Purchase Receipts: What Are They?

A purchase receipt is the standard piece of paper received upon accepting goods from suppliers. With a purchase order acknowledged, purchase receipts record the important data regarding purchases of products and services. This document is also what general consumers use to review the product amount, payment method, value-added tax, and more. And these receipts may be printed by the cash register, handwritten, or simply emailed online for a soft copy.

According to Green America, a research survey reported that 42% of American respondents prefer paper receipts, 34% prefer both digital and paper receipts, 17% prefer digital receipts only, and 7% would rather not get any receipt.

Why Is a Purchase Receipt Important?

Indeed, purchase receipts provide consumers with clear copies of any purchase from the product name, price, purchase date, and other original details. But knowing that it covers a range of elements is just one advantage of a purchase receipt. In fact, there are many benefits to purchase receipts that prove how important they are. And these are some major highlights:

Credible Proof of Purchase

It is possible that after a purchase, you might notice a missing item or perhaps, you paid too much for something that costs low. Hence, purchase receipts are a reliable reference or proof of purchase. It is essential to prevent purchasing the same goods again or manage any purchase error. Sales or retail businesses will surely keep copies of these documents, as well as consumers for purchase references. And if disputes would follow, the data inside these official receipts of purchase will serve as solid evidence.

Collated Transaction Log

Did you know that all details in the purchase receipt will be collected and organized in a company’s transaction log? Indeed, you can make the most out of a purchase receipt for your organization’s official transaction log sheet. When a customer complains about any purchase mistake, for example, businesses have their own copies of the receipts. That is important to prevent scams as there are people who create and print fake receipts too. Hence, all sorts of purchases and transactions must be documented for safety purposes.

Easy Tracking of Purchase

Besides logging data, a purchase receipt is a great alternative for purchase tracking sheets as well. Whether you monitor all sorts of expenses from the financial statements, tax returns, deductibles, bill disputes, and other information, you can certainly track easily. At the same time, you can track how your business is performing profit-wise. With each purchase receipt’s complete records, auditing would run seamlessly in your enterprise.

Flexible for Different Formats

Do not assume that every receipt only comes with a piece of paper. In fact, you can decide however format your purchase receipt should be. A tip is to follow what most consumers want to satisfy them. And according to Green America, 42% of American respondents prepare paper receipts, 34% are okay with both digital and printed receipts, 17% choose digital receipts, and only 7% would rather not receive any receipt. So there is certainly room to customize purchase receipts according to preference.

What Makes a Standard Purchase Receipt?

Although purchase receipts may differ in design, format, or content, it is notable for having standard components as well. Each component plays an important role to complete a basic purchase receipt And the significant purchase receipt inclusions are the following:

Title: A purchase receipt can be mistaken as any other document without the title “Purchase Receipt.” So be sure to label the receipt as it marks the document’s official introductory statement. Hence, anyone who checks that piece of paper will automatically understand what it is for.Business Information: The business information section confirms the name of the person or business receiving the payment. And it can go further as to include the company’s address, contact number, logo, branding, and other identification details. That way, it is clear as to who is providing the receipt or who receives money from the customer.Consumer’s Data: Besides the business information, the opposite end must be recognized too. In other words, write who is making the payment or purchase in the first place. This is where the consumer’s data will be included. It can cover the client’s complete name, address, and contact list. Hence, the two known parties in these purchase receipts are the consumers and the business.Payment Date: The payment date is self-explanatory. Encode when the official purchase happened. A complete payment schedule is crucial upon tracking a specific receipt according to date. That includes the exact hour, minutes, day, month, and year of the transaction. Hence, it is likely that the purchase receipts collected will be arranged according to date and tracking numbers.Receipt Number: Speaking of tracking numbers, each receipt has a unique serial number. Because in a single day, a lot of business transactions could happen. So for your expense tracking sheet, the quickest way to track specific receipts is by tracing them according to the receipt number. These numbers are often combined with other characters such as letters, depending on how enterprises measure their receipts.Amount Paid: This part mentions the exact amount paid by the customer. This part will also be specific as to how much money the customer paid, how much was the change, how much were the taxes, etc. And the breakdown of the price list naturally comes here.Payment Method: How was the payment made? Was it done in cash, credit card, debit, or any other payment method? State that in this segment. Maybe those who paid in cash will receive a cash receipt or any other example. Just be clear on how the transaction was made.Signature: The signature part confirms that parties agreed to everything stated in the purchase receipt. So whether you are the customer or the business representative, always reread the receipt if all statements are correct before signing it. Besides the signature, a person’s initials will do as well.Others: Leave space for other data. This can be used for any other relevant purpose such as the reason for the payment and the purchase receipt status.

