What is a Voucher?

Learn about Voucher with Dilip Kumar
YouTube video
Ram Aur Shyam 1967

Case breakdown: Movie Ram Aur Shyam

The scene that you saw above shows Ram (played by Dilip Kumar) finding inconsistencies in the accounting process. He is scolding the accountant and says that the books (accounting) aren’t properly maintained, entries are wrong, expenses are missing and Vouchers are not in place. Ram is furious and wants to dismiss the accountant (Munim) from his job.

In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of a voucher

What is a Voucher?

A voucher is s a supporting document that is maintained by the accounting department. It is necessary for approval and payments of liabilities. A voucher is a form of internal control mechanism by companies.

A voucher is generally used by the accounts payable (money that is owed to suppliers) department. Vouchers are not used in the payroll process. It includes invoices from suppliers, vendors, sales receipts, etc.

Above is a sample voucher used by companies for transactions. It includes the following details:

  • Identification number of the supplier
  • The date on which payment will be made
  • Amount to be paid
  • Mode of payment
  • Approval or stamping
  • Signature

When a company goes through the audit process, a voucher is the main evidence to verify the entries and financial statements. Vouchers justify any cash payments that took place between the supplier and the company. A voucher creates a paper trail through which an auditor can tally or confirm the statements.

Example:

Let’s assume a shopkeeper orders stationary from the vendor. He orders 1,000 packets of pens and 100 packets of pencils. The owner fills out the purchase order.

When the order is received from the vendor, the contents of the purchase order are compared with the invoice provided by the seller. This purchase amount is added and recorded in the books. This would show in the accounts payable (till the amount isn’t paid) under the liabilities in the balance sheet.

A voucher which is like a cover letter would have the purchase order, invoice, and general ledger entry. When the payment is made, accounts payable reflect a lower balance.

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