USA Bookkeeping For Video Poker and Other Lottery cash

Jun 29, 2024
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United States
I work for a company that owns four restaurants that all have lottery. Two of them have lottery tickets such as Powerball and scratch-its and all four of them have Video poker. I'm still learning bookkeeping, and I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to track all the cash in and out. It also bleeds into the normal cash on hand accounts, so I guess I just need help with all the cash and year end reconciliation.

We have separate tills for the money we use to pay out lottery. We keep around $7000 in that till. Both video poker and Powerball/scratch are paid out of this till.

For Video poker, customers put money into the lottery machines. If they cash a ticket, they come get money from us. At the end of every day, all the money is pulled from the lottery machines, counted and checked against the reports for the day, and then added to the rest of the cash on hand in the safe. Then it is used to make change for the next days and to fill the ATM. Once a week we make a deposit to our lottery bank accounts and the lottery makes an ACH withdrawal for what we owe them. The money left over from the week is our commission.

Powerball and scratch-it purchases are added to the till and paid out as well.

The cash accounts and ATMs are set up as bank accounts in QB. Before I started this position, the lottery money was never tracked in QB, and the cash accounts were only used to track cash payouts such as tips paid out to employees for credit cards or trips to the store. This caused the cash accounts to be several hundreds of thousands of dollars in the negative, when in reality there's a lot of cash on hand at each location. Once I started, I started tracking the money in the cash on hand accounts. But the only lottery I've tracked is the money that goes in and out of the bank account. That means at the end of the year, there's usually a lot more commission that needs to be added to the books to track the lottery income. I have just been making a deposit to the cash on hand accounts, but that causes them to be out of balance in QB (more money on the books than we really have). I know the way I'm doing it isn't right. I know that I should have accounts in my COA for the money that goes in the machines or the till for lottery sold, that we pay customers from machines or lottery won, the cash on hand accounts, the ATM, the regular bank and then the Commisions. I just don't know what kind of accounts those should be (other than cash and banks). The money paid isn't really an expense, and all the money that comes in isn't really income...I know this probably sounds like I shouldn't be doing this job! But I am basically self taught and believe it or not, I have fixed a lot more than is broken right now. Any help is appreciated. And yes I have asked our accountants, they aren't much help honestly and they charge us for every question, even when their answer doesn't fix the issue. TIA!

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