What are Source Documents in Accounting?

Source Documents or Source Vouchers

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.

Examples of source documents are invoice or bill, cash memo, cheque, sales order, purchase order, credit note, petty cash voucher, credit card sales voucher, etc.

Source documents arrive in a company through many different departments, mostly via sales and purchase departments. They are sometimes referred to as supporting documents.

Examples of Source Documents

Sales Order (SO) – is a document issued to the customer and generated by the firm itself. Nowadays sales orders are digitally transmitted soft copies over company’s internal network.

Purchase Order (PO) – is an official document generated by a buyer of goods/services as an offer for the seller. There are 4 different types of purchase orders Standard PO, Contract PO, Blanket PO and Planned PO.

Cash Memo – Cash memo is a document prepared by the seller when goods are sold in cash. It contains all details of the transaction such as quantity, amount, selling price, etc.

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.

Debit Note – A debit note is a document sent by a buyer to a seller while returning goods received on credit. This notifies that a debit has been made to their accounts.

Credit Note – A credit note is a document sent by a seller to the buyer notifying that a credit has been made to their account against the goods returned by the buyer.

Pay-in-Slip – It is a source document used for depositing cash and cheques into a bank. Pay-in-slip acts as an evidence of deposit

Cheque – It is an order in writing drawn on the bank to pay the mentioned amount payable to the bearer or the person specified on the cheque.

Petty Cash Voucher – It is used for petty cash expenses such as stamps, postage and handling, stationery, carriage, etc.


Short Quiz for Self-Evaluation


>Read What is a Voucher?


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