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How to Setup & Sell a Gift Certificate


Some properties sell and redeem their own Gift Certificates. It is a "Best Practice" to use the City Ledger to track Gift Certificates, as it will provide information on how many were sold, and for how much. At a glance, it is easy to see how much revenue is tied up in purchased Gift Certificates, and how much revenue has yet to be redeemed.

Click below for more information:

How to Setup Transaction Codes and GL Accounts for Gift Certificates

The first step to using Gift Certificates within the PMS is to create a General Ledger Account that will be used for Gift Certificates.

  1. Go to System Configuration > Transaction Codes > GL Accounts tab
  2. Click Add to create a new GL Account
  3. Enter the information as show below
  4. Click Ok to save

NOTE: A General Ledger Account & Transaction Code only need to be setup once.

Transaction Codes and GL Accounts

Next, proceed to the Codes tab, and select Payment Transaction Codes from the drop-down menu to the right.

Select the Add button to the top right to create a new Transaction Code. Fill in the General Tab information exactly as below (you may use a different code if you wish). Click Ok when done.

A message will appear notifying you that you must set up your GL Accounts for this Transaction Code before proceeding. Select Ok to continue.

Next, proceed to the Accounts tab where you will setup the appropriate General Ledger Accounts for this Transaction Code.

Select the Insert button to the bottom right to input the GL Accounts.

  1. The Date From will automatically populate with today’s date, leave the Date To blank
  2. Click in the empty box under Debit and use the drop down menu to select the Gift Certificates GL Account. Once it is selected in the Debit field, it will automatically populate in the CL Debit field as well. It should appear EXACTLY as in the image below
  3. Select OK to save

Now return to the General Tab and make your Transaction Code active by hitting on Modify button to the right.

Place a check-mark in the Active box. Select OK to save.

The Gift Certificate GL Account and Payment Code have now been set up, and are ready to use.

How to Sell a Gift Certificate

A Gift Certificate City Ledger Account should be created, and used to help track Gift Certificates. Open the City Ledger (Operations > City Ledger) and locate the Gift Certificate Account, or create one if none exists. (For more information on creating a City Ledger Account, please see the article How to Create a City Account in the City Ledger module).

NOTE: If the Gift Certificate Account has a $0.00 balance, you will need to check the Show Zero Balance Accounts check-box at the bottom of the screen in order to view the City Ledger Account.

Selling a Gift Certificate

Click the View Details button (or double click on the Gift Certificate account) to open the City Ledger Account Master screen.

Go to the Invoices tab and select the New Invoice button in the top right hand corner of the screen.

NOTE: As a best practice, each Gift Certificate sold should have its own invoice.

Double click on the invoice that was just created (the name of the invoice will say Gift Certificates) to open the Details of Invoice screen. (Alternately, the Invoice Details button can also be used.)

Select the Change Invoice Name button

Input the name of the guest purchasing the Gift Certificate (you may also add the Gift Certificate Number if you wish, or this information could be added into the “Notes” tab). Click Save.

Now select the Pay Invoice button at the bottom of the screen to post the payment for the Gift Certificate.

Enter in the payment information. In the Reference Area, note the Gift Certificate Number. Enter the amount of the Gift Certificate as the Payment Amount. Click OK to post.

Choose the option Post full payment of $200.00 to Invoice #XXXX, then click OK to continue with the posting.

The balance of the Invoice will now reflect the amount of the Gift Certificate sold.

How to Check-In a Guest with a Gift Certificate

In this example Andrea Jones arrives at the hotel to check-in and she gives you the gift certificate GC12345 with a credit of $200.00 to go towards her stay. After completing the check-in process, continue with the next steps.

How to Check-In a Guest with a Gift Certificate

Step 1:

First it may be necessary to verify if the Gift Certificate is still valid, and if so, close it out on the City Ledger. Go to Operations > City Ledger and open the Gift Certificate City Ledger Account.

Step 1:

Go to the Invoices tab of the City Ledger Account Master. In this example, you can see that the GC12345 is indeed for $200.00 and is still valid (a GC is still valid if there is a negative balance under the Balance column, indicating a payment credit).

Ensure the black arrow is pointing towards the correct Invoice and select the Pay Invoice button below.

A message will appear asking if you would like to pay multiple invoices, select No.

The payment screen will appear, fill in the following information:

  • Transaction Code – select the Gift Certificate payment transaction code
  • Reference – enter the Gift Certificate number that is being redeemed
  • Payment Amount – enter the amount of the Gift Certificate as a NEGATIVE number (ie: - 200.00)

Click OK

The invoice will now have a $0.00 balance so you must check the Show Zero Balance Invoices check-box in the top left hand corner of the screen to view the Invoice as a $0.00 balance.

As a double check, double click on the Invoice and proceed to the Payments tab. You should see the original payment for the Gift Certificate along with the Gift Certificate payment you just posted.

Step 2:

Exit the City Ledger and return to the Guest Folio. Select the Post Payment button and post the payment amount of the Gift Certificate to the guest folio.

  • Pmt Code – select your Gift Certificate payment transaction code
  • Reference – input the Gift Certificate number being used
  • Amount – enter the amount of the Gift Certificate being redeemed
  • Select OK/Exit to post the payment
Step 2:

The credit for the Gift Certificate has now been successfully moved off of the City Ledger, and on to the Guest Folio.

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