Customer gifts as expenses

by Michelle

What is the best account to post customer gifts to?

Should it be considered marketing and promotion or a type of miscellaneous expense?

image of fancy scroll lines

Hi Michelle,

Relationship marketing develops long-term client/customer relationships.

I see it as a marketing expense if the gift is of nominal value and meant to say thank you to your important clients/customers... and the intent was not to influence sales. This generally means the value must be $100 or less ... preferably not cash.

Keep in mind a possible ethical controversy ...

The gift must not be seen to create an obligation. It must also be infrequent in nature and be something that you would feel comfortable receiving if it was offered from one of your vendors.

P.S. I would like to remind you there is a difference between information and advice. The general information provided in this post or on my site should not be construed as advice. You should not act or rely on this information without engaging professional advice specific to your situation prior to using this site content for any reason whatsoever.

Comments for Customer gifts as expenses

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 04, 2013
Customer Gifts as Expenses
by: Vickey

Hi Michelle,

I simply create an expense category in the Chart of Accounts for "Client Gifts", much like you would for Meals and Entertainment (or Business Meals and Entertainment).

It's actually a fairly straightforward category. Take this with a grain of American salt (I'm in California) but I often code client gifts well over $100, contingent on the job or industry.

Someone in the entertainment industry, for example, will easily spend thousands of dollars annually on legitimate client gifts and that money is totally deductible. However, a freelance jewelry maker would have a very tough time getting away with those same deductions.

I hope this gives you another perspective.

Best of luck!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask a Bookkeeping Question.


Back to top