Receiving report

A receiving report is used to document the contents of a delivery to a business. The form is filled out by the receiving staff of the business accepting the delivered goods. The following information is typically included on a receiving report:

  • Date and time on which the delivery was received
  • Name of the shipping company that delivered the goods
  • Name of each item received
  • Quantity of each item received
  • The authorizing purchase order number, if noted on the delivery documentation or box
  • Condition of the items received. This can be a negative entry, where only damaged goods are noted.

The receiving report can be used in several ways, including the following:

  • Returns. If certain goods are to be returned, the receiving report documents the reason for the return, such as damaged goods.
  • Payables. The receiving report can be used as evidence of receipt in the three-way matching process. This approach is more commonly used for larger-dollar purchases.
  • Accruals. The accounting staff may use receiving reports that were completed near month-end to accrue expenses for supplier invoices that have not yet arrived.

A master copy of each receiving report is stored in the receiving department. Copies are sent to other departments as required by company procedures, such as the copy sent to the payables staff to document received goods.

From a control perspective, it can be useful to uniquely number each receiving report. The sequence of numbers can then be examined to see if any receiving reports are missing.