I might be missing something obvious here, but where can i find the records/ receipts for transactions made using transfer() method in smart contract? Without using events or something explicit for this purpose.
Events and receipts are not saved part of the contract. However they are saved part of the blockchain. Once they are generated they become part of the blockchain forever.
If you don't specifically save something in the contract storage you have to use the events and receipts to get data about the transactions.
by knowing the address of a smart contract on the chain you can check it out on etherscan. Here's an example