Receiving Report

Updated on January 3, 2024
Article byNanditha Saravanakumar
Edited byShreya Bansal
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Receiving Report?

A receiving report in the business context is a formal document used to document the reception of goods from a supplier. It contains details of the goods, quantity, date and time of delivery, supplier name, and delivery condition. The receiving staff or inventory manager signs the document upon delivery.

Receiving Report

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The receiving report serves as an internal document. It is maintained by the inventory department or stores and is sent to other units, such as the accounts department, for record management. Further, it is proof of delivery and the quantity and quality of goods.

Key Takeaways

  • Receiving report meaning is an internal document prepared and signed by the receiving staff from the stores or inventory department, authorizing the receipt of goods from a supplier.
  • The report includes information on the relevant purchase order, item description, and quality and quantity of the goods received.
  • It helps manage the inventory, maintain stock levels, control costs related to procurement, and monitor the usage of goods procured from a particular supplier.
  • It is also especially significant during the delivery of damaged goods or any discrepancy identified with delivery.

Receiving Report Explained

Receiving reports are essential documents in an organization. A business deals with multiple suppliers of raw materials, processed goods, and other items such as fuel. Placing an order is one thing, and receiving it is another. There might be discrepancies in quantity, or the goods might be damaged in transit.

When the receiving staff, usually the warehouse or store manager, signs the report, they authorize the receipt of goods. They also record information that might be useful later – to other departments and in matters dealing with the company and the supplier. While most businesses sign the report on the arrival of goods, some prepare the report daily, thus accounting for all goods received on a particular day. However, the former is better.

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Let us look at the contents of such reports:

  • Serial number
  • Date and time of receipt
  • Name of supplier
  • Name of shipping company
  • Description of goods
  • Item Quantity
  • Requisition or purchase order number
  • Condition of goods on delivery
  • Signature of receiving staff

Optional information includes the unit price and total cost of items received. The receiving staff can also add any comments or notes they wish to mention in the report. The staff can also add images, specifically if the goods are damaged, or any other issues are identified.


Let us discuss an instance along with a receiving report sample to understand the concept better.

Example #1

XYZ is a clothing company that sources raw materials from a few suppliers. On March 28, 2023, they received 100 tons of cotton from supplier PQR. Mary, the store manager for XYZ, oversees the receipt of goods. Upon delivery, she inspected the supplies. While measuring the weight, she noticed that the shipment only weighed 98 tons.

Mary immediately noted the discrepancy in this report and took an image of the weight as proof. She then signed the report and sent it to the concerned departments. The accounts department then contacted supplier PQR, informed them of the situation, and demanded a new price due to the weight discrepancy.

Let us prepare a receiving report template for the above example.

Receiving Report Ex

Example #2

Let’s take another hypothetical example of a busy warehouse.

Shipment of 500 electronic devices arrives from a trusted supplier. The receiving team promptly creates a detailed receiving report, documenting the arrival date, supplier information, and a breakdown of the received items. With careful inspection, they ensure all 500 devices are in pristine condition.

The receiving report is quickly shared with the inventory department, allowing them to update the stock levels in the system. Through this efficient process, the warehouse can accurately track its inventory, ensuring that all 500 devices are available for distribution and timely delivery to customers.


The receiving report form is an essential document and the reasons are:

  • Firstly, it manifests the delivery and receipt of goods.
  • Secondly, it enables the authorization of payment for the supply of goods.
  • Since the details of quality and quantity are recorded on arrival, it can serve as proof in case of returns and refunds.
  • Store managers maintain the list of all such reports in serial order so that they can be helpful while auditing.
  • The report is transferred to the other departments. For instance, the production department can keep track of usage while the accounts department can monitor costs and complete the payment process.
  • It enables smooth inventory management so that understocking and overstocking are prevented.

Receiving Report vs Purchase Order

A purchase order (PO) is a document that a company sends to the supplier mentioning the quantity of a particular item it would like to buy from the supplier. The buyer also informs the supplier of the expected price.

Given below are the differences between a receiving report and a purchase order.

Receiving ReportPurchase Order
The buyer, especially the inventory or store manager, prepares and signs this.The buyer issues PO, specifically the procurement or production department.
It is an internal document, i.e., it is maintained by the company and circulated within the organization.It is an external document, i.e., the buyer sends it to the seller.
This report acknowledges the receipt of goods placed as per the purchase order.A PO places an order, along with details on quantity and expected price.
It is prepared only when the seller and buyer agree on specific information.The seller can reject or make a counteroffer against a PO.

A company cannot explicitly rely on purchase orders because not all purchase orders lead to the delivery of goods. Also, the delivery of goods need not follow the specifications mentioned in the purchase order. There might be discrepancies in quantity, or the goods might be damaged. Due to this, a receiving report is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Which ledger can be updated solely from the receiving report?

A standard cost inventory ledger can be exclusively updated based on the receipt of goods from suppliers. The ledger requires only information on the quantity of the goods received.

2. What are unmatched receiving reports?

Unmatched reports refer to the supplier sending the invoice to the accounts department before the buyer receives the goods. Since the goods should be delivered and inspected for quality and quantity, the documents are held as ‘unmatched.’ It means that some necessary action or additional information is being awaited.

3. What is generally not shown on a receiving report?

Essential information usually expected but not generally present in a receiving report is the unit price of goods and the total cost. It is because the store or receiving staff need not be concerned with the price of goods, which is dealt with by the accounts department. The receiving staff only needs to focus on the quantity and quality of the goods on arrival.

This article has been a guide to What Is A Receiving Report. Here, we explain it along with its examples, importance, and comparison with purchase order. You may also find some useful articles here –

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