Define: Source Document

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Source Document

Quick Summary of Source Document

A source document is a document in which data collected for a clinical trial is first recorded. This data is usually later entered in the case report form.

What is the dictionary definition of Source Document?

Dictionary Definition

The first document to record a transaction.


Full Definition of Source Document

Source documents are the physical basis upon which business transactions are recorded. Source documents are typically retained for use as evidence when auditors later review a company’s financial statements, and need to verify that transactions have, in fact, occurred. They usually contain the following information:

  • A description of a business transaction
  • The date of the transaction
  • A specific amount of money
  • An authorising signature


Examples of Source Document in a sentence

Using this methodology, the user typically reads from an original document called the source document.

The source document was in our possession, so we had indisputable proof that we had made the transaction and that we were in the right.

The sale was delayed because the source document which was needed to verify the actual sale could not be located by any of the parties involved.

Synonyms For Source Document

basic document, original paper, original publication, core document, foundation document

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Source Document. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 09, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Source Document. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: April 09, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Source Document. Retrieved April 09, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Source Document are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th January, 2020