Businesses that operate on a cash-only basis need to keep a cash receipts journal. A journal is divided into columns for: the date of each transaction; cash received for merchandise sales: sales discounts: and a running total of the cash received from each purchase. This keeps accurate business records. It also helps you track the performance of your business and supports your business tax returns. Maintaining a daily cash receipts journal over time will allow you to predict cash flow and see patterns in your business sales.

Things You Will Need
  • Accounting ledger

  • Computer accounting software or an on-line system

Step 1.

Decide to track all cash receipts using either a hard-bound accounting ledger or a computer ledger. Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax sell hard-bound ledgers. Purchase business software such as, Quicken, Quickbooks, Simple Accounting, Peachtree. Download for free or purchase online cash receipt journals. Pick the cash receipts journal that best fits the requirements of your business.

Step 2.

Enter the date of the cash purchase from the purchase receipt. Make sure the date and all information correspond with the written purchase receipt.

Step 3.

Enter the cash amount received from the customer.

Step 4.

Write in any sales discount you provided to the customer in the sales discount column.

Step 5.

Subtract the sales discount from the cash received. Write a zero with a line through it if there was no sales discount offered.

Step 6.

Add the total amount received for the transaction to the cash amount in the running total column. The running total column provides your business with a ongoing cumulative total of all cash receipts. Adding each new receipt to the the previous total of receipts gives you an accurate running total of the amount for all sales.


Businesses that do a large volume of cash receipts may want to number each receipt they receive and create a column to note that number along with the other information of the transaction. Provide your business with a storage system for each receipt received.


If you do not monitor your cash receipts journal daily, receipts can get lost and money totals may not be accurate. Periodically, check your journal with your bank statements.