Source Documents Overview & Types of Accounting Documents

Source Documents Overview & Types of Accounting Documents

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  • This information is necessary for the preparation of accurate accounting records.
  • These internal documents detail the dates and amounts of your purchase so that you can manage your expenses.
  • If you’re shipping a product to a customer, saving the packing slip enables you to prove that the purchase took place and was fulfilled.
  • The importance of good documentation practice needs to be emphasized to investigator sites to ensure that the study results are built on the foundation of credible and valid data.
  • A failure in the system at this point would mean that an unscrupulous trader could simply issue invoices for non-existent goods or services to businesses taken from a trade telephone directory and get paid.

Recordkeeping is a task that few people enjoy, whether you are doing it for yourself or for your business. Yet maintaining documentation of financial transactions is critical not just for the health of your company, but to protect yourself in the event of an audit. The supplier should have a completed paying-in slip stub/counterfoil in the paying-in book, showing the payment of the check into the bank. Sometimes, checks are not honored by the customer’s bank (i.e., they are dishonored). Whether or not the customer issues a debit note, the response of the business (if it believes the complaint is justified) is to issue a credit note. When a business delivers goods or provides services and allows the purchaser time to pay (in other words, makes a credit sale) it will issue an invoice.

Goods received note

This information is necessary for the preparation of accurate accounting records. There are a number of possible controls that can be used to reduce the risk that source documents are not properly recorded in an accounting system. One of the more common controls is to pre-number documents, so that missing documents are easier to track down. Source documents are used to record transactions because they are original and show an objective report of the economic activities of each transaction. For example, when a company purchases goods from a vendor, the vendor creates a receipt or invoice that shows the goods that were purchases, the purchase price, date of transaction, seller’s name, and the method of payment.

  • It’s an internal document sent to the customer after the item has shipped and helps to maintain cash flow and streamlines the accounting process.
  • The next step in the accounting cycle is to take the data from the source documents and use this to record a journal entry.
  • Debit Note – A debit note is a document sent by a buyer to a seller while returning goods received on credit.
  • All journal entries are based on source documents that serve as evidence of transactions.
  • Source documents arrive in a company through many different departments, mostly via sales and purchase departments.
  • When companies undergo an audit, the auditor’s access to a clear and accessible paper trail of all transactions enhances the overall legitimacy and independence of the audit.

Additionally, these documents carry a unique number, either numeric or alphanumeric, which not just helps in identification, but also facilitates referencing. And because these are pre-numbered, they help in the classification of transactions and also find out the missing source documents. Debit Note – A debit note is a document sent by a buyer to a seller while returning goods received on credit. Invoice/Bill – It is an evidence prepared by the seller to document credit sales. It has all details about the credit sale such as the purchaser, date, price, quantity, etc.

Why Are Source Documents Important?

A business that sells mainly for cash may still prepare invoices or receipts, which are very similar to invoices. Instead of making payments by check, a business can make payments online or by other electronic means. Instead they have separate pages at the back of the checkbook (behind all the checks) where you can hand-write the details of checks you have issued, including the check number, the value and who/what they were for. Bookkeepers and other accounts personnel are adamant that a business keeps records of everything.

Examples of source documents

Source documents are the first document to 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. The article gives an overview of what are accounting source documents and what are their goals, content, and examples. At Pridgeon & Zoss, we advocate for both individuals and businesses in their dealings with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDR). We often rely on source documents to prove our clients’ case to the tax authorities. If you are facing an audit or are embroiled in a tax dispute, reach out to our law office today.

Examples of Source Documents

A bank statement is used to enter payments into the accounting system and match them to invoices. During an audit, the bank statement allows to verify that the payments entered into the accounting system, the movements shown in the bank accounts in the company’s records, actually happened, and show who the receiving/sending party was. Bank statements are important because they summarize all of the transactions that have taken place in a bank account during a specific period.

Banking Documents

It also ensures they are ready to provide you with more meaningful insights into your business at any time. You would keep source documents for your business just like you keep receipts for tax-deductible items for your taxes. If your taxes are audited, the source documents provide the proof that you’ve made those purchases.

This can be as simple as scanning a receipt or invoice or even taking a picture of a purchase order for your records. Source documents are critical to auditors, who use them as evidence that recorded transactions actually occurred. Attorneys may also need access to source documents, in order to bolster their positions on various issues involving litigation.

Similarly, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) accepts scanned documents as long as the records are produced and retained in paper format or stored in an electronically accessible and readable format. Source documentation should demonstrate the ALCOA and other attributes as described by regulatory authorities and GCP. Source documentation related findings are the most commonly cited during inspections and audits. Efforts to train the sites, understand the sites practices right from the pre-study visit and continuous monitoring and training would definitely help in improving and maintaining the quality of site source documentation practices.

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