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Bookkeeping

What is Accrual Accounting?

During the Q&A of a recent webinar, a participant asked, “What is Accrual Accounting?”  It is one of the primary “best practices” for non-profit organizations, since it provides a more accurate assessment of an organization’s financial activity.  A longer explanation is available on pages 59-63 of A Church Finance Handbook, but here is a snapshot: There are… Read More »What is Accrual Accounting?

Year-end Contributions 2016

As the end of the year approaches, it is important to document contributions properly, so that donors may deduct the charitable contribution on their income tax return.  This involves dates, bookkeeping, and documentation. DATES  For the IRS, it is the date of the check and the date that the congregation receives the contribution that matters, even if… Read More »Year-end Contributions 2016

Financial Transparency in 1620

On August 17, 1620, the Mayflower and the Speedwell were anchored in Dartmouth, Devon, along the south coast of England.  They had twice turned back to repair major leaks, which used up valuable resources and exposed conflicts among them.  Robert Cushman (who served as the agent of the Leiden congregation) sent a letter back to London,… Read More »Financial Transparency in 1620

Tracking Time Off

With the new mandatory sick leave law in Massachusetts, employers have included vacation and sick time accrual and usage on employees’ paystubs.  How do you set this up in QuickBooks? First, look at your personnel policies and determine how the time off is accrued.  QuickBooks tracks only two types of time off: vacation and sick.… Read More »Tracking Time Off

UPMIFA — Life after Death?

Since 2006, UPMIFA (the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act) has guided the way that non-profit organizations use the investment income earned by their endowment funds, effectively giving new life to funds given by a donor in the past.  Each state has customized their own version of the law, and only Pennsylvania and Puerto… Read More »UPMIFA — Life after Death?

Treasurer Transition

This is the time of year when many congregations hold their annual meetings and elect new officers and leadership.  What are the elements of a smooth transition to a new financial leader of your congregation?  From bank signatures, usernames and logins to folders, computer files, personnel files and insurance, here is a list to guide you… Read More »Treasurer Transition

Year-end Contributions

As the end of the year approaches, it is important to document contributions properly, so that donors may deduct the charitable contribution on their income tax return.  This involves dates, bookkeeping, and documentation. DATES  For the IRS, it is the date of the check and the date that the congregation receives the contribution that matters, even if… Read More »Year-end Contributions

QuickBooks — Online or Desktop?

Which is the best bookkeeping system for a congregation?  Online or not?  While “cloud-based solution” has become a common phrase, it may be a solution to problems that congregations don’t actually have. When deciding on software for bookkeeping, there are a number of considerations: cost and access, but more importantly essential reporting features. COST  How often… Read More »QuickBooks — Online or Desktop?

Recording a Returned Check in QB

Occasionally, your bank will return a check that you have deposited, due to insufficient funds or another reason.  How do you record this “bounced” check in QuickBooks?  There are two procedures, depending on whether the income was “earned” or not. Earned income is received in exchange for goods or services — so payment for use… Read More »Recording a Returned Check in QB

Triple-entry Bookkeeping

The financial management of a congregation is simultaneously simple and complex. The day-to-day activity is usually straightforward — however there are always exceptions. Restricted funds, “pass-throughs”, pre-paid pledges, special missions offerings add complexity to the bookkeeping and reporting. Over the past twenty years, we have worked to develop a bookkeeping and reporting system that is… Read More »Triple-entry Bookkeeping