How to Make a Proper Purchase Receipt

Now that you are properly introduced to what purchase receipts are, why they are important, and what specific components make a purchase receipt, it is time to create your own purchase receipt. It is very easy to make, especially with a step-by-step guide as seen below:

  • Step 1: Set Your Business Measurement System

    Run over to your whole business system and review how purchases are measured. Because if your enterprise still has not made a clear and organized measurement system, it would be pointless to make a receipt right away. That means your company should already have its standard format and system for making receipts, logging data in the receipts, and placing tracking numbers to products and receipts. A full business analysis report will certainly make a difference.

  • Step 2: Optimize a Sample Purchase Receipt Template

    Worried that you still have to create a purchase receipt from scratch? Fret no more. Choose from over 18+ sample purchase receipt templates as posted above in this post. Each sample is editable so you can customize receipts further rather than just going for the premade examples given. And besides purchase receipts, you can also download a free sales receipt template, printable service receipt template, blank proof of purchase receipt template, and many more. Go for whichever sample works best for you!

  • Step 3: Insert the Components of a Purchase Receipt

    From the title, business information, down to others, ensure that you have added all the purchase receipt’s standard components to complete your receipt. Record accurate and specific data as much as possible like in describing the purchased items, breakdown of costs, and even the warranty policy. Also, you can incorporate more components into your purchase receipt. Just make sure that everything added is relevant to the purchase receipt’s purpose or the added information will be pointless.

  • Step 4: Observe an Easy-to-Read Structure

    Purchase receipts should not give a hard time for consumers, especially in reading and understanding its content. The best way to improve your purchase receipt’s presentation is to come up with an easy-to-follow format. Receipts are not even written in long sentences as you can just make use of tables and charts to divide the data. For example, stating the business name should be written right away instead of giving a long introduction about the business before mentioning the name. Also, just enumerate the purchases made in simpler words rather than writing a whole paragraph about it. And mind your format for calculations or purchase cost breakdowns as those will be used for analysis or tracking purposes. Rest assured, purchase receipts with specific, organized, and precise data will pay off.

  • Step 5: Update the Receipt from Time to Time

    After a purchase comes a purchase receipt, but there is still room to update it regularly. For example, a purchase receipt’s status report may change whether it got canceled or there was an issue of return. Note down those changes to ensure you recorded the updated information. Also, you can update the labels and data in your recept like when there is a need to change the purchase tracking number system for a more efficient one. If businesses change according to trends and other factors, then purchase receipts would have possible changes too. So give room for upgrades on your enterprise’s purchase receipts.

  • Step 6: Keep Extra Copies of Receipts for Documentation

    While customers receive their copies of purchase receipts after a transaction, businesses should not be complacent by just throwing or deleting their purchase receipt copies. Purchase receipts are basically needed for documentation purposes. It is through those receipts you will learn how many people bought from your store, how much profits were earned, and other significant details. Hence, a purchase receipt will always be an essential business document that you should not throw out. In fact, the standard is to keep copies of any receipt for at least three years before getting rid of them.


What is the difference between a purchase invoice and a purchase receipt?

Although both the purchase invoice and the purchase receipt cover a specific purchase or transaction, there is a big difference in terms of when each document is issued. A purchase or payment invoice is like a bill, meaning it is given early even when there is no payment involved yet. And the invoice is used to determine how much a consumer has to pay after getting the item. Meanwhile, purchase receipts are given after payment has been made. Thus, the transaction has been completed already.

What are the different statuses of purchases receipts?

Purchase receipts have different statuses, and these are important to keep track of:

  • Draft – when a purchase receipt is still being edited or has not been finalized yet
  • To bill – used primarily for a purchase invoice or when the purchase is yet to be billed
  • Completed – the receipt is finalized, meaning items have been provided and received
  • Return issued – used when specific goods have been returned back to the supplier or seller
  • Canceled – when a receipt is intercepted; thus, leads to a cancellation
  • Closed – used for short-closing situations, like when a consumer ordered a 15-item order but closing is up to 10 items only; hence, the rest of the five items can’t be billed

Is it necessary to keep receipts?

Of course, it is needed to keep receipts along with invoices, payroll histories, bank statements, and other financial records. You never know when you might need a receipt for reference so make sure to at least keep different receipts for three years before deciding to let them go.

The next time you overlook the importance of purchase receipts, think again. These small but detailed papers may just save you in managing financial statements, tracking transactional data, and providing proof of purchase. Thankfully, you need not search for any place to create and personalize a purchase receipt. Simply use our professionally made and premade sample purchase receipt templates for your reference. Rest assured, you can make loads of purchase receipts easily and shortly. Download now!