A much more efficient system than that just described, one which we hope will some day be prescribed by regulations, is the “voucher check” system. This system is rapidly forcing its way to the front through the merits of its sheer efficiency, and is now in force in the business administration of many large concerns, the Pennsylvania Railroad, for example. The system is founded on the indisputable proof of payment that is afforded by an endorsed and paid check. As one eminent authority on auditing, has said,—“If a check bears on its face or back any indication of its purpose, it is the best receipt for money paid that can be secured”.
The voucher check system does away with separate “vouchers”, as we in the Army are accustomed to think of them; the checks themselves are our vouchers. The checks are somewhat different from the usual type, as they bear on their face a statement of the invoices they pay. In fact, they contain substantially the same matter as is shown on our regular voucher. Form 30, Fig. 28, shows a voucher check that would be entirely suited to our use. It may be unnecessary to explain, the dates, numbers and amounts of the invoices are entered at the right in the proper spaces, the amounts are totaled, rebates, allowances, etc., are deducted, the discount applied to the remainder and the check proper (left hand part) made out accordingly. Form 30a, shown in the same figure, is the carbon copy, the original being made out in indelible pencil. The right hand or coupon part of this duplicate is torn off, pinned to and mailed with the original check. It gives our creditor a memo of the payment, rendering it unnecessary for him to hold the check until he can make a special note of the payment, thus helping him out and at the same time expediting the process of cashing in our check. The left hand part of Form 30a remains in the check book and performs the same function as the regulation check stub. It will be noted that we thus save the labor usually expended in filling out our stubs and in addition, we are not liable to accidentally forget to fill out the stubs altogether, as sometimes happens with the regular style of check book.
The form and size of these voucher checks lend themselves very readily to manufacture in the same “make-up” as certain kinds of sales books, but the ordinary style of duplicating book is probably just as good as the more elaborate kinds. The checks should be printed three to the page and care should be taken that the duplicate forms are “in register” with the originals, otherwise, the carbon copy data will not appear opposite the proper notations.
Figure 28, (Reduced in size)
When these voucher checks are returned to us by our banker, we file them in a check filing drawer, equipped with sets of monthly tabbed guides, according to the voucher numbers, thus forming the voucher record for our cash disbursements.
It is hard to find a weak spot in the check voucher system, but some inspectors seem to object to it, so, until it is specifically authorized by the War Department, the inexperienced Exchange Officer would do well to stick to the system previously described.
To revert to our purchase record sheets: there is no necessity for noting thereon the amount paid on each invoice or the discount on same, as is sometimes done. This information will be shown in the cash book, and data should not be repeated unnecessarily. The remaining two columns (Balances) are used only when closing the books. Whenever this is done, the balance on each order is brought out to the proper column, the amount we owe being entered in the credit side of this column, and the amount due us being entered on the debit side. The total of the credit side of the Purchase column is then posted as a lump sum to the credit side of the “Bills Payable Merchandise” account on the general ledger, and the total of the debit side is posted to the debit side of the same account. Ordinarily, there will be no such debit entries. It will be seen that the net balance of the Purchase Record and of the above account should equal the difference between the total purchases and the sum of the totals shown in the “Creditors” and the “Discounts” columns in the cash book.