Recording a Sales Receipt with QuickBooks Simple Start

You record a sales receipt when a customer pays you in full for the goods or services at the point of sale. Sales receipts work similarly to regular invoiced sales (for which you first invoice a customer and then later receive payment on the invoice). In fact, the big difference between the two types of sales is that sales receipts are recorded in a way that changes your cash balance rather than your accounts receivable balance.

The following steps show you how to record sales receipts for products, which are the most complicated type of cash sale. Recording sales receipts for services works basically the same way, however. You simply fill in fewer fields.

1. Click the Sales Receipts New hyperlink.

Alternatively, click the Sales Receipts icon and choose New.

The Enter Sales Receipts window appears.

Your Enter Sales Receipts window might not look exactly like mine for a couple of reasons. QuickBooks Simple Start slightly customizes its forms to fit your particular type of business.

Customizing sales receipt forms works in a similar way to customizing invoices and credit memos. For example, you can add a logo or make make other modest changes.

2. Identify the customer.

Click the down arrow to the right of the Customer drop-down list. Scroll through the Customer List until you see the customer name that you want and then click it. Note that unlike invoices, the Customer field is not required for cash sales.

3. Date the sales receipt.

Press Tab to move the cursor to the Date text box. Then type the correct date in MM/DD/YY format. You can change the date by using any of the date-editing codes.

4. (Optional) Enter a sale number.

QuickBooks Simple Start suggests a cash sale number by adding 1 to the last cash sale number you used. Use this number, or tab to the Sale No. text box and change the number to whatever you want.

5. Fix the Sold To address, if necessary.

QuickBooks Simple Start grabs the billing address from the Customer List and uses the billing address as the Sold To address. You can change the address for the cash sale, however, by replacing the appropriate part of the usual billing address.

6. Record the check number.

Enter the customer's check number in the Check No. text box. If the customer is paying you with cold hard cash, you can leave the Check No. text box empty.

7. Specify the payment method.

To specify the payment method, click the Payment Method drop-down list and select something from it: cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, or whatever. If you don't see the payment method that you want to use, you can add the method to the Payment Method List. Choose Add New to display the New Payment Method dialog box. Enter a description of the payment method in the text box and click OK.

8. Describe each item that you're selling.

Move the cursor to the first row of the Item/Description/Qty/Rate/Amount/Tax list box. When you do, QuickBooks Simple Start turns the Item field into a drop-down list box. Click the Item drop-down list of the first empty row in the list box and then select the item. When you do, QuickBooks Simple Start fills in the Description and Rate text boxes with whatever sales description and sales price you entered in the Item List. (You can edit this information if you want, but that probably isn't necessary.) Enter the number of items sold in the Qty text box. (QuickBooks Simple Start then calculates the amount by multiplying the quantity by the rate.) Describe each of the other items you're selling by filling in the next empty rows of the list box.

You can put as many items on a sales receipt as you want. If you don't have enough room on a single page, QuickBooks Simple Start adds as many pages as you need to the receipt. The sales receipt total, of course, goes on the last page.

9. Describe any special items that the sales receipt should include.

QuickBooks Simple Start thinks that anything that you stick on a receipt (or an invoice, for that matter) is something that you're selling. If you sell blue, yellow, and red thingamajigs, you obviously need to add each of these items to the Item List. But if you add a subtotal to your receipt, QuickBooks Simple Start thinks that the subtotal is just another thingamajig and requires you to enter another item in the list. The same is true for a volume discount that you want to stick on the receipt. And if you add sales tax to your receipt, well, guess what? QuickBooks Simple Start thinks that the sales tax is just another item that needs to be included in the Item List.

To include one of these special discount or subtotal items, move the cursor to the next empty row in the Item box, click the arrow on the right side of the drop-down and then select the special item. After QuickBooks Simple Start fills in the Description and Rate text boxes, you might need to edit this information. Enter each special item — subtotals or discounts — that you're itemizing on the receipt by filling in the next empty rows of the list box.

If you selected the Taxable check box when you added the item to the Item List, the word Tax appears in the Tax column to indicate that the item will be taxed.

If you want to include a discount item (so that all the listed items are discounted), you need to stick a subtotal item on the receipt after the inventory items or other items you want to discount. Then stick the discount item directly after the subtotal item. In this way, QuickBooks Simple Start calculates the discount as a percentage of the subtotal.

10. Specify the sales tax.

If you specified tax information when you created your company file during the EasyStep Interview, remember how QuickBooks Simple Start asked whether you charge sales tax? QuickBooks Simple Start fills in the default tax information by adding together the taxable items (which are indicated by the word Tax in the Tax column) and multiplying by the percentage you indicated when you created your company file. If the information is okay, move on to Step 13. If not, move the cursor to the Tax box that's to the right of the Customer Message box, activate the drop-down list box, and select the correct sales tax.

11. (Truly optional and probably unnecessary for cash sales) Add a memo in the Memo text box.

You can include a memo description with the cash sale information. This memo isn't for your customer. It doesn't even print on the cash receipt, should you decide to print one. The memo is for your eyes only. Memo descriptions give you a way to store information that's related to a sale with the sales receipt information.

12. Decide whether you're going to print the receipt.

If you're not going to print the receipt, make sure that the Print Later check box is empty — if not, deselect it.

13. Click Save & Close to save the sales receipt.

QuickBooks Simple Start saves the sales receipt that's on-screen.

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