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QuickBooks Sales Receipts: Why, When and How

You shouldn’t record every customer sale with an invoice. Sales receipts are more appropriate sometimes.

QuickBooks didn’t create any bookkeeping rules, but it follows the double-entry accounting procedures designed by an Italian monk many centuries ago. The software simplifies this process greatly, but it’s still a good idea for you to understand the basic rules. You may want to take a QuickBooks class sometime to learn them.

Sales receipts are one element of that ancient but still-viable system. They’re just what they sound like: receipts for sales you’ve made to customers. They’re not bills, since you’re receiving payment at the same time the customer gets his or her products or services, like at a conference or special interest fair or in your office.

A Simple Form

There are numerous ways to get to the necessary form; one is to simply click the Create Sales Receipts icon on the home page. A screen like this opens (this is the view in QuickBooks 2013, but it’s similar in earlier versions):

The Enter Sales Receipts window in QuickBooks.

The form looks similar to an invoice, but it’s designed to use when you’re getting paid immediately for providing a product or service. There’s no need to create an invoice or statement.

You complete a sales receipt in the same way you fill out any other form in QuickBooks: by selecting options from drop-down lists and entering data. You’ll start just below the toolbar by choosing a customer/job and class (if applicable), then selecting a receipt template if you’d like. You might want to add your logo, for example, but you need to have modified the form before creating a transaction – go to Lists | Templates to do so.

Change the date and sale number if you need to, and then select a payment method. Fill out the register-like portion of the page with information about the product or service you’re selling. Designate the transaction as taxable or non-taxable, enter a memo if you’d like and save.

Getting Paid

You’ll need a merchant account to process debit and credit cards.

You can record payments made by cash, physical check or e-check, and credit cards on a QuickBooks sales receipt (there’s even an option for “Barter”). You’ll of course need a merchant account to accept debit and credit cards, and you’ll need to check the box next to Process payment when saving before you close out the transaction form.

You shouldn’t have to get special QuickBooks training to learn about sales receipts, though they’ll certainly be covered in any QuickBooks payment courses you take. You’re just documenting a customer’s face-to-face purchase, a process that your software makes simple.

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