How is a voucher used in accounts payable?

Definition of Voucher

A voucher is often a prenumbered form used in the accounts payable department to standardize and enhance a company's internal control over payments to its vendors and service providers.

Example of a Voucher

You could think of the voucher used in accounts payable as a cover sheet to which necessary supporting documents and approvals are attached. Some of the supporting documents include:

  • The vendor's invoice
  • The company's purchase order
  • The company's receiving report
  • Payee/vendor name
  • Discount terms
  • Amount and date to be paid
  • General ledger account numbers to be charged
  • Authorizing signatures

The voucher is then recorded in the voucher register.

The unpaid vouchers provide the detail for the total amount reported as vouchers payable or accounts payable.

As a voucher's payment date comes near, the voucher is forwarded to an authorized person for payment. After making payment, a copy of the check is attached and the voucher is stamped "Paid."  It is then filed in the paid voucher file in order to prevent a duplicate payment.