuring businesses can analyze their financial health and make informed decisions. Moreover, they play a crucial role in internal controls and fraud prevention.

Properly documented vouchers require approvals and signatures from authorized representatives, establishing accountability within the organization. This approval process helps reduce unauthorized transactions and ensures that the expenditures align with the company’s policies and budget. Furthermore, vouchers facilitate the auditing process. Internal and external auditors rely on vouchers to verify the accuracy and legality of financial transactions, making the auditing process more efficient and effective.

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Requirements 

An accounting voucher contains all the documents that show the amount paid and the money owed. The supporting documents may include the following components:

  • The voucher numbers
  • The date and the type of the vouchers
  • The debit and credit columns
  • The particulars column, which contains a short description of the transaction
  • The supplier’s name, identification number, and supplier invoice
  • The terms of payment and the amount payable in words and figures
  • The payment’s due date
  • The discount terms and conditions or other schemes, if any
  • Approval stamp and signature of the representatives
  • Any higher authority’s signature
  • The receiver’s signature

Types 

Some types of vouchers in accounting are:

  • Payment Vouchers: These are used when a company needs to pay suppliers, service providers, or employees. These vouchers include details like the payee‘s name, payment date, purpose of payment, and the amount paid. Payment vouchers are essential for tracking cash outflows and ensuring payments are made accurately and on time.
  • Receipt Vouchers: They acknowledge the receipt of funds, like customer payments, interest income, or dividend receipts. They include information about the payer, receipt date, source of income, and the amount received. Receipt vouchers help record the revenue accurately.
  • Journal Voucher: Journal vouchers are used for miscellaneous or non-cash transactions that require entry into the accounting records. They include adjustments for depreciation, accruals, or corrections of errors. These vouchers are crucial for maintaining the integrity of financial statements and ensuring that all economic events are correctly recorded.
  • Sales Voucher: Sales vouchers are used to record sales transactions. They include details, including the customer’s name, date of sale, description of goods or services sold, unit price, quantity, and the total amount. Sales vouchers help businesses track revenue, calculate taxes, and maintain records of customer transactions.
  • Purchase Voucher: These vouchers are used to document purchases made by the company. They contain information about the supplier, date of purchase, description of items purchased, quantity, unit price, and the total amount. Purchase vouchers help businesses track expenses, manage inventory, and verify supplier invoices.
  • General Voucher: A general voucher records transactions that do not fit into specific categories. It enables flexibility in documenting financial events that may not match the standard templates of other voucher types.

Examples 

Let us go through the following examples to understand accounting vouchers:

Example #1

Let us assume Maya runs a small business named Maya’s Bakery. She needed to pay her monthly rent of $1,000. She took the following steps to create a voucher for this rent payment:

  • She wrote down the transaction date, which is the day she made the rent payment.
  • Maya noted the name of the person to whom she paid the rent.
  • She briefly described the payment purpose, like “Rent for July 2023.”
  • Maya wrote down the amount of the payment, which was $1,000.
  • Finally, she attached the supporting documents, like the rent receipt, to the voucher.

After filling out the voucher with these details, it became a tangible record of Maya’s rent payment.

Example #2

Suppose David is an employee of Miles Leagues Company. He needs to buy some office supplies. He paid $100 for the supplies he purchased and created a payment voucher with the date, payee, a description of the purchase, and the amount. This voucher was evidence of the expense and was recorded in the company’s financial statements. The voucher was valuable for tracking expenditures, budgeting, and auditing.

Format 

The format of accounting vouchers is as follows:

Accounting Voucher Format

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Importance 

The importance of vouchers in accounting is:

  • They provide a systematic and standardized method for recording financial transactions. These vouchers ensure that every economic event is documented and accounted for, preventing the omission of essential transactions.
  • The vouchers offer transparency by providing a clear and detailed account of each transaction. This transparency helps stakeholders, including the management, investors, and auditors, understand the nature and purpose of financial activities.
  • These vouchers enable auditors to trace and verify financial transactions. It is essential for both internal and external audits to ensure that the financial statements are accurate and reliable.
  • Vouchers are evidence of financial transactions accompanied by supporting documents, like invoices, receipts, or contracts. This documentation helps validate the authenticity and accuracy of the transactions.
  • Properly documented vouchers with approval processes minimize the risk of fraud and unauthorized transactions. They create accountability by requiring multiple individuals to be involved in the voucher process, reducing the threats posed by fraudulent activities.
  • Accounting vouchers contribute to the accuracy of financial reporting. They minimize errors and ensure that financial data is reliable for decision-making by recording transactions in a structured manner.
  • This voucher helps organizations comply with accounting standards, tax regulations, and legal requirements. Proper documentation is essential to demonstrate compliance with financial reporting rules.
  • They enable financial analysts to examine historical financial data, identify trends, and assess the organization’s financial health. This analysis aids in making strategic decisions and setting financial goals.

Difference Between Accounting Voucher And Inventory Voucher 

 The differences are as follows:

#1 – Accounting Voucher

  • Accounting vouchers assist in recording various financial transactions, including income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity-related entries.
  • They contain information like transaction dates, amounts, and descriptions of the financial event.
  • These vouchers are used to ensure the accuracy of financial records, facilitate financial reporting, and provide the necessary documentation for audits and compliance.

#2 – Inventory Voucher

  • Inventory vouchers are specifically used to track and manage changes in the quantity and value of inventory items within a business.
  • They include item codes, descriptions, quantities, rates, and total values for specific inventory transactions.
  • The common inventory vouchers include goods received notes, goods issued notes, stock transfer vouchers, and stock adjustment vouchers.
  • These vouchers aid in maintaining accurate inventory records, helping businesses monitor stock levels and manage inventory costs.
  • They are crucial for inventory control, ensuring a company has the right stock. Moreover, they minimize the risk of overstocking or stockouts and provide valuable insights into inventory valuation and profitability.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between a receipt and a voucher in accounting?

A receipt is a document that a seller or service provider provides to confirm the receipt of payment from a buyer. It usually includes details like the transaction date, description of purchased items or services, quantity, price, and the total amount paid. However, a voucher is an internal document the buyer issues to record and authenticate a financial transaction. It involves payment or receipt and includes information like the transaction date, parties involved, description, and monetary amount.

2. How do vouchers contribute to internal controls?

Vouchers play a crucial role in strengthening the internal controls within an organization. They require a structured approval process that involves multiple individuals to validate financial transactions. This process ensures that transactions adhere to company policies and budgets. They reduce the risk of unauthorized or fraudulent activities. Additionally, vouchers enable the verification of transactions during internal audits.

3. What is the role of vouchers in the auditing process?

Vouchers are essential in the auditing process as they serve as the primary source documents that auditors rely on to verify the accuracy and legality of financial transactions. Auditors use them to trace economic activities and confirm the existence of supporting documentation like invoices and receipts. They also assist in assessing compliance with accounting standards and regulations. Vouchers provide a clear audit path, facilitating efficient and effective auditing procedures.

This has been a guide to what is Voucher In Accounting. We explain its type, examples, format, importance, requirements, & differences with inventory voucher. You can learn more about it from the following articles –

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