Documentation in Accounting

At Marcus, Fairall, Bristol the sensitivity of financial data is a top consideration. We have put in place multi-factor measures to ensure the privacy of all of our client files. Safeguarding the privacy of client information is a top priority and these record-handling procedures determine the manner in which we handle, save, and use documentation.

Create Standard Operating Procedures

A clear procedural system for handling day-to-day tasks is a necessity for a professional company.  Clear data documentation and security procedures are a professional requirement.  We will establish your documentation solutions that will make it easier to move forward efficiently. With standard operating procedures in place for your record-keeping, your client, employee, patient, and other records are protected and procedures are streamlined

Proper documentation procedures make training new members of the team that much easier. Instead of an ad hoc system, the more experienced team members have a reference point that makes for a streamlined training process, which ensures that trainees can get up to speed quicker.

Additionally, if your industry introduces new or adjusted regulatory requirements, having proper documentation makes implementing these much easier.

Avoid Audits

Proper documentation and appropriate accounting help to classify and organize data, making retrieval much more convenient during an audit period.

It is a potentially disastrous belief that audits don’t present a challenge unless there is illicit activity taking place in the business. However, an inability to provide properly standardized basic accounting documents can present a similar challenge to a business when being audited.

Legal repercussions beyond creating a plethora of work that burdens the team, can be devastating to morale and even threaten the future of a company.

Importance of Source Documents

You can view a source document as the paper trail associated with a financial transaction. We help you establish clear and precise documentation procedures that will to properly verify and record transactions.

An advantage of having source documents in proper order is the internal control that it provides to your finance team. Additionally, there is undeniable evidence that the transaction occurred, which is essential to meeting compliance and auditory requirements.

Examples of source documents are:

  • Purchase orders
  • Credit card statements
  • Invoices
  • Bank statements
  • Payroll reports
  • Asset sale or disposal evidence
  • Sales tax returns

Document Retention

Beyond creating or obtaining proper documentation in accounting, document retention  — how long to keep and store certain documents – is a fundamental requirement that you should be careful to follow. In most jurisdictions, there is a legal requirement to maintain several years of data in an accessible format.

While much of this data may never be retrieved again, a business that is unable to produce requested documentation that falls within the designated period is likely going to face issues with the IRS.

Therefore, there is a responsibility to establish proper controls to maintain and organize this kind of information. Three ways to do this easily:

  • Make copies
  • Attach proper timestamps
  • Keep relevant material

Make copies – Have copies of all accounting documents and store them safely on flash drives, cloud-based software such as Google Drive or OneDrive. The integrity of physical documentation can be altered and destroyed by so many different agents. Electronic copies, however, present a much greater redundancy, especially when cloud backups copies come into the mix.

Timestamps – Attach timestamps to avoid tampering and ensure clarity. An in-house accountant, bookkeeper, or office manager can ensure that this is done appropriately and routinely.

Keep relevant material – Your team may simply not wish to retain a host of documents and folders. Provided everything is stored in a proper format, only the essentials need to be physically hosted.

Moving toward paperless

Know that many of the documentation processes no longer need to be manual. Numerous software systems exist to digitize information and automate procedures. Let us help you determine which documentation to retain.


Never underestimate the importance of even basic document handling procedures. They are often essential to the smooth operating of the team and the company. Additionally, taking this step to give documentation adequate focus helps to keep a business within the realm of legal compliance.

Need Documentation in Accounting?

If you need help regarding your documentation in accounting, contact us for IRS resolution service at (915) 775-1040 or send us a message at

If you’re looking for a reputable CPA firm in El Paso, TX consider calling us at Marcus, Fairall, Bristol + Co., PLLC! We’ll answer any and all of your accounting-related questions. We offer our clients a variety of accounting services such as the following:

Marcus, Fairall, Bristol + Co., PLLC
230 Thunderbird Dr Ste G, El Paso, TX 79912
Phone: (915) 775-1040