Definition: A voucher is a file or folder that companies use to store documents that are used for cash distribution authorization like checks, invoice approvals, receiving reports, invoices, purchase orders, and purchase requests.
What Does Voucher Mean?
A voucher keeps all documents that are used to support the distribution of cash. In this sense, a voucher is an internal control because it organizes all the proper source documents that required before a check can be written.
Voucher files should be used for all company expenditures from inventory purchases to monthly utility bills. Let’s look at inventory purchases as an example.
When a piece of inventory is set to be ordered, the merchandising or inventory department files a purchase requisition with the purchasing department. The purchasing department places an order for the inventory and puts both the purchase requisition document and the purchase order in the voucher file.
The voucher file is sent to the shipping and receiving department, which receives the shipment, files a receiving report, and places the report in the file. The voucher is then sent to the accounting department with the invoice. After the accounting department approves the invoice, all the source documents are placed in the voucher file and sent to the cashier for payment.
As you can see, the voucher file stores every source document involved in the purchase of the inventory, so management can trace the audit trail of every inventory purchase and stop unauthorized cash disbursements.