Summarizing Rebates Received

I am a big user of rebates. And I like tracking them and then transferring the amount to a a savings account, which I use for unnecessary, pleasure expenses. I have an income account labeled as "Rebate Cash". I successfully use this account for all cash rebates that I receive. But one business that I frequently patronize (Menards for those who might be familiar with it), offers a different type of rebate, in that it offers rebates that are only used for purchasing additional merchandise. They send rebate "checks" which can be used only to purchase merchandise, showing as a before tax credit on the receipt. So, when I record the receipt, I show this rebate as a credit to the "Rebate Cash" account. This, to me, seems reasonable. BUT when I print a report that shows Income, the rebates that are deposited directly to my checking account properly show as credit entries. HOWEVER, the rebates that are merchandise credits show as debits, hence distorting the balance of the "Rebate Cash", showing only the net balance, not the total of rebates that were received. I wish to transfer the true total of all rebates to my savings account. However, if I did, the balance of the "Rebate Cash" would not be correct.

What am I doing incorrectly and/or how do I remedy the situation? Thanks in dvance!

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21
    "I have an income account labeled as "Rebate Cash".
    I assume that what you have is a Category (Quicken-speak for what a real accountant would call an income or expense account) since no account (Quicken-speak for what a real accountant would call a balance sheet account) can be strictly associated only with income or expense.  That is, I assume that the check arrives you deposit into into checking with the offset being the "Rebate Cash" Category, and then move the cash from checking to savings.
    "BUT when I print a report .., the rebates that are merchandise credits show as debits (in a report)."
    Since you don't describe your accounting for the receipt of Menards rebate checks or your use of them it's unclear how you are seeing what you are seeing, but there's certainly a way to have the Menards rebates show up as income.
    Create a new asset Account called "Menards Rebates" or something similar.  When you receive a Menards rebate, let's say for $75, you make an entry into this Account as:
    Debit (increase) Menards Rebates Account $75
    Credit (increase) Rebate Cash Category       $75
    To record receipt of Menards rebate
    When you use a Menards rebate, let's say it's against a $225 purchase, the entry is
    Debit (increase) (Name of Category or Account associated with purchase)   $75
    Debit (increase) (Name of Category or Account associated with purchase)  $150
    Credit (decrease) Checking Account                                                                        $225
    To record purchase from Menards using rebate.
    The $75 rebate will now show as a credit in your report.
    As you use the rebates you might want to put a "c" or "R" in the Clr column of the asset Account to show the rebate has been used.  The balance in the Account will show the rebates received but not yet used.

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If I understand what you doing, I suggest you include the Rebate Cash account in the report and remember to enter an appropriate transaction from the Rebate Cash account when you use a rebate check.

    The approach we use is different.  For general cash rebates, we use a category instead of an account and, for business specific cash rebate, we use a business specific cash account which we draw against.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    First a nomenclature comment:
    gksmith5 said:
    I am a big user of rebates. And I like tracking them and then transferring the amount to a a savings account, which I use for unnecessary, pleasure expenses. I have an income account labeled as "Rebate Cash". I successfully use this account for all cash rebates that I receive. 
    ACCOUNTS are not income or expense.  I suspect you meant that you have an income CATEGORY labelled as "Rebate Cash" and certain transactions get an assignment to that category.  Perhaps an example would the a rebate on an appliance that showed up as a check in the mail 2 months after you bought the appliance.  The check gets deposited into your checking account and you assign the 'Rebate Cash' category to that deposit.  Sometime later, you transfer an accumulation of rebated dollars from your checking account to a "savings account' from which you later finance "unnecessary, pleasure expenses".   

    On to the real question -- 

    Caveat:  I do not track rebates, so these comments may reflect a lack of expertise. 
    I would be inclined to use a Savings Goal for the cash rebate tracking.  Savings goals are a way to set aside money in a real-world cash (checking/saving) account for special use.  Though commonly suggested for thinks like new cars or college savings, it would seem reasonable to me for this situation.  That assumes those cash rebates are deposited into your regular account.

    For the Menards rebates, I would lean to a separate account (cash or asset).  Each time you receive the "check" from Menards, enter that as a deposit in the account.  That is the income event.  When you use the check, it would be a deduction from the real price paid for the merchandise
    Bought $20 of widgets Category = household
    Less $5 transferred from "Menards Rebates" ACCOUNT (rebate check used)
    Net $15 charged to credit card or paid in cash or check

    Hope this helps  
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