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Accounting of means of postage payment

Despite significant development of electronic means of communication, companies and governments starting to use electronic document turnover, traditional postage stamps will not disappear from circulation more soon. Therefore, question of its accounting s
Dmitry Kucherak


Means of postage payment are documents of strict accounting

Over last few years government has taken measures designed to simplify conditions of doing business, including reducing number of documents of strict accountability. But these changes did not affect the means of postage payment.

Thus, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from 14.05.2012, № 456 approved the new list of forms for securities, documents of strict accountability, economic activity on production of which is subject to licensing. Means of postage payment are among documents of strict accounting: marked envelope, marked card, postage stamp with art, postage block, small sheet, standard postage stamp.

Compared with list of documents of strict accountability, which was approved by the Government Order from 19.04.1993, № 283, list for means of postage payment formally even slightly increased. Earlier there were only postage stamps, envelopes with stamps, postcards with stamps. Nevertheless, essentially we are talking about stamps.

Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Postal Service" from 04.10.2001, № 2759-III determined that the postage stamp is a government sign, made to legislation, indicating its nominal value and state, which is a means of payment for postal services, communication provided by national operator. So then, speaking of postage stamps accounting, we will take the term "postage stamp".

Separate accounting of postage stamps

There is no specific guidance on accounting with stamps (postage stamps), which is why businesses organize their accounting differently. For example, in publishing houses, law firms, companies engaged in business activities and sending goods by post, postage is quite substantial. This results in presence of a large number of postage stamps and, consequently, requires considering their accounting with due care.

Since postage stamps are referred to documents of strict accountability, the first approach to accounting issue is that special accounting rules should apply, as they are documents of strict accountability, using standard forms approved by the Ministry of Statistics of Ukraine from 11.03.1996, № 67 (Order #67).

The second approach to postage stamps accounting is that although they (postage stamps) and named documents of strict accountability, and are not those in nature. Postage stamps are primarily financial documents. Proponents of this approach emphasize that the Order #67 defines accounting rules of primary documents by strict accounting forms. Although law does not clearly define term "form" and is a well-established concept of "form" as printed standard form of document that is intended to fill. Therefore stamps are not forms, but only documents of strict accountability. Therefore, the primary registration form, approved by Order #67 should not be applied under their accounting.

These two approaches, in fact, are causing other two approaches to display documents and forms of strict accountability on accounts. And this goes further. So far, let’s look at the primary documents.

What primary documents should be used

One approach to accounting for postage stamps, as noted, is that their accounting (as well as other forms of strict accounting documents) should be conducted using standard forms approved by Order #67, including:

• Income and expenditure bill on strict accountability forms (typical form #SZ-1);

• Income and expenditure ledger of strict accountability forms (typical form #ES-2);

• Act for cancellation of used forms of strict accountability (typical form #SZ-3);

• Act to check availability of strict accountability forms (typical form #SZ-4);

• Card-certificate on issued and used forms of strict accountability (typical form #ES-5).

Income and expenditure bill on strict accountability forms (form #SZ-1) is used to provide incoming at storage and leave from storage the forms of strict accountability.

Income and expenditure account book for strict accountability forms (form #ES-2) provides record keeping forms of strict accountability in stock and is applied by all enterprises, organizations and institutions. The book should be numbered, laced and sealed with wax seal and signed by head of enterprise (organization) and chief accountant. One or more pages are left in book for accounting of certain forms of strict accountability.

Act for cancellation of used forms of strict accountability (form #SZ-3) is used to write off used forms of strict reporting from materially responsible persons. Forms of strict accountability are written-off from reporting on basis of act written by specially created commission.

Act to check availability of strict reporting forms (form #SZ-4) is used to verify actual existence of strict accountability forms for admission to storage of supplier. In case of blanks shortage at their incoming to special commission writes an act in duplicate. Act indicates number of missing books, their series and number of forms. One copy shall be sent to supplier to identify reasons for differences and taking action.

Card-certificate on issued and used forms of strict accountability (form #SZ-5) is used to conduct analytical accounting for issued and used forms of strict accountability. It is opened for each material-responsible person that provides for forms of strict accountability, for each forms type separately. Primary reference documents are reasons for keeping cards: income and expense invoices, statements on checking availability of forms and documents to cancel used forms of strict accountability.

Let’s take for example income and expenditure account book on strict accountability forms (form #ES-2). It has the following form:

Name of forms ___________


From whom received and to whom issued

Reason (name of document, № and date)



number of books

series and  № of forms

number of books

series and  № of forms


And how can we not agree with the fact that this book is not appropriate (like other forms approved by Order# 67) for accounting postage stamps (or envelopes with stamps) only having designation of nominal value. And company can develop its own forms of accounting primary documents for postage stamps and organize accounting under rules coming from content of these typical forms. But it is considerable to do so only when cost of organizing such records will pay itself or is rational in terms of labor costs.

