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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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7–42. Add Receipt Signature to Invoice

There may be cases where customers demand proof of their receipt of a delivery from the company before they will pay its invoice. Normally, this proof is generated internally by the customer through the use of a receiving log or the forwarding of bill of lading information to the accounting department. However, there are cases where there is a paperwork disconnect between the customer’s accounting and receiving functions, so that some company invoices are not paid for long periods of time, while the customer scrambles to find evidence of receipt.

This problem can be reduced by using either FedEx or United Parcel Service to make deliveries, since both organizations post receipt signatures on their Web sites. One can then copy the signature images out of the Web sites and paste them directly into an invoice, thereby providing proof of receipt to the customer on the invoice. If necessary, the billing staff can also add the delivery reference number used by either United Parcel Service or FedEx to the invoice. Either the customer or the company can then go straight to the Web sites of either package delivery company to obtain further evidence of the time and place of delivery of the package in question. This approach has the distinct advantage of consolidating both the billing and receiving information for a delivery on one piece of paper. The downside is that the invoice cannot be issued until the delivery has been received by the customer, ...

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