The sales receipt is a document that shows the date and time a purchase was made, the items or services purchased, amount of items or length of services, any applicable tax or gratuity, name and information about the store or service provider, the method of payment (concealing any private information like full credit card number), and any information regarding return of items or customer satisfaction with services.
How To Use a Sales Receipt
Sales receipts are a very important part of any fiscal transaction between a business and a customer. The sales receipt documents all the information a business might need in the event of a customer complaint or need to return an item. The receipt also documents the financial transaction for the customer, so they can double-check the cost of the item or service against their bank records. If the customer believes they were accidentally overcharged, they can use their receipt as proof with the store, and get the overcharged payment back.
Stores will often number sales receipts with specific transaction numbers to help them keep track of inventory, finances, and returns or customer complaints. This number makes it easy for the customer to reference the transaction with the merchant, as well.
We see sales receipts most often as printed slips of paper in restaurants, grocery stores, or brick-and-mortar businesses, but there are many types of receipts. If you purchase an item from a friend, for example, the exchange may not be formal, but you may wish to handwrite a receipt to keep track of the transaction for later tax purposes. Packing slips serve as physical receipts when a customer receives an item in the mail – these can be especially important for customers who purchase their items online, because it allows them to double-check the items they purchased through a website against the packing slip. In fact, when a customer purchases an item online, they should also receive an email or text message receipt, which again, allows them to check the cost of what they purchased against their bank account, and against the item they receive in the mail.
Sales receipts are not the same as invoices, although sometimes colloquial speakers will mix the terms up. Invoices are lists of items, the amount, their cost, contact information, additional tax or gratuity, etc – however, they are not a proof of a financial transaction, but a proof that one side provided the requested goods or services, and now require the amount of money listed on the invoice. Sales receipts track when money changes hands; invoices track when goods or services are exchanged.
Why Should I Use a Sales Receipt Template?
Sales receipt templates help small business owners keep track of the information their customers need. This is especially important for online businesses that do not yet generate their own receipts through a database, or for individuals who sell items on more private services like Craigslist or eBay. Sales receipts help everyone involved keep track of the amount of money that changed hands, any returns or complaints, and tax information for income verification during “tax season.” Download our free sales receipt template today to get started!