Voucher: Definition, Types, Meaning, Format, Importance

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One of the critical pieces of supporting documents for every financial transaction posted to the accounting system is a voucher. It includes information crucial in helping companies follow a trail of events and evidence for those transactions. Therefore, it is critical to understand what it is.

What is a Voucher in accounting?

A voucher in accounting is a written document that serves as proof of a financial transaction. It contains crucial details such as the date, description, amount, and the account debited or credited. Supporting documents, such as invoices or receipts, may also be attached to the voucher. These vouchers are crucial for internal control and audit purposes, ensuring that transactions are properly authorized and documented.

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Before a transaction gets recorded in the accounting system, a designated individual must review and approve it to validate its accuracy and legitimacy. Vouchers help companies maintain a clear and organized record of their financial activities. Similarly, they provide a paper trail that helps with tracking and reconciling transactions and ensures compliance with accounting standards and regulations.

What are the types of Vouchers in Accounting?

Vouchers in accounting may differ based on the type of transaction it supports. Some of the most common vouchers in accounting include the following.

  • Receipt Vouchers: Documents used to record incoming payments or receipts received.
  • Payment Vouchers: Records of outgoing payments made by a business to suppliers, vendors, or service providers.
  • Journal Vouchers: Documents used to make non-cash transactions or adjustments within the accounting system.
  • Purchase Vouchers: Records of purchases made by a business from suppliers or vendors.
  • Sales Vouchers: Documents used to record sales transactions made by a business.
  • Expense Vouchers: Records of business expenses incurred by employees or authorized individuals.

These different types serve distinct purposes in accounting, ensuring proper documentation, transparency, and accuracy in financial transactions. They help businesses maintain a systematic record of their financial activities and support effective financial management and control.

What does a Voucher include?

A voucher typically includes the following essential components.

  • Voucher Number: A unique identifier assigned to the voucher for identification and tracking purposes.
  • Date: The date when the voucher is created or issued.
  • Description: A brief explanation or summary of the transaction or purpose of the voucher.
  • Amount: The monetary value associated with the transaction recorded in the voucher.
  • Accounts: The specific accounts to be debited and credited as a result of the transaction.
  • Supporting Documents: Any relevant supporting documents attached to the voucher, such as invoices or receipts, to provide evidence and support for the recorded transaction.

Why are Vouchers crucial in accounting?

Vouchers are of significant importance in accounting for various reasons. Firstly, they serve as crucial documentation to provide a trail of financial transactions. By capturing essential details, vouchers contribute to accurate and reliable financial record-keeping. This documentation ensures transparency and accountability and allows access to transaction information when needed.

Secondly, vouchers play a vital role in internal controls within an organization. They establish a system of checks and balances by requiring proper authorization and approval. Consequently, it helps prevent unauthorized or fraudulent activities, ensuring that transactions comply with company policies and procedures. Vouchers also facilitate effective auditing processes by providing evidence and verification of recorded transactions.

Conclusion

A voucher in accounting is a critical document that supports every financial transaction. It is an internal control tool and includes crucial information about a specific transaction. Although companies have started adopting a digital system for accounting, vouchers are still a vital part of it. They are also crucial in other areas, as discussed above.

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