Guide to Voucher Checks

By Jacqueline DeMarco · June 22, 2024 · 5 minute read

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Guide to Voucher Checks

Voucher checks (also called check vouchers) are an extended check format that includes payment details not typically seen on a standard check. For example, a payroll voucher check allows the recipient to view taxes and other deductions from their gross pay. Voucher checks get their name from the two detachable sections (the “vouchers” or stubs) below the check itself.

A disadvantage of voucher checks is the additional clerical work required by the business issuing the check. Keep reading for more insight into how voucher checks work.

What Is a Voucher Check?

Many consumers don’t know what a voucher check is. A voucher check is a type of check that has detailed informational sections attached. These vouchers outline what the content and purpose of the check is. The voucher check is typically printed as a full sheet of paper, with the check at the top and the two removable vouchers below.

The check payee holds on to the first voucher. Before cashing the check, the recipient will remove the remaining voucher and keep it for their records. Both parties can refer back to their vouchers in the event of a payment dispute.

A number of small businesses use voucher checks for employee payroll. Payroll vouchers, also referred to as “pay stubs,” usually list payroll deductions for taxes, insurance premiums, and other withholding items. This information can help employees better understand their pre- and post-tax income, and the breakdown of deductions.

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How Do Voucher Checks Work?

For payees, voucher checks are handled the same as standard checks, with one exception: The payee should remove the voucher from the check before deposit. The voucher can be kept on file for future reference.

Anyone with a bank account can deposit a voucher check. Consumers who don’t have a bank account (about 1 in 20 Americans) can sign over a check to another recipient.

Or they might try cashing the check at a local bank or credit union for a fee. As with most corporate checks, recipients should try to deposit the check within 6 months or the check may expire.

Recommended: How to Balance a Checkbook

Who Uses Voucher Checks?

As mentioned above, voucher checks are commonly used by businesses to pay their staff or vendors. Even if a company uses direct deposit to pay employees, they may choose to keep a paper trail via a voucher check system.

Preparing a Voucher Check

Voucher checks (or check vouchers) may be prepared by a business’ accounts payable or payroll department, using the following steps.

•   Step 1 All related documents — contracts, purchase orders, invoices, statements of accounts — are collected, either in hard copy or digitally.

•   Step 2 A voucher is created that incorporates any relevant info from the backup documentation, but always includes the voucher number, bank name, payor, date, amount, and recipient.

•   Step 3 The voucher is then attached to a standard written check, and both are signed by the authorized signatory.

•   Step 4 Once the recipient deposits or cashes the check, the business will file its own voucher and supporting documents.

Advantages of a Voucher Check

There are important advantages associated with voucher checks, which prompts businesses to go to the extra effort. Here are some of them:

Documents Maintained in Check Voucher System

When preparing a check voucher, a business must first gather all supporting documentation. This helps keep all relevant paperwork organized and in one place. It’s not possible to maintain a check voucher system without doing this.

Records Are in Order With No Irregularities

The bookkeeping process is considerably simpler when a payroll department uses a check voucher system, because all important documents are easily accessible in one place, in hard copy or digitally. Also, check vouchers are numbered and filed in chronological order, which keeps filing systems simple.

Easier to Track Checks

Businesses commonly do not file check vouchers until the check is deposited or cashed. Only cleared checks are filed.

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Disadvantages of Voucher Checks

There are downsides associated with voucher checks that small businesses in particular may want to keep in mind.

Maintenance Process Can Be Time-Consuming

Because of the additional documentation and organization requirements, it can be tedious for businesses to maintain a check voucher system.

Lack of Consumer Familiarity

Many consumers aren’t familiar with how paper check vouchers work, which can cause concerns about security. Consumers should take care to keep their vouchers private.

Check Voucher Alternatives

Some employers may choose to use the following alternative payment methods. None of these options, however, provides as extensive and organized a paper trail as check vouchers do.

•   Standard checks. A simple physical check still provides some form of a paper trail. Paper checks can also be tracked digitally or via duplicate checks.

•   Direct deposit. Many businesses and employees prefer the direct deposit route because of how fast and simple it is to electronically transfer the funds.

•   Prepaid debit cards. This is a newer and less common payment option. Workers paid in prepaid debit cards won’t need a bank account to access their funds.

Recommended: How to Verify a Check

The Takeaway

Voucher checks (also called check vouchers) are an extended check format that includes payment details not typically seen on a standard check, such as taxes and other deductions from their gross pay. These checks can provide a details paper trail for both the business issuing the check and the recipient.

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FAQ

How do you use a voucher check?

For payees, voucher checks are handled the same as standard checks, with one exception: The payee should remove the voucher from the check before deposit. The voucher can be kept on file for future reference.

What is the difference between a check and a voucher?

Voucher checks get their name from the two detachable sections (the “vouchers” or stubs) below the check itself. The voucher portion outlines the content and purpose of the check. Aside from the voucher, the check portion works like a standard paper check.

What does a voucher check look like?

A voucher check is typically printed as a full sheet of paper, with the check at the top and two removable vouchers below. The vouchers contain additional payment information that usually isn’t included on a standard check.


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As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

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