As a business owner, you must deal with numerous receipts daily. This article will look in detail at a very common type of receipt—the purchase receipt. 

Once you know the features of a purchase receipt, you’ll be able to distinguish them from other types of receipts, ensuring a smooth and orderly system of storing your receipts. On top of that, you will also find useful tips on creating a purchase receipt if you are a supplier. 

What is a purchase receipt?

When you receive materials, goods, and services from a supplier, they will issue you a purchase receipt. This is normally done against a purchase order. However, some suppliers still give you purchase receipts without one. Purchase receipts can be printed directly from a cash register or handwritten.

What is the purpose of a purchase receipt?

A purchase receipt mainly serves as proof of ownership. This receipt is issued when you accept and pay for goods and services from your suppliers or customers when they buy your products.

Generally, this document includes details of a specific service or product purchase. It also clarifies the contract between you and your suppliers—what, how many, and how much you ordered. 

Purchase receipts are also kept and recorded for accounting purposes, allowing you to go back to examine and double-check if the details of the transactions tally.

See also: 

What information is on a purchase receipt?

Though it varies between businesses, a purchase receipt normally includes the following information:

  • Date and time the transaction occurred.
  • Customer information: company name, possibly a contact person, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Purchase description: date, purchase order number, quantity, and a brief description of each purchased item with prices.
  • Payment information: payment method. 
  • Additional charges: shipping fee, delivery cost, and taxes.
  • Return policy. Detailed explanation on how the customer may return, exchange, and/or receive a refund for a purchase.

What does a purchase receipt look like?

Below is a basic template of a purchase receipt.

a basic template of a purchase receipt.
Image. Purchase receipt from Templatelab.

A purchase receipt is fairly straightforward, so you can easily customize a template for your business using Microsoft Excel. Many websites on the Internet also have free downloadable templates for purchase receipts. If you need a free Purchase Receipt template, check out these links below:

Another way to issue purchase receipts is to use paper receipt books. They are widely available online and easily found on Amazon. 

How do you write a purchase receipt?

There are two main ways to create a purchase receipt: manually (by hand) and digitally. 

How to write a purchase receipt by hand 

Make sure you have a printed template ready or a receipt book that looks professional. It’s fairly easy to create a purchase receipt as you only need to fill in the blanks with relevant details. Keep your handwriting neat and tidy to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings. Also, don’t forget to double-check your calculations!

How to write a purchase receipt digitally

If you already have a good template prepared, type in the transaction information whenever you get a new customer order and have the receipt printed out. A great tip is to save your regular customer’s basic information in the template, like their company’s name, address, and contact information. Then, you won’t have to spend time typing that information again the next time they buy from you. 

Alternatively, you can download and use specialized accounting software like Quickbooks, Xero, etc., to create purchase receipts. It may not be easy to get the hang of it at first, but once you get used to it, you will enjoy the convenience and effectiveness it brings.  

What is the difference between an invoice and a receipt?

A receipt indicates payment of the items and that the sale is complete, while an invoice serves as a payment request. They both include details of the products ordered, prices, taxing information, contact details, and credits. 

Frequently asked questions on purchase receipts

How to provide a purchase receipt from your supplier to fulfill Paypal’s request?

Provide Paypal with as much information as possible when they require you to. For example, the documents that Paypal usually requests include: 

  • Your ID photo 
  • Purchase receipt from your supplier or proof of purchase fulfillment. 

However, if you don’t have a purchase receipt from your supplier, you can provide a document that says you don’t have any suppliers or receipts. Save your receipts as a PDF file and attach them to the place you are supposed to upload them. This will help you fulfill Paypal’s requirements and receive a case tracking number. Paypal usually gets back to you within three working days. 


How to make a cash register out of a shoebox

If you’re thinking about making a DIY cash register from scratch by using a shoebox or cardboard, check out this tutorial video: 


Where can I get a purchase receipt template for my business?

Here are some places where you can download a purchase receipt template online.

  1. For sales receipt: Eforms
  2. For cash receipt: Templatelab
  3. For simple sales receipts, use Microsoft word software: Templates.office


What is the difference between an ordinary invoice and a simplified invoice?

An ordinary invoice requires the customer’s full name and address and the issuance date, along with VAT (value added tax). On the other hand, a simplified invoice does not require the customer name nor the date the invoice was issued. 

A complete/ordinary invoice template from Microsoft office templates
Image. A complete/ordinary invoice template from Microsoft office templates.
Image. A simplified invoice template from Microsoft office templates.
Image. A simplified invoice template from Microsoft office templates.

What is the difference between a retail invoice and a tax invoice? 

A retail invoice is an invoice issued by the seller to the buyer for the amount of the goods sold. A tax invoice is an invoice that shows how much tax is owed, issued by a registered dealer to the person who purchased something. 

This video explains in detail the differences between these two kinds of invoices: 

Bonus infographic: Essential information required on a purchase receipt

Title: Essential information required on a purchase receipt 

Sub-title: If you’re running a small business and invoicing your customers is part of your work day, here’s the information to include on your business’s purchase receipt. 

Text: 
Date and time the transaction occurred.
Customer information: company name, possibly a contact person, address, phone number, and email address.
Purchase description: date, purchase order number, quantity, and a brief description of each purchased item with prices.
Payment information: payment method. 
Additional charges: shipping fee, delivery cost, and taxes.
Return policy. Detailed explanation on how the customer may return, exchange, and/or receive a refund for a purchase.

In closing

While it’s important to store and keep your receipts organized for accounting and tax purposes, many often neglect to do so or find it difficult to systemize hundreds of documents. However, you can easily get your receipts categorized with the right tools. Shoeboxed is the complete receipt tracking and expense management solution for virtual accountants or small business owners looking for the most versatile accounting app. Shoeboxed also helps users scan paper receipts into digital data, create comprehensive reports, and prepare for tax season.

Turn receipts into data and deductibles.

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Originally published February 28, 2022. Updated on September 12, 2022.


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