Liabilities and Redemptions

Liabilities give you a way to sell store credit to customers that they can come back and redeem later. Learn how to set up liabilities in BackOffice, issue and redeem them at the register, and view reports on their usage.

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Table of Contents

What is a Liability?

  • Liabilities are redeemable inventory items, like deposits, gift cards, or gift certificates.
  • When you sell a liability, its revenue is kept separate from the rest of your sales.
  • The business is “on the hook for” liabilities until customers redeem them.
  • When a liability is redeemed, the sale amount is then counted as sales revenue.
  • Set Up a Liability Item

    Enable a liability tender and create an inventory item so you can start issuing liabilities at the register.

    1. In BackOffice, click 'Settings' and select 'Tenders'.
    2. Under 'Redeemable', check a box to enable one of the liability tenders.

      Visit our Tender Settings article to learn about the other tenders listed here.

    3. Click 'Items' and select 'Items List'.
    4. Click 'Add New'.
    5. Select 'Create' under 'Basic Item'.

      Items with variants cannot be liabilities.

    6. Fill in the item's details.

      Visit the complete Adding Items article to learn more about each field.

      Click to Enlarge
    7. Check the 'Liability' box and select a tender.
      Click to Enlarge
    8. Click 'Save' to save the item.
    9. (Optional) Add the item to the button layout.

    Issue a Liability

    Issuing a liability gives a customer credit which they can redeem in-store at a later point. Sell a liability item at the register to issue a liability to a customer.

    1. Add the liability item to a sale.
    2. If the liability is priced in store, enter its sales price and tap 'Done'.
    3. To complete the sale, select how the customer is paying.

      If using ShopKeep Gift Cards, swipe a card to load the balance.

    4. Finish the sale like normal.

    Redeem a Liability

    Liability redemptions work like any other payment tender for sales at the register.

    1. Ring up a sale like usual.
    2. To complete the sale, tap 'More...' and select a liability tender.

      If processing a deposit or gift card/certificate for less than the sale total, perform a split tender transaction.

      If using ShopKeep Gift Cards, swipe the gift card to redeem its balance.

    3. Finish the sale like normal.

    Don’t see your liability tender listed? Visit our Transaction Screen Troubleshooting guide for help.

    Liability Reporting

    Keep track of issued, redeemed, and still outstanding liabilities with the Gift Cards & Deposits report.

    If you are using ShopKeep Gift Cards, visit the ShopKeep Integrated Gift Cards article to learn about additional reports available through the gift card reporting portal.

    Run the Report

    From BackOffice, run the Gift Cards & Deposits report for an overview of liabilities issued and redeemed during a specific time period.

    1. Click 'Analytics' and select 'Gift Cards & Deposits'.
    2. To change the default view, click the Date icon and choose a preset or custom range, then press 'Retrieve'.
    3. Toggle between 'Redeemed' and 'Issued' to view liabilities redeemed or issued.
    4. Click the 'Show Tender(s)' dropdown to view deposits, gift cards, gift certificates, or all.
    5. (Optional) Click 'Export' to download a copy of the report.

    Read the Report

    Learn to read the Gift Cards & Deposits report to see how popular liabilities are at your business.

    Dashboard Tiles

    The tiles at the top give a broad overview of liability activity.

    Click to Enlarge
    New Liabilities | Total amount of liabilities sold over the selected date range.
    Redeemed Liabilities | Total amount of liabilities redeemed over the selected date range.
    Net Liabilities | The amount of outstanding liabilities the business still owes to customers.

    Redeemed View

    The default reporting view shows details on redeemed liabilities.

    Click to Enlarge
    Date | Date and time a liability was redeemed.
    Tender | Type of liability that was redeemed (gift card, gift certificate, or deposit).
    Total Amount | Amount of the liability that was redeemed.

    Issued View

    Switching to Issued highlights how customers are purchasing liabilities.

    Click to Enlarge
    Date | Date and time a liability was issued.
    Item | Name of the item that was sold to issue the liability.
    Quantity | How many of the liability item was sold.
    Linked Tender | Type of liability that was issued (gift card, gift certificate, deposit).
    Total Amount | Amount of the liability that was issued.

    Deposits

    Using all the above information about tenders and liabilities, let’s walk through some common deposit scenarios, so you can take full advantage of the deposit tender and liability. Use deposits if you require refundable or non-refundable pre-payments/down payments.

    Security Deposit

    Scenario 1

    In this example, we’ll look at keg deposits. Here, kegs of beer are sold for $75 and require a $25 deposit. The deposit is refundable upon return of the empty keg by the customer.

    1. In BackOffice, enable the 'Deposit' tender by checking the box in the Tender Settings.
    2. Create an item in the BackOffice Items List called "Keg Deposit".

      Sets the price to $25 or leave it as Priced In Store if you’d like the price to be an open-priced adjustable item at the register. Check the liability box and select the Deposit liability.

      Click to Enlarge
    3. 'Save' the item and hit 'Get Updates' on the register Control Panel.

      If you receive an error while getting updates, visit our troubleshooting guide for help.

    4. Ring up the keg and the keg deposit items as a new transaction.
      Click to Enlarge
    5. Close out the transaction by selecting a tender option (i.e. cash, credit, gift card).
    6. Once the customer returns with the empty keg, return the deposit to them.

      There are two ways to return the customer’s deposit in this scenario. Follow the steps for the one that best suits your needs.

