What is the return outward book and give its format?

This book records the goods returned to suppliers. It is also called a purchase return day/ outward book. Goods return affects the companies' total purchases or accounts payable.

Return outwards reduces business payables for suppliers and business expenses.

Journal entry

The journal entry for a return outward book is as follows −

Supplier's A/cDebit
To Return outwards A/cCredit

How it affects business

  • Reduces accounts payables. Both sale return and purchase return are reversed and purchase or sale is nullified. These deductions are shown in the trading account. To these entries a separate book called "purchase returns book" is maintained.

The return outward process is explained below with the help of a diagram −


The format for the return outward book is as follows −

DateName of customerDebit noteFolioAmount



Debit note is prepared when goods are overcharged or returned and sent to supplier (details of goods and reason for return) and supplier issues a credit note (on receipt of goods) and amount is reduced from business.

Credit notes are not the same for all businesses, they may vary. Basic information includes supplier names & customer name, date, goods details (includes goods description, quantity etc.).

Steps followed are as follows −

  • Purchase return.
  • Credit note received.
  • Recording journal (return outward).
  • In purchase ledger, Amount posted on debit side (suppliers).
  • In general ledger, amount posted on credit side (return outwards).