Published 26th of March 2021

The goods received note is often a problem area for many businesses, with such things as human error/accuracy, difficulty in referencing against orders and invoices, storage and indexing.

Goods received notes play a major part in the accounts payable process by confirming that items have been received as expected, in accordance with the original order and that the items can then be invoiced by the supplier and paid for.

What is a good’s received note?

Goods Received Note (GRN) is a record of goods received from suppliers, and the record is shown as a proof that ordered products had been received. The record is used by the buyer for comparing the number of goods ordered to the ones delivered.

GRN is vital for various departments, primarily factory/store, procurement and finance/accounting departments. It is used for stock updates and the payment of goods obtained.

What is a delivery note?

A delivery note is a document that accompanies a shipment of goods and provides a list of the products and quality of the goods included in the delivery.

A delivery note can also be known as a ‘dispatch note’ or a ‘goods received note’. Although they are normally printed, delivery notes are commonly sent by email.

Why are GRN important?

Using a goods received note/delivery note helps a business get a better overview of their input and output, whilst also giving their customers a way to check they have received all of the products they have paid for. If anything is missing, the recipient can quickly respond and contact the sender, using the delivery note to inform both parties what is wrong with the delivery.

Common issues with GRN processing

The below common issues are mostly due to human error when processing a Goods Received & Delivery note:

  • Lost paperwork and difficulty referencing against the original purchase order.
  • Slow processing time.
  • Accurate matching goods received against multiple purchase order line items for various departments.
  • Effective and timely communication with suppliers about delivery issues.
  • Supplier management and supply chain issues, for example impact of repeat orders due to invoicing problems and payment approval.
  • Disputing damaged or faulty goods.
  • Impact on cost due to incorrect receipt of faulty orders, incorrect amount of items, duplicate order or wrong price.
  • Administrative effort required to answer enquiries from suppliers who are chasing payments or resolving queries.

Good Receipt Notes

The goods receipt note is an internal document produced after inspecting the delivery/goods received note. It’s used by stores, procurement and finance to raise any issues, update stock records and then match against the original purchase order and supplier invoice, to allow payment to be made.

As mentioned previously there are many issues with manually processing paperwork such as goods receipt and delivery notes. It can take a large amount of staff time in terms of data entry and distribution to various departments. Paper copies of notes can be mislaid, supplier payment delayed and stock control systems out of date.

Common issues with delivery note processing

Everyday delivery notes are received and signed for by a member of the team. This paperwork or electronic version arrives with goods for signature, to acknowledge goods receipt and in some instances can actually form a contract in accordance with the supplier’s terms and conditions. Delivery notes should be marked unchecked if the delivery has not been inspected or matched against the original purchase order. Any other delivery issues should also be noted.

Many issues can occur with deliveries, which need to be quickly rectified with the supplier and reflected in your payment to them. Your GRN acts as an internal proof of goods received to process and match against your suppliers’ invoices/purchase orders.

How we can support your business with GRNs

Shredall SDS group can help review and analyse your existing paper documents or electronic processes. We provide scanning and automated document management solutions to help reduce manual data entry and processing, saving time and money for your business. Our experts will minimise the risk of human error as we can ensure your GRN’s are scanned correctly and managed effectively. Once scanned, we can automatically extract key information from your paperwork so your team can search for certain keywords like dates, companies, price, product, order/purchase number etc.