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Accounting for Gift Vouchers - Xero

Last updated 13/04/2021

Leading practices for accounting for gift vouchers in Xero.

Overview


Gift Voucher (or Gift Card) sales are treated differently to typical product sales. A Gift Voucher, when issued, should create a liability until the time at which it is redeemed.

As a result, there are a few small changes required in Cin7. In your Accounting Software, there will be a few processes that you should follow to make sure information passed from Cin7 is accounted for correctly. 

Accounting for Gift Vouchers Issued


Setup

In most jurisdictions, you should not collect GST or VAT upon issue of Gift Vouchers. In addition, revenue created when a gift voucher is sold must be entered to a liability account in your Accounting Software.

To make sure gift voucher sales are set up correctly, you first need to create an alternative GL Account that accomplished two things:

  • Removes any tax at time of sale.
  • Writes the sale to a liability account in your Accounting Software.

To set this up:

  1. While logged in as an Administrator, select your username in the top right corner and then select Settings.
  2. Under the Accounting menu, select  Alternative GL Accounts.
  3. Select Add New.
  4. Enter the following into the fields provided:
    Field Entry
    Name Gift Liability
    Account Number 1234 (i.e., the liability account in which the value should appear).
    Cogs Leave blank
    Tracking Categories Name Leave blank
    Tracking Categories Option Leave blank
    Xero Tax Types Codes The tax code for your region; typically:
    Australia: BASEXCLUDED
    NZ/US/UK/ROW: NONE
    See Xero's Tax Types Help article for additional information.
    Purchases or Sales Sales
    Tax Rate 0
  5. Select Insert.

Finally, now that the alternative GL Account has been created, you will need to apply this to the Gift Voucher product in the Products module.

To do this:

  1. Create a Gift Voucher Product, if you haven't done so already.
  2. Switch on the additional Accounting fields in the Product Settings, if you haven't done so already.
  3. Find the Gift Voucher product from the Products list and click on the product name.
  4. From the Accounting section, select the Alternative GL Account you have just created from the Sales Account drop-down.
  5. Select Save and Close.

Please note that you will have to sync the settings in the POS for the tax rate to appear correctly.

Accounting

When Registers are closed at the end of each day, a "batch" is created for each payment type. This batch is imported to your Accounting Software as a draft invoice. See Closing the Register Help article for additional information.

If a Gift Voucher is sold and paid for using, for example, "Card" payment type, the Card batch will be split into typically two line items: Total of product sales (which goes to the default revenue account) and the total of Gift Voucher sales (which is split off due to the Alternative GL Account into the assigned liability account).

This batch will be reconciled as usual against the related payment in your Bank feed.

Migrating to Cin7

If you are moving from another inventory software to Cin7, you will need to make sure you have accounted for all your existing vouchers correctly.

Ask your Cin7 Onboarding specialist, or Cin7 Support, to help import your existing gift vouchers into the system.

At the cutover date, you will run a report in your previous inventory system to show all gift vouchers unredeemed, and confirm this figure matches both the liability account in your Accounting Software, and the gift vouchers outstanding in Cin7. Leverage the information contained in the "Gift Vouchers And Store Credits By Expiry Date" Insights report to help with this.

If you have additional questions, your accountant will be able to advise you.

Accounting for Gift Vouchers Redeemed


Upon redemption of a Gift Voucher, POS users will select the payment type Gift Voucher. At the end of each day, this will create a batch file for all Gift Vouchers redeemed that day.

For example, assume you have set up an Alternative GL Account named "Gift Liability". When importing the batch, it will debit your Liability account and credit your sales revenue account automatically.

FAQs

I'm switching to Version 3 of the POS. How should I account for gift vouchers already issued?

The first thing to do will be to decide upon a date at which to switch over. You will need to create a Gift Voucher liability account; see above for more information. At the cutover date, you will run the Insights "Gift Vouchers And Store Credits By Expiry Date" report to show all gift vouchers unredeemed in the system. You will need to manually journal the value of these gift vouchers from your revenue account(s) to the liability account for gift vouchers.

For additional help, please contact your accountant.

How do I handle expired or unclaimed Gift Vouchers?

Because the rules about expired gift vouchers varies by jurisdiction, it is recommended to consult your accountant on how best to handle.