How to record gift cards and gift certificates

Gift cards and gift certificates represent money that customers have paid to you in advance, in order to receive goods or services later. If your business offers gift cards or gift certificates, here's how to enter those sales and redemptions in Wave.

There are three parts to bookkeeping gift cards: setting up a new account on your Chart of Accounts, recording the money you receive, and recording the redemption when the gift card is used.

Setting up a new gift card or gift certificate account:

  1. Head to Accounting > Chart of Accounts > Add a new account (top right corner)
  2. In the Account Type dropdown, scroll down to Liabilities and Credit Cards, and select Customer Prepayments and Customer Credits.
  3. Enter a name in the Account Name field that makes sense for your business (probably something like "Gift Card Sales"). Then click Save.

Selling a gift card or gift certificate:

When you receive payment for a gift card, you can record it like this:

  1. Head to the Transactions page. Click Add income, or find the imported bank income transaction and select it to open the details pane.
  2. In the Category dropdown, select the "Gift Card Sales" account you created earlier.
  3. Click Save.

And you're done! You've now recorded the sale of a gift card in Wave.

When your customers cash in those gift cards, you can move the used amount to revenue, or apply it against an invoice.

To apply the gift card against an existing invoice:

  1. Head to the Invoices page. Find the invoice you want to apply the gift card to, and click Record a payment. In the popup, click Record a manual payment.
  2. In the Record a manual payment popup, select the date and enter the amount. In the Payment account dropdown, select the "Gift Card Sales" account.
  3. Click Save.


To apply the gift card as a new sale transaction:

  1. Head to the Transactions page, and click Add income.
  2. In the details pane, select the date and enter the amount. In the Account dropdown, select the "Gift Card Sales" account.
  3. Once the account is selected, go to the Category dropdown, and select the income account.
  4. Click Save.

And that's it! Your gift cards have been correctly recorded at every step.