Receipt and Invoice

My worker received a complaint from a customer regarding the Receipt and the Invoice we provided. Both of them were not conclusive to explain when the payment is made or the information for what payment.

  1. Receipt - The description only revealed the cross-reference to which invoice the payment is made for.

Our customer found it confusing and wondered why it is referring to the invoice and not the description of what the payment we received. To cut the argument short, we printed the Invoice to backup the Receipt to show the invoice is fully paid. In this, we wondered why do we need to print extra paper for a simple transaction.

  1. Invoice - The Invoice is a great piece of evidence that a payment is paid, however, there is no date explaining when the payment was made. The customer may find it confusing as well if we to give the invoice as the form of receipt.

Furthermore, there are cases we received payments for multiple invoices, printing invoices would not be a great method as receipts, it still go back to Receipt as the best solution. One piece of paper for all multiple payments. Again the cross-references would throw off some of our customers.

We are totally unsure which one to print for our customers. If we to print the Receipt, the description doesn’t tell much what the money for. And if we print the Invoice as the form of Receipt, there is no payment date to show when the money is received.

For these reasons, I appeal to the developers to urgently look into our problems to get either the Receipt or the invoice fixed. Thank you.

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Btw, each time we received money, we do enter the description, why is it not showing in the Receipt?

A sales invoice is a demand for payment, establishing the obligation of the customer to pay the seller for goods or services described in the invoice. Because customers sometimes have credits on account, the total credit applied is also shown by Manager. But it would be very unusual for a sales invoice to routinely document details about payments, such as form of payment or date. Often, once a sales invoice is generated, it is filed and never modified. So your second suggestion may not be a good idea.

The receipt for payment of a sales invoice records the transfer of money. It not describe again what was sold. That task was already completed by generating the sales invoice. In that respect, identification of which sales invoice is being paid should be adequate. Some sales invoices run to many pages. It would be cumbersome to repeat all that on a receipt recording a single check or cash payment.

You may have noticed that if you create a receipt for a sale that was not sold via a sales invoice (a cash sale), the description of what was sold does transfer. In fact, every line item will show.

Tut, thanks for your reply.

You and I could understand the reasons behind the reference to the invoice number, and may as well very happy the way it is now.

However, I am speaking from the customers’ viewpoint. They want to see their payment is specifically made for something in black and white. The reference to the invoice does little to justice explaining the payment is made for (although on our end we completely understood it is made for the invoice stated). Customers would want to keep the receipt as a reference that they have made the payment – for example in our case “Tuition Fee February 2016.” A simple description like this is very important if there is a need to refer it in the future.

Let say, we continue to give out Receipts with the description referring to the Invoice, and then there is a problem arises regarding the February’s payment, for example. The customer would only to discover all of his Receipts referring to the invoice numbers, wouldn’t that confusing? I would if it happens to me. I wouldn’t sure which Receipts for the February’s payment. This would create more dilemma and dispute than solving the payment problem. (Btw, we do have lot of late payments, the Receipt’s date cannot properly tell the payment is made for the December Tuition Fee if it was made on February, think about that?).

I understand most of you may be operating businesses in the western countries, but we are operating a school in Indonesia, in a third world country where people have very little knowledge how a simple thing like this works. We do encounter many incidents whereby the printing of Receipt isn’t enough to explain we have received their payments. They still demand our signatures and an additional piece of paper as a form of receipt. We keep telling them the printout of the Receipt is an official document and does not require a signature, but that does not appear to them as valid.

Our recent incident was a mess between my worker and the customer. The customer scolded my worker stating we are trying to hide the payment for something else and not for the specific payment. My worker explained the invoice number is referring to this invoice and it is already stamped paid, and yet the customer refused to acknowledge the invoice as the form of the Receipt. Eventually, my worker had to write a manual receipt with a proper description of the payment made for and signed for it. No matter how low is the knowledge or the mood behind the customer, there is a saying “the customer is always right” and we take that as another lesson and try to improve our end.

After putting many scenarios on the table with my workers, we came to the agreement that the Receipt referring to the invoice number a problematic. To avoid any unnecessary argument, I wrote this post to appeal the need for the Receipt must be properly documented with a full description in the box. Or at least, a Summary Description on top of the box with the reference invoice number in the box. The Summary Description is better than nothing.

