The next article includes a transcript featuring Clay Clark, US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year, and Caleb Taylor on Thrive15.com, a premier Ohio business school, defining the need of receipts in your business.
Caleb: I get a receipt every time I go to the video store, Blockbuster, you know? Well, no, we're going to actually make sure ...
Clay: You still got ... You still go to Blockbuster.
Caleb: I don't appreciate the discrimination. All right. Just pull it together, man. The receipt is important and here's the definition of the receipt. Again, we're doing this in the 5-minute verse for you, okay?
This is fun. Accounting can be fun. This 5-minute verse is the definition of a receipt. It says, a receipt is a written record of a transaction. A buyer receives a receipt to show that he or she paid for an item. The seller keeps a copy of that receipt to show that he or she received payment for the item. Receipts are sometimes called sales slips.
Clay, in all seriousness, why are we even talking about this right now? Why is this important?
Clay: One, I enjoy it so much. The second reason is that in the world if you're my customer. Let's pretend that you're one of my first DJ customers and I have provided services for your corporate party.
Clay: You own a company and now I'm providing entertaining services for your company.
Caleb: Um-hmm. (affirmative)
Clay: After the party you would say, "Hey, I'd like a receipt." Why? Because you're going to pay taxes at the end of the year and you want to write off ....
Clay: ... you want to write off. You want to say, "I want to pay less taxes this year and I'm going to write off, I'm going to deduct the amount of money I spent on my holiday party on my entertainment, from my taxes. You can reduce the amount of taxes you owe by documenting where you spent your money as it relates to your company.
Clay: If you ask for a receipt and I don't have a receipt, one, it makes me look stupid as a service provider. Two, it makes it impossible for you to do your taxes.
Clay: That's what happens. What happened is both of those happened in my life.
Caleb: You were not providing receipts?
Clay: I did not provide receipts for two years.
Clay: I didn't do it.
Caleb: Were people asking for receipts?
Clay: I'm obstinate. I'm the kind of person who says, "I'm going to start a business and you might be too. I'm like, "I want to start a business. You can't stop me. I'm going to start a business. I'm going to go from poor to poor no more. I'm going to start a business. " They say, "Can you send me a receipt?" "No."
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Caleb: It's just not an option.
Clay: I don't have them. Stupid.
Caleb: Actions steps for me. If I don't do receipts, how do I go about making a receipt?
Clay: The big thing is the receipt. We have to go over what should be on the receipt.
Caleb: Okay, what should be on it?
Clay: On the receipt you want to have the date of purchase. Like whatever you bought.
Caleb: The date.
Clay: Two, you want to have the amount.
Clay: Just the actual amount before taxes. Three, you want to have the actual taxable amount added.
Clay: Four, you want to have the actual total when you add the taxes in the subtotal. Five, you want to have your phone number. Six, you want to have your address. Seven, you'd like to have your website. Eight, if you're lucky, you want to have a coupon or some kind of special.
What I would recommend you do is go to Walgreens right now. If you're watching this you're probably within 10 feet of a Walgreens or a CVS. They're on every corner. You might even be under or over a Walgreens right now.
Clay: The thing is you need to go to Walgreens and buy some gum and say, "Can I have a receipt." Take that receipt and you might go,"That's stupid." No, this is what I really have done. I've literally done this for companies. I take a picture of their receipt with my phone and I say, "This will be the receipt of the future." You think it's stupid? Yeah.
When you get married and you find yourself clipping coupons or you find yourself trying to save some money, you'll go, "Well, let's go to Walgreens because I have this coupon." You'll go back and become a repeat customer because there's a coupon on that receipt.
Caleb: Good. We had eight specific action items for you to implement right now that will help you create this receipt. It doesn't matter if you haven't been doing it. That's fine. You've got to start today.
Clay: We'll put these up on the screen so you can look at these eight, you can kind of marinate on it and kind or rotisserie on it.
Caleb: Let's just do it right now. Just everybody pause.
Clay: Just kind of look at it, those eight points. You want to get those eight points. You want to just marinate. You want to just kind of simmer.
Caleb: That's good. That's enough, not too much. I appreciate that. I mean, I think that this is very helpful. You made it fun, honestly. I think you've explained to me why I need to start providing a receipt and that's the important thing.
Clay: I'm glad that Viola College where you went to school ...
Caleb: Yeah, Viola.
Clay: ... has taught you how to pronounce the word, receipt.