paper trail

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paper trail

Physical or digital documentation of a person's activities. The con artist wrote fraudulent checks all over the state, leaving a paper trail for police to follow. Frank swore that he wasn't using the company's computer for illegal activities, but the digital paper trail he left proved otherwise.
See also: paper, trail

*paper trail

Fig. a series of records that is possible to examine to find out the sequence of things that happen. (*Typically: have ~; leave ~; make ~.) The legal department requires all these forms so that there is a paper trail of all activity.
See also: paper, trail

a paper trail

A paper trail is written evidence of someone or something's activities. Police investigations found a paper trail of checks that were written on false bank accounts. Unlike conventional voting systems, many electronic systems leave no paper trail to allow results to be double-checked.
See also: paper, trail
References in periodicals archive ?
The Paper Trail empowers people to see the impact of their purchase in an interesting, easy-to-understand way," said Paige Goff, Vice President, Sustainability and Business Communications at Domtar.
The focus of tribunal proceedings is consequently moving away from the witness evidence to the paper trail.
Paige Goff, Vice President of Sustainability and Business Communication said, Since first introducing The Paper Trail in 2011, our thinking has continued to evolve regarding what sustainability encompasses .
Agarwala, to initiate the process of incorporating the paper trail system.
Zena Hadley, senior relationship manager at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's West Midlands Business Centre said: "We are delighted to be able to help The Paper Trail to maintain and develop this important historical attraction.
Holt would require some of the states that still do not have paper trails to put them in place for the 2008 presidential election.
Recounts are easy--by definition, there's a direct paper trail for every vote.
States considering simple laws for requiring paper trails in electronic voting can just copy New Hampshire's law from 1994.
Exactly one year ago the Humanist ran a story about the unreliability of electronic voting machines, noting that they are programmed with unsecure software and are inauditable because they leave no paper trail.
Not only that but there are NO plans for a paper trail in the event of a disputed result.
Perlin is adept at excavating the paper trail we leave behind us every day--a true vernacular--and watching a computerized receipt for a purchase of Chinese note cards form itself before us immerses us in the ubiquity of the generic and the hidden implications of the mundane.
In some states, one can vote absentee for any reason or none at all; in states using new voting machines with no paper trail, some voters plan to vote absentee to make sure their vote is counted.
She states that the paper trail confirms this assertion.
This is particularly true when organizations--acting without proper accounting supervision--fail to create a paper trail with prenumbered tickets, receipts and the like.
Create a clear paper trail, including both a clinical and economic justification for each investment.