Owning a vending machine can do more than provide quick refreshment to customers. It also can offer a source of income without a large investment of time or money. Whether your small business owns one or 100 vending machines, the Internal Revenue Service wants to know exactly how much money you’re taking in from each machine. Set up a business inventory and accounting system that keeps track of revenue and helps provide accurate information to the IRS.

Account for Cash Sales

Accounting for your cash sales is easier if you collect the money daily. If you own more than one machine, collect the cash from each one in a separate container. The money must be accurately counted and the total from each machine recorded in your accounting system. You will make a separate debit entry to the cash account and a separate credit entry to the sales account for each machine. Deposit the cash for each machine daily and keep the deposit slips for each bank deposit.

Account for Credit Sales

If your vending machines accept credit cards, you must account for those sales as well. Most credit card companies charge merchants a set percentage for accepting their card. Your accounting entry must reflect this charge. For example, suppose your customer made a $5 purchase using a credit card that charges a three percent transaction fee. Your entry to record the transaction is to debit cash for the net amount of $4.85, debit your credit card discount expense for $0.15 and credit sales for the entire $5 sale amount. Once the transaction is approved, your customer’s credit card company will deposit the net amount in your business account.

Cost of Inventory Sold

The cost of goods sold is what it cost you to purchase your inventory. You start the calculation with the beginning inventory figure, which is the inventory left over from the previous month. Next, calculate your net purchases by adding up the total cost of your purchases and subtracting any discounts you took or allowances you received from the seller. Add the beginning inventory and total purchases amount together to get the total goods available for sale amount. Calculate your ending inventory by adding up the cost of the remaining merchandise. Subtract your ending inventory from the goods available for sale to get your COGS.

Profit or Loss

To calculate how much money your vending machines are making or losing for your business, subtract the cost of goods sold figure from your sales figure to get your gross profit. Now subtract any operating expenses, such as lease payments or your travel expenses incurred from driving to your vending machine locations, from your gross profit. The final figure is your business’ net profit or loss.