How Do I Write a Receipt? Definition, Example, 3 Facts

A lot of us are used to scanning the receipt at the grocery store or restaurant to find out what we bought and to look up the price and expiration date.

But this can get old after a while and sometimes we just don’t bother. This is why we have written this article about how do I write a receipt.

How Do I Write a Receipt?

Receipts serve as a document for customer payments and as a record of sale. If you want to provide a customer with a receipt, you can handwrite one on a piece of paper or create one digitally using a template or software system.

How Do I Write a Receipt?

If you plan on doing business, it’s important that you know how to properly write a receipt for proper documentation, tax purposes, and to protect yourself and your customers.

Handwriting a Receipt

Buy a receipt book to make writing receipts easier

 You can purchase a 2 part carbonless receipt book online or at an office supply store or one that has several sheets of reusable carbon paper. These booklets are usually prenumbered and already have the receipt headings in place.

Make sure to get booklets with 2 part forms so that you get a copy that you can keep for your records. If you don’t have a booklet on hand, you can simply handwrite receipts on a piece of paper and photocopy them.

  • Before you begin writing the receipt, place the carbon paper between the original and the duplicate.
  • If you must write a receipt by hand, use a pen and press down hard to ensure that the information is precisely duplicated.

Write the receipt number and date on the top right

 Write out the full date that you made the sale and a chronologically ordered receipt number under it. Each receipt should have a number so that you can keep track of each sale throughout the day.

For the receipt number, start with 001 and go up one number for every receipt. You can do this ahead of time so you don’t need to write it every time you make a sale.

  • For example, the top right of the receipt would look something like:
    January 20, 2019
  • You may reset the number to zero each day if you put the date on each receipt.
  • Often, each receipt in a booklet already has a unique receipt number.

How Do I Write a Receipt?

Write your company name and contact information in the top left

 Write your company phone number and address under the company name. You can also include other details like the website, social media accounts, and/or operating hours.

This information will serve as proof that your company made the sale and will help the customer contact you if they need to.

  • If you don’t have a company, write your full name instead of a company name.

Skip a line and write down the items purchased and their cost

 Write the name of the item on the left side of the receipt and write the cost of each item on the right side of the receipt. If you sold more than one item, list the items and their prices in a row.

  • For example, an itemized list on a receipt should look something like:
    Toilet paper………..$4

Write the subtotal below all of the items

The subtotal is the cost of all the items before taxes and additional fees. Add up the cost of each of the items that you sold and write the total number under the list of item prices. 

  • You may reset the number to zero each day if you put the date on each receipt.
  • Often, each receipt in a booklet already has a unique receipt number.

Toilet paper………..$4

Add taxes and other charges to the subtotal for the grand total

List the name of the tax or additional charges on the left side of the receipt and transcribe their cost on the right side of the receipt. Then, add any applicable fees and taxes to the subtotal to get the grand total, or the amount that the customer has to pay. 

How Do I Write a Receipt?

The grand total should look something like:
Sales Tax………….$5.50
GRAND TOTAL…..$35.50

Write down the payment method and the customer’s name

The payment method could be cash, check, or credit card. On the last line of the receipt write the customer’s full name.

If they paid by credit card, have them sign the bottom of the receipt. Then, make a copy of the receipt and keep it for your records and hand the customer the original receipt.

Making a Digital Receipt

Download a receipt template for an easy digital solution

If you are providing someone a receipt online, it may be easier to write the receipt on the computer. In this case, search for receipt templates online and download one that suits your needs. Then, fill in all the applicable fields using a word processor and send the customer a copy of the receipt.

  • Don’t forget to include the date of the transaction when drafting a receipt.
  • Avoid downloading templates from shady websites.

Use software to create receipts with a professional look

 Compare paid and free receipt generating software programs and download the one that best suits your needs. Set up the program and fill in your company name and information on the settings tab.

Then, it’s just a matter of properly filling in the applicable fields. Once you’re done, the program will generate a professional-looking receipt for you to give to the customer, and will log the receipt in its database so you can refer to it later.

  • Among the most popular receipt programs are NeatReceipts, Certify, and Shoeboxed.
  • Upload your company logo on the receipt that is handed to the customer.

Use a POS system for highly accurate receipt management

 A POS, or Point of Sale system, is a system that helps you track business expenses, sales, receipts, and can process payments like checks and credit cards. This system will automatically generate a receipt for the customer at the point of sale and log the sale in your database.

Compare different POS systems online and choose one that fits your needs. Then, download the system onto your computer and work with customer support to get automatic receipts generated every time you make a sale.

  • Vend, Shopify, and Square Up, for example, are all popular point-of-sale systems.
  • You may now buy a POS system for your computer, tablet, or smartphone and run it from there.

Importance Of Write a Receipt

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.

How Do I Write a Receipt?

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.

Character Of Write A Receipt

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.

How Do I Write a Receipt?

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.


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.

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Pat Moriarty
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