      Deposit Return Option 1

      • Pull up the original transaction and initiate a return from the ‘History/Returns’ screen.
      • Tap the “Keg Deposit” item to select it for return.
      • Select a tender option (the original tender type will be highlighted in red) to return the amount of $25 back to the customer.

      Deposit Return Option 2

      • Initiate a manual return from the History/Returns screen.
      • Ring up “Keg Deposit” as the item to return.
      • Tender the payment back to the customer in cash.

      In both scenarios, Deposit liabilities are reduced by $25 and your customer receives their deposit back.

    Scenario 2

    In this scenario, we’ll look at what happens if the customer doesn’t meet the requirements of a deposit return (i.e. they don’t return the keg within 30 days or if it’s not in good condition upon return etc.).

    In this case, we’ll create and use a deposit item called “Keg Deposit Not Refunded”. This item will be used instead of “Keg Deposit” for tracking purposes and to make it clear that the original “Keg Deposit” item was not refunded and was converted to revenue instead.

    1. In BackOffice, create an item called “Keg Deposit Not Refunded” and set the sale price to $25.

      You can set the item to Priced In Store to keep it an open-priced adjustable deposit amount if you’d prefer. This is not a liability item, so do not check the liability box when creating the item.

    2. Complete a sale for the "Keg" and "Keg Deposit" items as shown above in Scenario 1.
    3. Once you've decided that the customer hasn't met the requirements for a deposit refund (i.e. they didn't return the keg or it was returned damaged), convert the outstanding liability into a sale.

      Follow these steps to convert the outstanding liability to a sale:

      • Create a new transaction and ring up the item “Keg Deposit Not Refunded”.
      • Tender the transaction using the “Deposit” liability tender type.

      Deposit liabilities are now reduced by $25 and sales revenue increases by $25. No money is collected at this point since you already received payment when the keg was originally purchased.

    Partial Deposit

    Scenario 1

    In this example, prepayment for a cake is required. A customer orders a $5,000 wedding cake and a $1,000 refundable deposit (down payment) is required prior to making the cake. The deposit is redeemable at the time of final payment when the customer returns on the pick-up date.

    1. In BackOffice, create a "Cake Deposit" Item and set the price to $1,000.

      Set the price to Priced In Store for an open-priced deposit in the event the deposit amount will vary depending on the final price.

    2. Check the liability box and select 'Deposit' as the liability tender.
    3. 'Save' the item and tap 'Get Updates' on the register Control Panel.

      If you receive an error while getting updates, visit our troubleshooting guide for help.

    4. At the register, ring up “Cake Deposit” in the amount of $1,000 to charge the deposit amount.

      There should only be one item on the transaction.

    5. Close the transaction by selecting a tender as payment.

      Deposit liabilities increase by $1,000 and no sales revenue has actually been collected at this time.

    6. Once the cake has been made and picked up by your customer, apply the down payment to the rest of the balance and close the transaction.
      • Ring up a new transaction with the item “Wedding Cake” for $5,000.
      • Because the customer has already paid the $1,000 deposit, use Split Tender to pay down $1,000 of the final amount using the Deposit tender option.
      • Tender the remaining balance of $4,000 using the customer’s payment option of choice (i.e. cash, credit, etc.).

      Liabilities of tender type “Deposit” are reduced by $1,000 and sales revenue increases by $5,000.

    Scenario 2

    In this case, your customer orders a $5,000 wedding cake and you require a $1,000 refundable deposit (down payment) prior to making the cake. Your business policy states that cakes canceled with less than 48 hours notice only receive 50% of the deposit back, otherwise the full deposit is redeemable at the time of final payment when the cake is picked up. Here, the customer cancels the order with less than 48 hours notice. To process a deposit that won’t be refunded, a new deposit item called “Cake Deposit Non-refundable” will need to be created. This item is created for reporting and tracking purposes so that it’s clear that the Cake Deposit wasn’t refunded and was converted to sales revenue instead.

    1. In BackOffice, create a Basic Item called “Cake Deposit Non-refundable”.

      Set the price to fixed or open-priced as necessary. This is not a liability item.

    2. At the register, ring up the "Cake Deposit" item when the order is placed, same as in the first scenario.
    3. Once the customer cancels the order with short notice, create a new transaction to convert the non-refundable portion of the deposit to sales revenue.
      • Creates a new transaction and rings up the item “Cake Deposit Non-refundable” for the amount of the deposit that is not going to be refunded to the customer, in this case 50% or $500.
      • Tenders the transaction using the “Deposit” liability tender option.

      Liabilities of the type “Deposit” are reduced by $500 and sales revenue increases by $500.

    4. Now, refund the remaining 50% of the deposit back to the customer.

      Choose from two return options below.

      Return Option 1

      • Pull up the original transaction and initiate a return from the History/Returns screen.
      • Choose the “Cake Deposit” stock item to return and (assume here that this is an open-priced item) set the price to the amount to be returned to the customer, in this case, 50% or $500.
      • Tender payment back to the customer (i.e. cash, credit, etc.) in the amount of $500.

      Return Option 2

      • Initiate a manual return.
      • Ring up “Cake Deposit” as the item to return, and (assuming this is an open-priced item) set the price to the amount to be returned to the customer, in this case, 50% or $500.
      • Tender the payment back to the customer in cash.

      In both scenarios, deposit liabilities are reduced by $500 and the customer receives their deposit back.


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