I completely understand your situation, @success127. And I appreciate your examples. I also agree that the best solution is a more complete receipt, not more payment history added to invoices.

@lubos will, of course, have to make the decision, but I think it would be useful to add two things to both receipt and payment vouchers:

  1. Address of payee, if one exists (for existing suppliers or customers).

  2. More complete description field. Following the convention used elsewhere, this would be the Description field entered for the overall transaction if only 1 line item exists. If payment/receipt is for an account payable/receivable, include corresponding invoice number first. If multiple lines, include description for each.

What if you used Reports Tab - Customer Statement, at least the Invoice and Receipt is listed together, perhaps without the required detail

That doesn’t work at all. The statement also doesn’t provide descriptions of what the invoices and the receipts for. If the customer requests for a summary statement printout, this statement is more confusing than a help.

Look at one of my students’ accounts - Are you confused? Will you query each of the lines?

I would never print the statement to the customer, unless proper descriptions are added to the invoices and receipts.

I fully agree with @success127 on this, FWIW.

Also, I would add that the Statement should show more than just “Receipt” on each line. At a very bare minimum, it should show the Description field for the associated payment, which I tend to use for the check number or other form of payment. If nothing else, this would help a customer reconcile his books. But I agree that there should be some automatic description added to receipts and statements that indicates how payments were matched to invoices.

(And although I agree with @Tut that invoices are meant to be only demands for payment, the presence of the “Amount paid” line and PAID IN FULL stamp on the Sales Invoice template is testament that some people do indeed print out copies of invoices after first issue. So I agree with @success127 that the “Amount paid” line(s) should indeed include some little details, like at least date paid.)

[quote=“success127, post:7, topic:4869”]
The statement also doesn’t provide descriptions
[/quote]Great that you brought this subject up. I feel the same about the statement, a little more info will be well received in the Statement area and …

If I need to hunt for when a particular invoice that was paid the Balance Due column (number in blue) under Sales Invoices if clicked on will give the receive money transaction date but it would be great if the receipt showed the paid date it as well.

Both the drill-down listing and the receipt currently show the date, @compuit. Did you mean the invoice?

@success127, your statement also highlights another point. Each invoice should have any related receipts listed directly under it, then the next invoice with receipts etc. This way all activity associated with an invoice is grouped together. Also an invoice sub-total should be provided where the invoice minus receipts is greater then zero.

Listing in date order and just Receipt, instead of “Receipt - Inv 297”, doesn’t provide any assistance to the Customer in reconciling their account.

It would be help ful on the Paaid Invoice as well. OK, correct the Receipt does show the receipt date and invoice # - The Description area could be expanded on a little with the Invoice’s summary content. The customer will like that.

My worker discovered something interesting about the Receipt this morning.

  1. If payment received for one invoice, the receipt will refer to the invoice number.

  1. If payment made for multiple invoices, the receipt will display the complete description for each line minus the reference invoice number.

I have raised this issue since last year. But since i ran a small business with only 30-40 customer per year I cannot re-create a huge transaction simulation.

Also I suggest for every receipt issued, it will have a running number for easy reference (E.G: Receipt No. 1001, 1002, 1003) so that if any issues arises on payment, our workers can refer the receipt number instead of invoice number. In a third world country like us, customer were to issue receipt not invoice. Invoice is only for company use only.

We have a number of issues where customer insisted for receipt instead of invoice and we have to issue this incomplete receipt (without any details on it). Then of course, the customer went nut saying that we are cheating for not giving her a real receipt.

Sorry for my bad english


i totally agree with you

@norman05051984, our countries are indeed very old schooled. I don’t know what about you, in my country we still use a stamp (literally stamp, not rubber stamp) with serial number and sign over it to make a document official. So far we haven’t encountered customer asking for the stamp for the printed receipt or invoice.

Back to the original topic, I really hope @lubos and his team would literally hear us out regarding the descriptions over the Receipt (and the Statement which tagged along in this post). Descriptions are extremely important to the customers. Regardless how brilliant or lack of knowledge, people are people, they do want read in details. This is one reason why we still printout the invoice once we have received the payment because the invoice provided the necessary details of what is paid for (only the lack of paid date a stumble). We really do want to print the Receipt, but again the lack of description a big issue.

I believe I have provided suffice examples what we encountered at our end. Thank you for listening.

The latest version is addressing some of the issues brought up in this topic.

Have a look at the latest version and let’s move from there.