Receipts are a common piece of paperwork or document in our mundane, everyday life. They are so common that we do not even think twice about throwing them away or asking for them right after we conduct business with someone or purchase something.
Receipts, however, are very important documents that do more than just act as tangible proof of payment. If you are running or managing a business, it is crucial to have your own stack of receipts that can be easily given out to your suppliers to finalize a deal or transaction.
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What Is a Receipt
A Receipt is a type of paperwork or document that provides a written acknowledgement of the sales or the purchase of a product or a service. A receipt is also given by store merchants as proof of purchase and to show that a payment was received from the buyer. Receipts are a common thing in business-to-business dealings, as well as in a stock market transaction. Below are the reasons why having a receipt is essentially useful:
Receipts vs. Invoice
Receipts and Invoices carry almost the same type of information on them, such as the quantity of the orders, the unit price, a reference number, taxes, and the total amount due. However, a receipt and an invoice vary in definition and in use. Here’s why:
Invoices are commercial documents that are provided by the vendor to the buyer as a request for payment. A receipt, on the other hand, is a document that is issued by the vendor to the buyer as soon as a final payment is given.
An invoice is typically issued prior to payment while a receipt is issued after the payment has been given.
Invoices are usually provided to serve as a physical record of the items that have been sold or ordered but have not yet been delivered. A receipt, on the other hand, serves as evidence of the completeness of the transaction.
Both an invoice and a receipt hold different uses; however, they are also similar in a way because they both serve as a commercial piece of document that is integral in the purchase and selling cycle. They both carry information about the buyer and the seller, and they are both legally non-negotiable instruments.
Why Are Receipts Valuable?
Issuing receipts when you own a business is crucial in so many ways. Here’s why:
1. Help to maximize expenses. Your receipts are very much helpful in maximizing the expenses that you claim for business and can do a lot when it comes to lowering or reducing your tax obligations.
2. Act as a support document. Receipts serve as your quick go-to or reference should you be questioned by the IRS.
3. Help to save time. Receipts bear information that is essentially useful when you need to conduct liquidations and end-of-the-year reports. This can help you save a great amount of time and from a lot of hassle and inconvenience. In addition, receipts also provide you with the information that you need to run your business and to help it grow.
4. Help you plan for your tax payments. If you own a business, the expenses you incurred can help reduce your taxes; this can help you determine the amount of taxes that you need to pay off.
5. Aid in meeting financial dues. Your receipts can greatly aid in planning to meet financial commitments such as paying creditors or employees.
6. Make it easier to get a loan or sell your business.
7. Avoid over/under tax payments.
8. Help identify if your business is liable for paying VAT to IRS.
Receipts, or any type of business record, should be properly filed or recorded manually or digitally. Take note that proper management and handling starts off by making good and sound decisions that are derived from clear and accurate data, and nothing says accurate data more than maintaining an organized way of tracking and recording important documents.
Although filing data can be a tedious and a burdensome job, you can start off with small and manageable tasks on a regular basis, while working your way up. Make sure you keep all documents that contain details of payments, receipts, credit purchases and sales, assets, and liabilities. If you’re not able to obtain a receipt for an expense, make a note then record the details.
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Why Consumers Should Always Ask for a Receipt
It’s not only business owners who can reap the benefits off of a receipt. As a matter of fact, customers garner more benefits from asking for a receipt than businesses do. Here’s why:
1. Serves as an Accounting Reference
If you are one who likes to make budget plans, or if you paid for something that requires liquidation of expenses, then a receipt will be useful to you as it serves as a supporting document any of your transactions. Without an official receipt, your accounting records will be incomplete and may affect the accounting or the bookkeeping process of a company. You can also view our Payroll Forms here.
2. Helps You Make Claims
You might be on a business trip to Hong Kong and had to buy lunch for a client, or you may have spent your own money for cab fare while you were out on a business meeting. These situations require the provision of an official receipt to serve as a supporting document for your refund claim. Accounting departments or supervisors will need proof of the legitimacy of your claims because they cannot just always take your word for it. Your receipt will help prove that money was allocated to you as a refund for that $80 steak that you had to buy while you were out on a client call. You can also view our Reimbursement Forms and Expense Forms.
