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Record gift certificates purchased from suppliers

Learn how to record and track gift certificates you purchase from suppliers in QuickBooks Online.

If you purchase or receive gift certificates from your suppliers, you can create a cash account to record them. And when you’re ready to use them, you can track the balance and redeem them in QuickBooks Online.

How to record a purchased gift certificate

Here’s how to create a cash account that you’ll use to record and track the balance of your gift certificates.

  1. Select + New.
  2. Choose Cheque or Expense depending on how you paid for the certificate.
  3. From the Payee ▼ dropdown, select the supplier you got the certificate from.
  4. From the Bank account (cheque) or Payment account (expense) ▼ dropdown, select the account used to purchase the gift certificate (current, credit card, petty cash, etc.).
  5. In the Category details section, select the Category ▼ dropdown to select the gift certificate account for this supplier. If you don’t have an account for the supplier yet, here's how to add one:
    1. Select Add New.
    2. Set the Account Type to Bank and detail type to Cash on hand.
    3. Give the account a name specific to the supplier and its status as a gift certificate account. Example: Joe's Hardware - Gift Card.
    4. Ignore the ▼ dropdown field that says When do you want to start tracking your finances from this account in QuickBooks?
    5. Select Save and Close.
  6. Enter the amount of the gift certificate
  7. Select 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.

How to use a gift certificate

Now that the gift certificate is entered in QuickBooks, you can use it to buy products or services from the same supplier you got it from.

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Expense.
  3. From the Payee ▼ dropdown, select the supplier you got the certificate from.
  4. From the Payment account ▼ dropdown, choose the gift certificate account for the supplier. You can see the current account balance on the right of the Payment account field.
  5. Record the remaining details of the purchase, then select Save.

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

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

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