I’m almost finished with Groupon articles! I’ve got two more, then, I think we’re done. I’ve been writing these articles, because there is a lot of confusion surrounding the accounting for Groupon certificates and how to enter them in QuickBooks. The resources for learning about these areas are poor (and often contradictory), but that’s nothing compared with the confusing, and often downright incorrect, information that has been written about the tax implications of using Groupon! I hope these articles will help accountants, bookkeepers and restaurant owners set up their books and account for these transactions properly.
Today’s article explains how to account for a restaurant’s Groupon transactions in QuickBooks. Previous articles have covered the POS system set up for Groupon transactions, accounting for Groupon transactions (in general), and the very important tax implications of using Groupon in a restaurant.
Continue reading “QuickBooks Accounting for Groupon”
This is the second article in a series about Groupon coupons for restaurants. The first article covered accounting for Groupon transactions. This piece covers how to set up your Point of Sale (POS) system to record redemptions of coupons. Failing to do so properly could result in the restaurant being on the hook for a lot of sales tax, penalties and interest!
In the first article, we learned that HST applies to the “promotional value” of the Groupon coupon. In our example, the coupon was worth $100 of meals, and the customer purchased it for $50, which was paid directly to Groupon. The promotional value of the coupon is the $50, even though the restaurant does not receive this amount from Groupon. So, when the customer orders $100 worth of meals and drinks at a restaurant, she will have to pay tax on $50, but she will receive a credit for $100 (face value of the coupon).
Restaurants that use Groupon (or other similar programs) may need to update their POS systems to properly account for these transactions. Many POS systems can be easily modified by the user to make these changes, but some require programming by the developer (which can take time). Here are the changes you will need.
Continue reading “Groupon POS Implications”
While I’m not a fan of Groupon coupons, at least for restaurants, I felt compelled to write a few articles about it. Today’s piece covers accounting for Groupon coupons, because I’ve seen some really weird accounting recommendations and far-from-best-practices. As far as I know, none of the more unusual accounting has been suggested by real accountants!
Future articles will cover how to generate the proper entries in QuickBooks, how to set up your Point of Sale (POS) system to properly account for redemptions of Groupon certificates, and why you may be in for a huge shock when the tax man comes a knocking.
For what it’s worth, if you really, really think you need to use Groupon (or Living Social) coupons at your restaurant, at least get the accounting right. There are four types of entries that need to be made in your accounting system, which are:
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Today’s post asks, are all thefts equal? I’ve listed four common forms of theft in restaurants and bars. If the amount of theft is equal in each case, is the cost to the restaurateur the same? If you think each one has the same impact on the restaurant or bar, read on.
Continue reading “Are All Thefts Equal?”
Rest assured, today’s post is not about tax evasion. But, it does have a very important implications. If your food recipes use any alcohol, it’s important to account for it properly.
Your food cost of sales should include all of the costs that are incurred in preparing the food menu items. Sometimes, restaurants forget to include the costs of liquor, wine and beer that are used in food dishes. Food costs are understated and alcohol costs are overstated. No big deal to the bottom-line, but it does affect the margins for each category, which are considered in your decision-making.
But there is a far more important reason.
Continue reading “Cooking the Books”
On this blog, I mainly talk about controlling costs in restaurants. When we look at sales taxes that restaurants pay, we rarely consider them to be “costs”. Sales taxes are considered “trust” taxes. Restaurants, retailers and other businesses that charge sales taxes are really collecting them on behalf of the government. This means that sales taxes are not revenues and the remittance of sales taxes is not an expense.
So, it should be obvious that restaurants don’t have sales tax expenses. However, many restaurants do have sales tax expenses! I’m going to tell you how.
Continue reading “Do You Have a Sales Tax Expense?”