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Record the purchase of gift certificates from vendors

If you purchase a gift certificate from a vendor, you can track its value by creating a cash account in QuickBooks Online. Here are the steps on how to record the purchase of a gift certificate.

To record the purchase of the certificate from the vendor:

  1. Select the Plus icon (+) at the top, then choose  or Expense (depending on how you paid for the certificate).
  2. Use the Choose a payee: drop-down arrow to select the vendor who issued the certificate.
  3. Select the account used to purchase the gift certificate (checking, credit card, petty cash, etc)
  4. In the Account details area below the form, select the Account drop-down arrow then select your gift certificate account for this vendor. If you do not yet have such an account for this vendor, add one by following these steps:
    1. Choose Add New from the Account drop-down arrow.
    2. Follow the account setup interview to add a new account of type Bank, sub-type Cash on Hand.
    3. Give the account a name specific to the vendor and its status as a gift certificate account (example name: "Joe's Hardware - Gift Card").
    4. Enter 0 Balance as of  (the balance is established when the expense is saved).
    5. Choose Save.
  5. Enter the amount of the gift certificate
  6. Choose Save

Note: This records the certificate with its initial value as the balance of the cash account. You can check the account balance in the Chart of Accounts or the Balance Sheet at any time to see the certificate's current balance.

When using the certificate to buy products/services from the vendor:

  1. Select the Plus icon (+) at the top, then choose Expense.
  2. Use the Payee drop-down arrow to select the vendor who issued the certificate.
  3. Choose the gift certificate account for this vendor. The current account balance will be shown to the right of the Cash Account field.
  4. Record the remaining details of the purchase and choose Save.

After using the gift certificate, you can keep the account for future certificates from the same vendor, or you can delete it.

To delete the account:

  1. Select the Gear Icon and choose Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select the gift certificate account once to highlight it.
  3. Choose the Drop Down Arrow to the right of the account and select Delete.
  4. Choose Yes to confirm the deletion.

Note: If the account has a non-zero balance when you delete it, QuickBooks creates an adjusting transaction to zero out the account.