3. Decreases the Chances of Audit
One of the major reason why audit is conducted is because of the lack of supporting documents, such as Official receipts, to support the existence of the transaction. Asking for official receipts and properly filing it will minimize the risk involving audit.
4. Tangible Proof.
One very important purpose of a receipt is that it serves as hard, tangible proof of the purchase of something. You may have purchased a defective item that needs replacement or is under warranty, but you seem to have lost the warranty card. A receipt is enough proof of the sale and the purchase. Some merchants, however, provide a window for return-or-exchange policies. Nonetheless, as long as you have the receipt and you are well within the limit for exchange policies, then you are in the safe zone. Also, receipts are very useful when you need to claim items for pick-up, or when a seller makes a dispute that you have not yet paid for an item.
Tips to Making Your Own Business Receipts
You can choose from our wide array of Sample Receipt Forms, Rent Receipt Forms, Petty Cash Receipt Forms, and many other templates to help you save on time and money. Here are a few tricks that you could use to make sure that your receipts carry the necessary details:
1. Use Carbon Paper
As soon as you have downloaded and printed out our Receipt Forms and Generic Sample Receipts, you can use carbon paper to help you get the job done in just a jiffy. This is especially helpful for those who use manual receipts. You can write down the details on the first page of the receipt form with the carbon paper at its back. This will allow you to have two copies of the receipt for yourself, for record purposes, and one other for tax reports.
2. Add a Logo
Add an edge to your business receipts by adding a logo onto it for that official feel. You can use a company stamp on top of all your receipts or you can have them customize your receipt form templates with your business name and logo. Having your own logo on your receipts makes it easier to track and record so it can be used as a reference in the future.
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3. Include All Necessary Details
A receipt would be deemed useless if it did not carry with it the necessary details that need to be incorporated within a receipt, such as the vendor’s details, the buyer’s details, the date of the transaction, details of the products, the amount of the transaction, the method of payment, and the signature of both the vendor and the buyer.
The Anatomy of a Receipt
The key elements of a receipt are the basic information that help make it legitimate and help provide the details that can later on be used as a reference for the sale and the purchase of an item or the rendering of a service. If you are a business owner or a seller, you will need to know and understand the basic parts of a receipt to help you understand it better.
- Vendor Details – This field is usually located on the top part of the receipt and requires the name of the seller or the vendor as well as the address, phone number, and contact details.
- Buyer Details – This section typically follows the vendor information and also requires the buyer’s complete name and contact information.
- Date of Purchase – The date of purchase is also the date of the transaction. Be sure to provide the complete and exact date, meaning, the day, the month, and the year, as this will be necessary for documenting and calculating tax remittances.
- Product Details – This is where the seller or the vendor provides the item description and the quantity of the items that have been ordered as well as other product specifications or markers that could help both the buyer and the seller in identifying the products.
- Total Amount Due – The total amount due should be located underneath the product descriptions. It is best to provide a break down of the total amount into the original price, taxes, labor fees, and any other charges.
- Mode of Payment – Specify if the buyer made a payment via cash, check, credit, or debit card. This information can be useful when a buyer makes a dispute, such as when a credit card charge reflects twice on a bill.
- Signatures – As soon as the items have been paid for, let the buyer sign the receipt and keep your own copy for future or tax references.
The Types of Receipts
Receipt of Payment
A Receipt of Payment is a type of document that is provided to acknowledge a transaction. This is commonly used to process a transaction and to serve as physical evidence of the sale and the purchase.
Medical Receipts are receipts that are issued for the purchase of medicine or medical equipment. Sales transactions that involve the selling of medical prescriptions usually require a medical receipt to serve as proof that the drug ordered was prescribed by a licensed physician. This is solely done to control the release of medical drugs that may be used or taken outside the purpose of treatment.
Sales Receipts are the common, mundane receipts that you receive when you buy a latte from the coffee ship or when you go shopping at the mall. These are issued to act as proof of purchase and normally bear the name and the price of the items that have been purchased.
If you are into the land-lording business, you will need to provide a receipt for all of your tenants who make a payment. A Rent Receipt will come in handy for your renters who wish to keep track of the payments that they have made and helps landlords keep track of renters who have paid their dues as well. A Rent Receipt will generally require the name of the landlord and the tenant, the address of the rental unit, the date of the payment, the payment period, and the mode of payment.
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