When a business supplies goods to a customer it will usually want some proof of the type and quantity of the goods that have been supplied. This will minimise the risk of subsequent disagreements between the customer and supplier over what goods have been delivered and accepted.
A delivery note is a document that records the type and quantity of goods that have been delivered to a customer. It is prepared by the supplier and should be signed for by the customer to provide evidence that the goods have been delivered and accepted.
When a business receives goods it will check that the goods shown on the delivery note agree to both the business’ Purchase Order (since it will want to ensure that it only receives goods that were ordered) and to actual goods received. Later, when the supplier sends its invoice, the business will check that the amount billed agrees to the goods that were ordered and supplied.
Delivery notes should include various pieces of information including:
- Details of both the supplier and customer
- A unique delivery reference number
- The purchase order reference that the delivery is fulfilling
- Dates of delivery
- Type and quantity of goods to be delivered (prices are not usually shown on a delivery note)
- Proof of receipt (details of who has accepted the goods together with their signature which should be dated)
- A space to record any relevant information about the condition of the goods accepted as well as details of any goods that have been rejected or were missing
Both the supplier and customer will keep their own copies of all delivery notes as evidence and in case there is a subsequent disagreement as to what was supplied/received.
Goods received notes
Goods received notes (or GRNs) are records of goods that have been received and accepted from suppliers. They are similar in nature to delivery notes but are prepared by the recipient or customer rather than the supplier of the goods.
Information from the GRNs can then be inputted into the business’ inventory records so that they can keep track of the types and quantities of stocks held.