Vouching is the process of reviewing documentary evidence and ensure that it properly supports entries made in the books of accounting. For example, an auditor is a vouching document of the bill of lading to see if the document supports the number of purchases in the purchase journal.
The auditor can go backward also using the help of tracing. While tracing actual inventory to accounting records, the auditor can start with inventory documents and trace back to store shelves and physically verify the inventory.
During the performance of the vouching process, the auditor is looking if any error has been made in the accounting records.
This is to ensure that transactions are recorded in the correct accounts. The auditor shall verify the authority of such transactions. The auditory may have enlarged his sample size of audit being taken to increase the level of assurance.
Types of Voucher
There are two types of vouchers:
- Primary Voucher: These are original copies of written supporting documents. These include the purchase bills, cash memos, pay-in-slip, etc.
- Collateral Voucher: These are Copies of supporting documents that are not available in the original. They are basically the xerox copies. The contracts may be kept in vaults of banks. The copies are kept in office for vouching.
A manufacturing company submits its financial statements and book of accounts to a leading auditing firm for vouching. The auditor who undertakes the project seeks to verify that the company’s transactions are valid, business-related, and properly authorized.
In the company’s cash book, the auditor identifies entries of cash sales, receipts from creditors, interest income, dividend income, mortgage payments, fixed asset sales and accounts receivable.
By using this technique, the auditor reviews all the entries and seeks for the relevant documentary evidence that supports and verifies each transaction.
The auditor finds documentation of receipts, capital expenses, and others that pertain to the recorded transactions in the book of accounts. With the proof of being vouched, the auditor ensures that the claims provided in the book of accounts are justified, and the company does not engage in any type of fraud.
Checklists for vouching
Vouching basically covers three aspects authorization, recording and verification if necessary: These are as follows:
- If internal control is functioning properly, the Auditor may choose to do test checking instead of complete vouching.
- Accuracy of transactions
- Authenticity of transactions
- Proper classification of accounts
- The voucher should be properly numbered.
- Every voucher checked shall be marked with an auditor tick sign
- The amount should be the same as per words and in figures
- The period of payment should be there on receipt
- During cash payment in advance, “advance” shall be clearly mentioned.
- Investigation about missing vouchers in file if any.
- If any alteration in voucher, it must be authenticated by concerned officer.
- All the expenses should be examined by the Auditor.
- Checking the classification of account must be done.
Vouching forms the foundation for auditing and is an important part of the Auditor’s duty. The auditor cannot afford to be negligent in vouching.