What is a Voucher Check?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A voucher check is a kind of check that is attached to a stub that explains the purpose of the check, the contents of the check, or both. These sorts of checks are often used to simplify or enhance record-keeping systems for the individuals or institutions that issue the checks, as well as the individuals or institutions that receive the checks. Before a voucher check is deposited, the stub is removed and filed. Just as there are various accounting systems, there are also various formats in which these checks may appear. In some cases, they come in the shape of a full sheet of paper with the check at the top and the voucher on a detachable section below.

A number of companies use the voucher check format for their payroll processing.
A number of companies use the voucher check format for their payroll processing.

A number of companies use the voucher check format for their payroll processing. Under this kind of system, an employee who received a voucher check will be presented with not only information about services rendered or hours worked, but she will also be presented with information about taxes that have been deducted and any other withholdings. This system allows employees to review not only their pre-tax income information, but also review how much of their income is going to taxes and how those deductions are organized.

Before a voucher check is deposited, the stub is removed and filed.
Before a voucher check is deposited, the stub is removed and filed.

When a voucher check system is used in payroll applications, it also reflects information about amounts that are being allocated to savings or retirement plans such as 401k plans. It also allows employees to review any other voluntary deductions or withholdings. Some companies allow their employees to have certain amounts of money taken out of their paychecks in order to pay for or subsidize health insurance plans or additional health insurance coverage. This sort of information is usually detailed and explained in a voucher check. One of the benefits of a voucher check is that it offers a record for both the issuer and the payee, a record that both parties can reference in the case of a dispute.

Some businesses have made a practice of paying all of their employees with voucher checks, even if the employee receives her salary through a direct deposit service. In these cases, there is a check attached to the top of the voucher that is altered with a note or watermark. This note or watermark indicates that the check is not for deposit and that the funds have already been transferred into the payee's account.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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