Therefore, in practice they account postage stamps on principle of low-value goods accounting using conventional bills and acts on writing-off, sometimes just writing off the cost at time of purchase. It all depends, again, on materiality of such costs.

Where to store postage stamps

There is a widespread perception that postage stamps as strict accounting documents are stored in cash office. This conclusion is primarily due to definition of "cash office" and explanation of using subaccount 331 "Monetary instruments in national currency" in accounting.

In accordance with Section 1.2 of the Regulations of cash transactions in national currency of Ukraine, approved by the National Bank from 15.12.2004 № 637, cash office - is a room or place of cash payments and receiving, issuing, storing cash and other values and cash instruments.

However, the Regulation does not clarify procedure for accounting and storing "other assets" in cash office, where postage stamps may be well attributed. That is why cash office can be considered as only one of storage locations for postage stamps. Certain requirements are imposed on cash office room about equipment to prevent unauthorized access, so this room is the best to keep any documents. However, it is possible to keep postage stamps (and any other documents of strict accounting) out of cash office. Just it is important to provide with a safe storage.

Any of the employees can be responsible person for keeping and accounting postage stamps. And most often it’s an employee who often has to deal with them.

Which subaccount is to keep records of postage stamps

According to chart of accounts on compilation of information about presence and movement of documents available in cash office of enterprise (including postage stamps, etc.) is on subaccount 331 "Monetary instruments in local currency".

Hence the conclusion: if postage stamps (means of postage payment) are not kept at cash office, they should be accounted for in another sub-account, for example on the same sub-account 209 "Other materials" or 22 "Low value items". You can do so. But since they still are cash instruments, by the writing-off time stamps are to be accounted on subaccount 331 by organizing their analytical accounting in terms of storage and responsible persons.

In the Tax Code of Ukraine there are no special restrictions or rules on account of postage stamps in the tax expenditure. Therefore, if postage stamps are used for purposes related to business activities, their cost can be taken into account in tax expenditure without restrictions.

How one organized initial accounting for postage stamps

Accounting of postage stamps, no matter which documents we will use, comprises the following steps:

• acquisition and entry;

• accounting at the place of storage and at accounting office;

• issue to responsible persons by report and their usage;

• reporting on use and write-off from report of those responsible;

• checking availability (left ones) at storage location.

Since stamps are often used by secretaries, one can organize their accounting in this way.

After buying stamps for cash, the employee write a Report on use of cash provided for a business trip or under report (hereinafter - Report). Based on registry of payment operations (RPO) of post office receipt in duplicate, one should make regular invoice, stating therein number of postage stamps in terms of nominal value and total amount. One copy of invoice and RPO check of post office is attached to report and submitted to accounting department, second - is left with employee responsible for use of postage stamps.

Accounting office on basis of report makes an entry on postage stamps for subaccount 331 (or 209 (22)), and for their registration and subsequent write-off starts a registration card on postage stamps for each  material-responsible person. You can develop it by yourself according to Standard Form #ES-5.

Then, as postage stamps (or envelope) are spent to send correspondence, it is necessary to mark in the Book of outgoing correspondence for each position where postage stamp has been used, how many envelopes with stamps or stamps of what denomination have been used. Once a month (or more often) the responsible officer counts how many postage stamps are used in nominal terms, and amounts for accounting report in duplicate, for example, in the following form:


on use of postage stamps

for the period from 1 to 15 of March, 2013

Used postage stamps for sending correspondence:








Postage stamps, nominal 1 UAH






Postage stamps, nominal 2 UAH






Envelopes with postage stamp, nominal 2 UAH










This report should form the basis of an act on write-off the postage stamps.

Responsibility for loss of documents of strict accounting

Procedure for determining amount of loss from theft, shortage, destruction (damage) of property is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from 22.01.1996, № 16. And for any loss or damage of documents of strict accounting at the time this resolution set an increased responsibility and certain rules for determining damages.

Now damage resulting from theft, shortage, destruction (damage) of property is determined by an independent assessment according to national standards of evaluation. When determining amount of damage that led to property damage for state and territorial communities or entity with state (municipal) share in registered (share) capital, an amount of damages is determined in accordance with assessment method adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (not yet approved).

Is it advisable to involve an independent evaluation in case of loss of several postage stamps? Obviously it is not. It is better to notify employees who are dealing with postage stamps that in case of loss it is better pay their value by transferring the same postage stamps value. Otherwise, they will also reimburse costs of independent evaluation (albeit at a rate less than average wage, but still).

Maybe someone would be surprised with too much attention paid to keeping such seemingly minor expenses like postage stamps. But do not forget that postage stamps are affecting determining object of taxation on profits. It is enough that audit does not find supporting documents for writing-off postage stamps as you can calculate few more kopeks of tax. But this is not important. The main thing is that the next violation is considered as repeated ...

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