source documents accounting definition

The counterfoil of the pay in slip becomes a source document, which acts as an evidence for the customer to record this transaction in the books of accounts. The original copy is prepared for giving it to the party who makes the payment assets = liabilities + equity and another copy is kept for record. The details about the business transaction on account of which the cash is received viz. Date, amount, name of the party and the nature of payment etc. are given in this source document.

source documents accounting definition

It is vital that all accounting source documents are filed in such a way that they are easy to retrieve at a later date in case of any queries that might pop up. Also, the credit note can be sent from the buyer to the seller, in response to receiving a debit note, to acknowledge a seller’s claim. The credit note can be sent by the seller when the buyer has returned the product to the seller, fully or partially. Also, the debit note can be sent from the seller to the buyer when the amount payable by the buyer increases.

What Are Source Documents?

These documents are further analysed and conclusion is to be drawn about which account is to be debited and which account is to be credited. After deciding the head of accounts to be debited and credited, vouchers are prepared. Usually, blank forms are readily available in the printed form in the market. This serves as evidence of cheque and cash paid into the bank by an organization and individuals. It is the major source documents for recording in the bank column of cash book . You would keep source documents for your business just like you keep receipts for tax-deductible items for your taxes.

source documents accounting definition

The article gives an overview of what are accounting source documents and what are their goals, content, and examples. Receipts are the normal source document for anincome transaction where cash is received immediately, or where we receive a payment from a debtor. Additionally,auditorscheck theannual financial statementsof a business to ensure their accuracy. Source documents are the first document to Certified Public Accountant record a transaction which works as an evidence containing details of a transaction. They are external documents or documents related to external activities which are first input in the accounting source systems. An accounting equation is based on dual aspect concept which states that every transaction has two aspects debit and credit, for every debit there is an equal amount of credit and vice-versa.

In this chapter, we shall explain those source documents, their importance and the books of original entry to which they relate. The book of original entry is the accounting record in which transactions are first recorded from source documents. When a business generates a financial transaction, it creates a paper trail.

Accounting Records

Once you received, most suppliers hand you the invoices at that time you received or some will hand latter. This document contains the units you received, unite price, subtotal and grand total per invoices. A document of the company that lists the goods that the company has sent out to a customer. The company will keep a record of goods dispatched notes in case of any queries by customers about the goods sent. Goods received note is usually prepared by the business’s own warehouse or goods receiving area.

  • The invoice number column is excluded in the Purchases day book because the numbers are erratic.
  • For instance, at the start of an upswing in a business cycle, requests for financial statements might be strong, as equity investors are bullish.
  • A check or cheque is a written order to a bank authorizing the bank to pay an amount of money to the person named on the cheque.
  • It should be noted that an estimate is similar to a quotation except that it is issued for an approximate amount to give an indication of price prior to a formal quotation being issued.
  • Instead they have separate pages at the back of the checkbook where you can hand-write the details of checks you have issued, including the check number, the value and who/what they were for.

In short, accounting records and even methods of accounting are continuously evolving to keep pace with the changing nature of business and the information demands of interested market participants. Rules and laws are generally in place to force accounting entities and accounting firms to retain accounting records for a specified period of time. This document, when coupled with a bill of lading and/or packing list, can be used to invoice a customer, which in turn generates a sale transaction. This can be used as evidence for a disbursement of funds from petty cash. A receiving report is issued and all three of these documents are sent to the accounting department to approve the invoice from the vendor. If all of these documents agree, the invoice is approved and the cashier issues a check for the goods. A debit note is sometimes referred to as a purchase returns note.

Many source documents are also stamped to indicate an approval, or on which to write down the current date or the accounts to be used to record the underlying transaction. The accounting source documents diagram used in this tutorial is available for download in PDF format by following the link below. For example, is a seller makes a cash sale of goods to a buyer, then the seller will issue a receipt to the buyer to show that the source documents accounting definition cash has been received in payment for the goods. A check or cheque is a written order to a bank authorizing the bank to pay an amount of money to the person named on the cheque. For example, a buyer of goods might issue a check to a seller to pay for the goods. The debit note will usually show particulars of the goods returned, including the parties to the transaction, the date, quantity, reasons for the return, and amount.

In this document, all details about the date and amount of transaction, the name of the party whose account is debited along with reason for debiting his account are mentioned. Well, Remittance Advice is accounting documents sent to a supplier with a payment, detailing which invoices are being paid and which credit notes offset. The buyer normally issues a debit note to a supplier to request for a credit note.

Why Is Reconciliation Important In Accounting?

These are prepares when transitions such as credit sales, credit purchase etc are to be recorded. This quiz and worksheet combo is designed to improve your understanding of what source documents are and why they are important in accounting. Key topics to understand include what qualifies as a source document and what they are used for in accounting. Well, Debit Noted is a document sent by a customer to a supplier in respect of goods returned or an overpayment made. It is a formal request for the supplier to issue a credit note. On a monthly basis, for credit purchase, mostly the suppliers send the statement which contains all of the outstanding items that you or your company owe to them. It is a source of accounting document that sent to a customer by a company stating the fixed price that would be charged to produce or deliver goods or services if the customer accepts.

source documents accounting definition

If you are, let’s move to the pointabout companies in industry don’t value a quantity but a high-res writable document they could use on a daily basis. Accounting equation signifies that the assets of a business are always equal to the total of its liabilities and capital (Owner’s equity). At this stage you have two simple options, one is requesting your suppliers to reissued the Invoices or you asking them to issue the Credit Noted to reduce the amount in the invoices.


In this document, all details about the date and amount of transaction, the name of the party whose account is credited along with reason for crediting his account are mentioned. To distinguish it from a debit note, it is commonly prepared in red ink. A credit note is a document which shows that the business enterprise has given the credit to the party to whom this document is sent in respect of any business transaction other than credit purchase. When a business enterprise receives back the goods sold earlier then it makes a credit note in favour of the purchaser showing that his account has been credited in the books of business enterprise.

Examples Of Source Documents

Isn’t it amazing how important a simple piece of paper can be in the accounting industry? Show bioRebekiah has taught college accounting and has a master’s in both management and business. Petty Cash Voucher – It is used for petty cash expenses such as stamps, postage and handling, stationery, carriage, etc. Purchase Order – is an official document generated by a buyer of goods/services as an offer for the seller.

A document that presented all the information in the original receipt, but that had been retyped in Word or Excel format would also not qualify. In most circumstances, photocopies of source documents are legally acceptable. If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper with some experience What is bookkeeping collecting client documents, chances are you’ve either heard someone say this, or you’ve said/experienced it yourself. Let’s explore the importance of source documents, and how you can introduce a more efficient system to collect and manage source documents at your practice.

The Difference Between A General Ledger And A General Journal

However, as cloud-based general ledger softwares such as Xero and QuickBooks Online have become more popular, many accountants and bookkeepers have shied away from collecting client source documents. Source documents are an integral part of the accounting and bookkeeping process. However, many advisors struggle to collect and manage their clients’ source documents, or don’t collect and manage them at all.

The time card records the name of the employee, the working day, the entry time and the exit time. The debit note can be sent from the buyer to the seller together with returned goods. In this case, the buyer notifies the seller that they do not intend to pay for the goods if purchased on credit, or they expect a refund or credit from the seller if goods have already been paid for. An accounting source document provides proof of an economic transaction.

Let say you just order and receive the goods from your supplier. The customer will compare the goods dispatched a note to what they receive to make sure all the items listed have been delivered and are the right specification. Now assume you are the customer and you just make an order of goods for your company.