Sales Receipts: 4 Types and Why They’re Essential to Your Business

If you’re going to a clothing store to buy a shirt, you’ll receive a receipt. If you’re going grocery shopping, you’ll get another receipt. Anywhere you go and make purchases of goods or services, there’ll be sales receipts. 

Sales receipts are not only important for customers as proof of their payments but also crucial to businesses. They allow businesses to gain visibility into their performance. If your business generates hundreds of sales receipts per month, it’s a good indicator that you’re on track and having high profitability. Oppositely, if you only have dozens of sales receipts per month, it’s time for you to adjust your business strategies. 

In today’s article, we’ll explore different types of sales receipts and their benefits.

What is a sales receipt?

A sale receipt is a financial document that records a purchase of either goods or services between buyer and seller. Typically, there are two hard copies of receipts given to both parties involved in the transaction. A buyer who makes a sale will get one copy while a seller keeps a similar piece.

Receipts are issued only after the goods have been transferred or the services have been delivered, and the customer has paid in full. There are cases in which businesses might issue partial receipts for customers who pay on a recurring basis. For example, a spa business often allows its customers who buy package service to pay partially rather than at one time. In this case, each time a service is delivered, the customer will receive a receipt with the amount of payment and the remaining balance.

What information does a sales receipt include?

Sales receipts templates vary from company to company. Usually, you’re at liberty to design a document that works for your business. But there is essential information that every sales receipt needs to have, otherwise, it’s nothing more than scrap paper.

  • Business name and address
  • Transaction date and time
  • Transaction number
  • The name and/or UPC (Universal Product Code) of each product or service
  • The quantity of each product or service
  • The sale price for each product or service
  • The total price of the sale
  • The rate of sales tax and the amount of tax
  • The total price with tax included

4 types of sales receipts

Though you have the freedom to design your own sales receipt template, there is actually a receipt format for each industry that you should follow. Major differences in receipt systems exist depending on what you’re selling, whether they’re products or services, and between customer-facing sales and business-to-business sales. Here we’ll have a look at 4 types of sales receipts.

1. Cash register receipts

This receipt type is mainly used in customer-facing retail transactions. When a customer makes a purchase at the point of sale, the cashier will input data to a cash register and issue a receipt out of it. A cash register receipt lists all items purchased, prices, total paid, date and time of the transaction, and method of payment. 

Cash register receipts are useful because they can be long enough to list all the items purchased on one paper. Thanks to this, they’re used by many retail businesses with high-volume sales such as grocery stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, and even gas stations.

2. Handwritten receipts

Before the cash register was invented and used along with receipts, it was the era of handwritten receipts. Hand-written receipts are used to record the transaction of goods or services sold.  As you know, receipts always come in two copies and are given to both parties of the transaction. Handwritten receipts are no exception. 

To make a copy of the handwritten receipts, the seller will put a sheet of carbon paper between two pages and press hard as they write. That’s how businesses issue handwritten receipts and their copies. 

Today, some small and private businesses still use handwritten sales receipts to record a transaction. For example, a landlord might like handwritten carbon receipts to record a tenant’s rent payment. Or a maintenance man who visits your home to fix mechanical equipment may tear a carbon out of the book when a customer pays a deposit prior to work being done.

3. Invoices

These are very common to record business-to-business transactions. When a company places an order, a vendor business will make an invoice, print it, and send it out to them by the post office. But nowadays, invoices can be delivered online through mail or invoicing software. 

Similar to other types of receipts, invoices include information such as the number of goods or services sold, the amount you’re charging, and the contact information of your business and businesses you’re invoicing. 

4. Packing  slips 

As its name suggests, this receipt type is issued and delivered along with packages upon your order. It contains a list of items included in a package as well as the price and the company’s contact information. 

Packing slips are often used by online businesses. Typically, these businesses often send out two sales receipts: an electronic bill when the order is placed, and a packing slip when the order is shipped. This allows receivers to check whether the delivered items are matched with what has been listed on the packing slip or not. 

3 reasons businesses need to keep sales receipts

1. Bookkeeping

It’s crucial to keep sales receipts because bookkeepers will use them to calculate the income of your business. Without bookkeeping, you wouldn’t be aware of the cash flow and your financial position.

It’s frustrating to record every single receipt in the account book to calculate the income and make reports. Also, no matter how careful a bookkeeper is, sometimes they can still make errors. It’s time to shake up the bookkeeping process. Bookkeeping management software which turns your receipts into data, organizes and makes reports at any time and anywhere is an optimal solution. Isn’t it awesome? Want to check it out yourself? Try Shoeboxed now!

2. Tax preparation

Don’t forget to pay tax when you run a business. It’s a legal obligation. To process the taxes on time and precisely, first you have to calculate your business income. Sales receipts are one of the largest sources of income for businesses. That’s why you should keep them.

3. Inventory management

Receipts can help to leverage your inventory management. You can use receipt data to analyze which products are selling at which times, which are bestsellers and which are flop items. This helps with future forecasting and assessing product demand.

See also: 5 Best Receipt Tracker Apps For Businesses

The bottom line

Sales receipts are important financial documents. Though they are small notes, they have a great impact on many business activities. They allow businesses to gain visibility into their performance, do proper bookkeeping, and even manage inventory efficiently.