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How Do I Write a Receipt?

By Theresa Miles
Updated May 16, 2024
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You can write a receipt by using a receipt book, completing an invoice template, or by recording the details of the sales transaction in long form on any piece of paper and signing it. In a retail environment, receipts are typically created electronically, but there is no requirement that a receipt has to be produced in a particular way for it to be valid. As long as a receipt indicates what was sold, the amount paid, who received the purchase price, and the date of the transaction, it qualifies as a legitimate record of the exchange.

Receipts are an important part of a sales transaction. They provide official proof of the details of the exchange and can be submitted to any authority to substantiate various claims, such as to document an expense for a deduction on a tax return. A receipt is often computerized in a retail environment but does not have to be. You can write a receipt by using a piece of paper and a pen. The narrative can be framed in any way that is convenient.

A receipt typically states that on a specific date an amount of money was exchanged for an item. It indicates that the item was sold by you to the buyer. If you write a receipt by hand in this way, you should sign the paper. A signature proves that it is you who wrote the receipt.

The receipt does not necessarily have to be signed by the buyer. Possession of the receipt indicating the sale was made to him is proof enough of legitimacy. If you want the buyer to sign the receipt paperwork to establish a more complete record or for any other reason, you can make that a stipulation of the transaction.

There are several options available to make it easier to write a receipt if you need to do so frequently. Office supply and stationery stores carry preprinted receipt books that require you to fill in the blanks. These books are often tailored for specific types of transactions. If you are a landlord who needs to issue receipts for rent payments, there is usually a preprinted receipt book that is specific to that situation.

You can also write a receipt by using an invoicing system. When an invoice is generated to facilitate a sale, it lists the items that need to be included in the order. At the bottom or back of the form you can include a boilerplate section that the buyer can sign to indicate receipt of the entire order on a particular day. The invoice from you with the list of items sold, the sales price, and the signature of the buyer indicating that the exchange was concluded on a specific date is an acceptable receipt for the transaction.

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Discussion Comments
By Rundocuri — On Feb 11, 2014

I also don't think that it matters how much or how little money is involved in a transaction. A receipt should always be written to provide tangible proof that money was given for goods or services that were provided. In other words, receipts protect both parties involved in the transaction.

By Heavanet — On Feb 10, 2014

Regardless of how you choose to write a receipt, you should write one for every money transaction you make. It is also vital that you keep these receipts in your important papers file. Then, they will be available should their be problems with the sale. You will also be able to keep track of your annual financial transactions, and use your receipts for tax purposes.

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