Understanding Sales Receipts in QuickBooks and When to Use Them

How do you let your customers know how much they owe you and for what products or services? In these days of ecommerce and merchant accounts, your customers may provide payment with a credit card number over the phone or via a website. Or perhaps you send invoices after a sale and receive checks or account numbers in the mail.

 QuickBooks Sales Receipt

You probably already know that QuickBooks can help you both create invoices and record payments. But did you know there’s another type of sales document that you can use in certain situations: the sales receipt. You’d probably be most likely to use a sales receipt when customers pay you in full for products or services at the same time they receive them.

Completing a sales receipt is similar to filling out an invoice or purchase order. However, when you create a sales receipt in QuickBooks, you are recording the payment at the same time.

To create a sales receipt, click Create Sales Receipts on QuickBooks’ home page or open the Customers menu and select Enter Sales Receipts. A screen like the one below will open.

 QuickBooks Sales Receipts Window
If you receive full payment for a product or service at the same time the customer receives it, you should use a sales receipt.


Choose a Customer from the drop-down list and a Class (if applicable). If you have created more than one sales receipt template (more on that later), make sure that the correct one appears in the Template field. Verify that the appropriate Date and Sale No. read as they should. Click on the type of payment you’re receiving, and enter the check or credit card number where necessary (a small window will open for the latter).

Note: If you are working with a type of payment that does not appear in the four icons, click on the arrow below More to add it.

Now you’re ready to select the products or services you sold by clicking on the arrow in the field under Item to open the available list (if you have not created a record for what you’re selling, select <Add New> and complete the fields in the New Item window that opens). Enter the quantity (Qty.). The Rate, Amount, and Tax fields should fill in automatically, based on the information you entered when you create the item’s record.

When you’ve entered all of the items that the customer is paying you for, you can choose which Customer Message will appear on the sales receipt (use the drop-down list found next to the Customer Message field to see your options). Anything you enter in the Memo field will be for your internal use only; it will not appear on the printed or emailed sales receipt.

Click Save & Close or Save & New.


Customizing Sales Receipts

QuickBooks’ forms contain the fields most often used by small businesses. But you can alter them in numerous ways to meet your company’s needs. To customize a sales receipt, open the Sales Receipt window and click on the Formatting tab at the top of the window. Select Manage Templates.

You’ll want to make a copy of the original sales receipt so that the original will always be available. Click the Copy button in the lower left. “Copy of Custom Sales Receipt” appears in the list of templates. In the Preview pane on the right, click in the field next to Template Name and replace the existing name with a new, more descriptive one if you’d like. Click OK.

The Basic Customization window opens. Click on Additional Customization at the bottom of the window. The Additional Customization window will open as seen in the image below. Here you can customize information that will appear in the Header, Columns, and Footer of your sales receipt as well as certain Print options.

 Customize sales receipts in QuickBooks
QuickBooks' customization tools enable you to customize the information that will appear on your sales receipts.


To customize what will appear in the body of the sales receipt, click the Columns tab.  The list on the left displays all of the columns that can be included in the body of your sales receipt. Click in the boxes below Screen and Print to indicate which columns should display on your QuickBooks screen and which should appear on the customer’s copy. The numbers in the Order column can be changed to reflect which column will come first, second, etc.


Numerous Options

There’s a lot more you can do to customize your QuickBooks forms. And there are other situations where you might want to issue a sales receipt. We’ve only been able to touch on both topics here, but would be happy to schedule time with you to explore these elements of QuickBooks.