11 Importance Sources of Accounting Documents

Many business transactions occur every day in an entity, and those transactions are recorded and controlled by different sources of documents. Some of those documents are recorded and reported for operational reporting. Some of them are the accounting documents that use for recording financial reporting.

The following is the list of 11 sources of accounting documents that you should know if you are looking for jobs in accounting, financial audit, bookkeeping, or a student in the accounting field.

Understanding those accounting sources of documents is quite essential, and it may help you easily communicate to your coworker and auditors. In this article, we will explain to you the 11 types of source documents. Here we go!


What is a quotation?

It is a source of accounting documents sent to a customer by a company stating the fixed price charged to produce or deliver goods or services if the customer accepts. Quotations tend to be used when businesses do not have a standard listing of prices for products.

For example, the time, materials, and skills required for each job vary according to the customer’s needs. Quotations can’t be changed once the customer has accepted them.

To issue the quotation, most of the companies require a specific requirement from the customers first—for example, the type of product and the number of units they expected to order.

In typical cases, the company that issued a quotation set the specific period that the prices are eligible for order.

One of the most important rules of the quotation is that the requesting company uses it to make the price comparison.

Some companies require two or three quotations for a certain amount of purchases. It is one of the most critical accounting documents you should understand well.

Purchase Order:

What is the Purchase Order?

The second source of accounting documents in the is article is Purchase orders. Let make it is more natural. After you request the quotation from a few suppliers, and then you find one supplier whose quotation is compatible with your requirement, and you make the purchase order.

So purchase order is a type of document of the company that details goods or services which the company wishes to purchase from another company.

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Two copies of a purchase order are often made, one is sent to the company from which the goods or services will be purchased, and the other is kept internally so the company can keep track of its orders. Purchase orders are often sequentially numbered.

Purchase orders are normally issued and signed by the one who is authorized to do so in the purchasing department or sometimes have to be approved by the CEO or Director.

Sales Order:

What is a Sale Order?

To make you less confused, let’s say you are in the suppliers and you just received the order ( purchase order) from your customer. Now, create the Sale Order for the warehouse or sales team to deliver the goods or services to your customers.

So in theory, a Sale order is a type of accounting documents of the company that details an order placed by a customer for goods or services. The customer may have sent a purchase order to the company from which the company will then generate a sales order.

Sales orders are usually sequentially numbered so that the company can keep track of orders placed by customers. Make sure you are not confused with Purchased Orders.

Goods Received Note:

What are Goods Received Noted?

Now assume you are the customer and you just make an order of goods for your company. The supplier now delivers the goods to your warehouse and you are receiving them.

You are preparing the documents that list down the goods that you receiving. These documents are called Goods Received Noted.

In theory, Goods Received Noted is the type of document of the company that lists the goods that a business has received from a supplier.

Goods received note is usually prepared by the business’s own warehouse or goods receiving area. Make sure you are not confusing it with Goods Dispatched Noted. Goods Received Noted is one of the important accounting documents you should clearly know about.

Goods Dispatched Note:

What is Goods Dispatched Noted?

A company document 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. The customer will compare the goods dispatched a note to what they receive to ensure all the items listed have been delivered and are within the right specification.

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What is an invoice?

Well, the invoice is one of the Sources of Accounting Documents that you probably see every working day. Let say you just order and receive the goods from your supplier.

Once you receive it, most suppliers hand you the invoices when you receive them, or some will hand it later. This document contains the units you received, unite price, subtotal, and grand total per invoices. This document is called invoices. Most of the students know it very well.

Statement or Account Statement:

What is the Account Statement?

On a monthly basis, for credit purchase, mostly the suppliers send the statement containing all of the outstanding items you or your company owe to them. This document is called an account statement.

So, the account statement is a type of accounting documents sent out by a supplier to a customer listing the transactions on the customer’s account, including all invoices and credit notes issued and all payments received from the customer.

The statement is useful as it allows the customer to reconcile the amount they believe they owe the supplier to the amount they believe they are owed. Any differences can then be queried.

Credit Note:

What is Credit Noted?

Well, Credit Noted is an accounting document sent by a supplier to a customer in respect of goods returned or over-payments made by the customer. It is a ‘negative’ invoice. This is discussed further below. Remember! Credit Note is the documents sent by suppliers to customers, not from customers to suppliers.

Explanation About Credit Noted

Probably there are few selling transactions or hundreds of selling transactions over a month.

The invoices that suppliers sent to their customers probably contain the items that customers reject, return, as well as the payment made from customers may be overpaid.

If that case happens, suppliers normally send the Credit Note to make the cancellation or the result of customers’ requests. The request from customers is normally done by Debit Note. We will discuss the latter.

Debit Note

What is Debit Noted?

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.

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Explanation About Debit Note

So let assume you are the accounting documents and there are a few items in the invoices that you received from the suppliers that are not received or rejected by you. That means the invoices are overstated.

You have two simple options at this stage: requesting your suppliers to reissue the Invoices or asking them to issue the Credit Noted to reduce the amount in the invoices.

If you choose to ask them to issue the Credit Noted, you have to issue the Debit Note.

Remittance Advice:

What is Remittance Advice?

Well, Remittance Advice is accounting documents sent to a supplier with a payment, detailing which invoices are being paid and which credit notes offset.

Remittance advice allows the supplier to update the customer’s records to show which invoices have been paid and which are still outstanding.

It also confirms the amount being paid, so that any discrepancies can be easily identified and investigated.

Additional Explanation About Remittance Advice

Assuming you are well understanding about Account Statement, if not, we would recommend you to read it again. So after you received the Account Statement from your suppliers, you make the payment for all or part of the statement. You wish to advise your suppliers about this payment, this Advice is called Remittance Advice.

The receipt or Official Receipt

Official Receipt is a document confirming confirmation that a payment has been received. This is usually in respect of cash sales, eg a till receipt from a cash register.


Official Receipt is typically used for a cash transaction. Let say you purchase some small material in cash. Once you make a payment, the cashiers normally issue the documents to confirm the amount they received for which items you are being paid. Should you have any questions, please leave them below. And kindly share the article if you like.

Conclusion: The list of Sources of the Accounting documents provided above might not include all of the accounting documents. In case you want to know more, please commend below.