What is a source document?

Definition of Source Document

A source document is an original record which contains the detail that supports or substantiates a transaction that will be (or has been) entered in an accounting system. In the past, source documents were printed on paper. Today, the source documents may be an electronic record.

Examples of Source Documents

A few examples of a company's source documents include:

  • Employees' time cards that support the company's weekly payroll
  • Vendors' invoices for company's payments for merchandise or services it purchased
  • A company's receiving reports that support the vendors' invoices

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