Receiving Log

Learn what a receiving log is, how important it is, and how to use it

Receiving Log |

What is a Receiving Log?

A receiving log is a document that records what was delivered, when, and who received them. Sometimes called a receiving report or a receiving checklist, it’s usually filled out by a business’ receiving staff and later shared with the receiving team, the accounting team, and other managers.

Why is it Important?

Receiving logs are often used by warehouse or inventory managers to track the influx of goods coming in. Receiving logs function similarly to Goods Received Note or a delivery note. A major reason for using receiving logs is to ensure everything that was paid for arrived on time and in good condition, and that the amount and kind of incoming goods align with expectations.

Similarly, the receiving log can serve as a receipt or proof of a completed transaction between businesses. It can be used to help identify missing items or goods to be returned as the log will contain details of the products delivered. Missing items, in particular, may affect inventory management as they can cause a shortage in the inventory if not caught immediately. This could lead to wasted time and money as staff would become busy with making up for unexpected shortages.

A receiving log is also used to help with inventory management. Aside from missing items, a receiving log can also be used to track expiration dates, which is especially useful for food inventories.

In some cases, a business’ accounting department may also refer to the logs occasionally to ensure that paid items arrive, help compute past and future expenses, and examine if there should be changes made to their finances in order to accommodate their supplies. Receiving logs can also help in quality control as it can also document the conditions of the items received before they are stored in a warehouse. This way, damaged goods can be returned or disposed of easily, and additional purchases can be made if necessary.

Elements of a Receiving Log

A typical receiving log has the following elements:

  • the date and time the delivery was received;
  • who delivered the goods;
  • mode of transportation used;
  • the items received;
  • how many of each time was received;
  • proof of purchase or shipping;
  • the condition of the items received; and
  • the name of the person or people receiving the items.

For record-keeping, sometimes the head of the receiving staff may also be required to sign off the receiving log once it’s passed to them. There may also be other people required to sign, such as the person in charge of delivering the goods, so both parties are aware of the state of the items delivered.

In some cases, receiving logs can also be used as an incident report form. For this scenario, the log should include fields for the receiving staff to fill out for possible accidents that may have happened during transport or upon arrival, which can then be sent to the proper departments to be addressed.

Roselin Manawis
Article by
Roselin Manawis
Roselin Manawis is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. She has experience in news writing and content marketing across different fields of discipline. Her background in Communication Arts enables her to leverage multimedia and improve the quality of her work. She also contributed as a research assistant for an international study and as a co-author for two books in 2020. With her informative articles, she aims to ignite digital transformation in workplaces around the world.

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