A petty cash voucher is a standard form used as a receipt whenever cash is withdrawn from a petty cash box. The voucher is typically purchased from an office supply store. It is a physically small form, since it must fit within the petty cash box or drawer.
The petty cash voucher is an important form of evidence for reconciling the remaining cash in the petty cash box. At the beginning of an accounting period, there should be a certain amount of cash in the box and no vouchers (which should have been removed as part of the month-end entry for the preceding month). Then, as cash is disbursed from the petty cash box, the vouchers are essentially swapped for cash. Thus, at the end of the month, the total amount in the petty cash box should still equal the balance at the beginning of the month - except that now the total is comprised of both cash and vouchers. If there is a difference between the beginning and ending figures, then it is likely that cash was removed without any voucher documentation, or else that the amount on a voucher was incorrectly stated.
At month-end, the information in the vouchers is compiled to create a journal entry to credit the petty cash account and debit a variety of expense accounts (depending upon the uses to which the cash was put). The vouchers are attached to the journal entry as evidence of the underlying transactions.
Given the uses just noted for the petty cash voucher, the information on it should contain the following:
- The amount of cash taken
- The date on which the cash was taken
- The name of the person who took the cash
- The type of expense to be charged
You could also include on the voucher the account number to charge for the expense, though the name of the expense is usually sufficient information to allow the general ledger accountant to construct an adequate journal entry.
The petty cash voucher is also known as the petty cash receipt.