The Unbreakable Chain – Accounting Source Files and QuickBooks Document Management
Accounting is a system comprised of inputs, processes, and outputs – much like a manufacturing process. In this case, the output is the financial statement and other financial records and reports. The inputs are the source documents which provide the details for financial transactions in the accounting system, and the process is balanced double-entry bookkeeping. The outstanding question is how to logically connect inputs to outputs, making sure that the source information isn’t lost during the processing. If the accounting solution in use is QuickBooks, then the answer is QuickBooks document management.
Source documents are the “documentary evidence” and the accounting process relies upon this evidence to prove (substantiate) the financial transactions entered. When businesses sell or purchase items and money is received or spent, the source documents are the proof that a transaction has actually occurred. Management of the source documents and original transaction information is a key element in creating internal control of resources and reducing risk from fraud, theft or misappropriation. Source documentation management is not only important within the business; it is also required to support tax audits and other business or financial reviews.
Once the details of a source document have been entered into the accounting system, the document should be securely filed away in a place where it can retrieved at a later date. Not only is it important to securely store the document, it is also essential that security and controls be placed on that source information, ensuring integrity by not allowing it to be moved, removed, or changed. Additionally, there should be an easy way to associate a specific document or set of documents to the actual accounting transaction records, solidifying the audit trail and source information ‘chain of evidence’.
SmartVault is a solution that addresses the business need to identify, preserve, and protect original transaction information and source documents. Not only is SmartVault a document management solution geared to offering this level of organization and protection, it also offers a unique and fully-integrated QuickBooks document management capability for attaching source documents directly to associated financial transactions in QuickBooks.
With a single click, a QuickBooks journal entry or transaction can be electronically connected to the source file, so users get all the benefits of secure online document storage, built right into QuickBooks. This capability not only increases the speed and efficiency of transaction processing in QuickBooks, but also delivers a strong chain of evidence supporting those transactions.
Users are also able to access attached source documents directly from the SmartVault archive while viewing transactions in QuickBooks simply by clicking on the attachment indicator on the SmartVault Toolbar. This approach to QuickBooks document management eliminates any confusion or wasted time looking for source information, and creates a rock-solid audit trail for accounting entries.
Using SmartVault for QuickBooks document management, businesses are now able to easily support details of transactions input into the accounting system on a regular basis, and can provide evidence and a complete audit trail supporting processed information. In the event of an audit, or when the need arises to deliver proof of income and expenditures, SmartVault helps to establish the “unbreakable chain”, the audit trail and connection to source information necessary to support the business financials.
Joanie Mann – Cooper Mann Consulting, Guest Contributor
Joanie Cooper Mann has over 30 years experience in network integration and consulting, advanced network design, application virtualization and delivery, and voice and data systems integration. Her extensive work with accounting professionals worldwide has positioned her as an expert consultant and adviser to practitioners looking to leverage cloud accounting solutions, web-based applications and Internet technologies in their firms and with their clients. Connect with Joanie on LinkedIn or Twitter.