When preparing receipts and invoices for your customers, there is essential information that you need to include. While the details will vary depending on the customer and the payment method that is used, the essential information to fill in will be the same across receipts. For example, while the total amount on the receipt will differ for each transaction, you should always include a total amount on every receipt.

As a small business owner, it's best practice to create a standardized receipt template that you can use for all of your sales receipts and invoices. This saves time and helps to streamline your transactions for a faster checkout or payment process. It will also simplify your bookkeeping and tax filing down the line, as your receipts are essential documentation for your business's financial reporting.

Below, you will find detailed recommendations on how to write efficient and simple receipts for your business practice. Keep reading to learn more about information that is critical to include, followed by our easy three-step process for writing receipts.

Information You Must Include

When writing out a simple receipt, there is certain information that needs to be included. This helps a customer keep track of your business information and helps increase the likelihood of them returning again to purchase your product or service. It is also important to include certain information so you can keep accurate financial records of all of your business transactions.

Make sure to include the following information on all of your business receipts:

  • Contact information for your business, including phone number and email address
  • Invoice or sales receipt date with day, month, and year
  • Description of products or services purchased with quantity sold
  • Itemized list of corresponding prices for each product or service
  • Purchase order or receipt number, if applicable
  • Payment due date, if not due upon receipt
  • Any taxes or shipping charges, if applicable
  • A subtotal before taxes are included, if applicable
  • Your payment terms and conditions
  • Total amount due for the transaction

Some receipts go the extra mile and include additional information, such as the method of payment used. This type of information is not a necessity for your receipts or invoices but it can be beneficial to keep track of your sales. For example, if a customer pays by credit card, you will likely want to staple a copy of the credit card payment verification slip to the receipt. This will help streamline bookkeeping and ensure you are accurately tracking all accounts receivable.

Unlike credit card transactions, cash payments cannot be verified afterward. Should you need to refer back to any cash transactions, including the payment method on your invoice or receipts can help simplify the process. It might also help to have a separate cash receipt template for your accounting practices for your small business. This is particularly helpful for small businesses that operate point of sales with a cash register and process transactions at an on-site retail location.

The same type of sales receipt template can be applied to customers who opt to use checks. It is also helpful to provide the last four digits of a check number or credit card or debit card number on a receipt or invoice for ease of reference. Finally, while not necessary, it can be beneficial to include a customer's name on your sales receipts. This can be a nice and simple way to keep a record of all of your customers. Over time, this will simplify your customer retention strategy, as well. With documentation of all of your customers, you can easily customize marketing tactics and promotions to increase revenue and retention over time.

3-Step Guide to Creating Simple Receipts

Follow this easy three-step guide to create simple sales receipts or invoices for your small business.

Step 1: Decide on the Method of Bookkeeping You'll Use

Receipts and invoices can be created by various methods. Some business owners like to write receipts for transactions by hand, although this is most certainly not the most efficient way to document receipts. Other small businesses opt to use digital tools. The right accounting software can generate free receipt templates, store automatic bookkeeping updates, and track all of your small business transactions over time. Skynova offers a free receipt template that you can customize according to your business's needs. We go into detail on how to use it below.

Step 2: Prepare a Simple Template That Can Be Used

Next, you will need to prepare a simple receipt template that can be used as a starting point for proof of payment for all of your business transactions. Refer back to the earlier subsection on information that you must include in your sales receipts for reference. Then, create a draft receipt template through whichever method of bookkeeping you choose to move forward with for future proof of purchase.

You can use this free receipt template from Skynova and customize it to your needs as follows:

  • Add your business name and address.
  • To add a logo, click "Customization Options" at the top of the template.
  • Add the customer name and address.
  • Add an identifier number.
  • Add the date.
  • Input line items with a description of the item, quantity, unit price, and amount.
  • If there are additional notes, add them in the notes section.
  • If you need to adjust sales tax, click "Customization Options" at the top of the template.
  • Skynova's system will calculate the subtotal and total automatically.

Step 3: Start Using the Receipt or Invoice Template and Update as Needed Over Time

Once you have your receipt template or invoice template, the rest is easy! Start using the receipt template for all of your small business transactions. Remember, it is critical to continue to use the same payment receipt method over time to keep consistent records for both your small business receipt book and your customers.

As your business continues to grow, you may need to update your receipt template. For example, let's say you didn't have the money to pay for a graphic designer to create a professional logo when you first started your business. Now, you've finally got a pro logo that looks great. Including branded elements like logos on all of your business documents, including receipts, helps solidify your brand image. You should absolutely add that logo to your template (it's easy with Skynova — just click "Customization Options" at the top of the template.

Tax Considerations

Now that you have a perfectly curated template to use for all of your transactions, take a moment to consider if your method will suffice for your taxes. If you overlook this consideration, you risk delaying your essential tax paperwork or, even worse, facing an audit because of incomplete data. To save yourself the headache later, make sure that your receipts and invoices are prepared to be used as proof of your business expenses to be written off on your tax return.

Take sales tax, for example. Different states have different legal requirements regarding sales tax. Further, the amount of tax levied on certain products differs. For example, there are additional tax considerations on special products like tobacco or alcohol. You want to make sure that your financial paperwork takes these kinds of details into account. Again, in the worst-case scenario, failing to do so could result in an audit. If you're found to be noncompliant with state, local, or federal tax regulations, you could face serious repercussions, including hefty fines.

Stay Organized With Skynova

It's essential that you stay organized as your business continues to grow. The best way to do this is with streamlined bookkeeping tactics like digital receipts and online record keeping. If you want to use the best accounting software out there, Skynova has you covered. Explore our accounting software products to learn how we can help you advance your business practices.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific business practices. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting and tax standards that comply with local, state, and federal regulations.