What is a Receiving Report?

Definition: A receiving report is an internal document used to record what materials and inventory were received by the company. The receiving report is sent to other departments to notify them what items have been received and are ready for use.

What Does Receiving Report Mean?

Most large companies and even some smaller companies have multiple departments to handle different operations. Some common departments include purchasing, shipping, and receiving departments. The receiving department is used to collect or receive inventory or materials when they arrive at the store or factory.

The receiving department is responsible for counting shipments received and matching the actual number received with the number on the purchase order to see if the accurate number of goods was received. Receiving departments are also in charge of checking packages for damaged goods. If a percentage of goods are damage, the orders need to be returned. After the receiving department examines the goods received, it fills out a receiving report.


Receiving reports usually include a heading with the company name, address and date along with a receiving report number. A receiving report also includes the date received, FOB terms, shipping company used, and a list of items received. The items list usually has space for descriptions, prices, quantities, and weights.

Most receiving reports are made on carbon copy paper with multiple sheets. Once the report is filled out, one sheet can be sent to accounting for recording, one sheet is sent to purchasing to verify the order was purchased and received, and one sheet is sent to the department that requested the order. The receiving department also keeps a copy of each receiving report on file.