Nonprofits Face Unique Bookkeeping Challenges. QuickBooks® and Fiscal Foundations can help…
It is always a pleasure and privilege to work with nonprofit organizations. We appreciate the contribution they make to our society and lives. Carrying out their missions requires an record-keeping system that is more complex than that of a for-profit company.
Some organizations use two software programs: one for tracking donors and their contributions, and another for financial reporting. For example, when we’ve been doing bookkeeping for churces, they often use church-specific software to maintain a database of members for mailings, track donations and pledges by member, and send statements of donations at year-end for tax reporting. There are a number of systems specially designed for nonprofits that cost thousands of dollars, and there are organizations large enough to use them; but, for every nonprofit of that size, there are thousands of small organizations that can’t afford and don’t really need such an expensive system.
Commonly, they use QuickBooks®, Peachtree®, or some other less expensive option. Because these programs are rather generic, customizing them to the needs of specific nonprofits requires a degree of expertise in set up and design. That expertise includes not only a mastery of the software and bookkeeping knowledge, but also an understanding of nonprofit management. When nonprofits lack a well-designed bookkeeping system, they often resort to tracking data on multiple and time-consuming spreadsheets.
The capabilities we want in a QuickBooks® data file for a nonprofit organization include:
- Tracking income and expense items by funder for easy reporting back to funders
- Distinguishing designated and undesignated funds
- Setting up a budget and tracking budget-to-actual income and expenses
- Grouping expenses by category—Administrative, Fund Raising, and Program Expenses
- Custom designing reports per Board needs and specifications
- Redesigning the Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement using nonprofit terminology (Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activities)
- Tracking department budgets (optional)
- Processing payroll and
- Complete and accurate records in preparation for annual audits by your organization’s CPA
If the file is well-designed, the need for spreadsheet analysis is minimized. The goal for the Executive Director and the Financial Director is to have the financial status and current data of the organization at their fingertips. A well-designed, up-to-date bookkeeping system and clearly defined procedures will free them to develop the organization and carry out their mission.
Fiscal Foundations currently works with a number of non profit clients, including several 501(c)(3) organizations. It doesn’t matter if your organization is big or small, new or established, Fiscal Foundations has the bookkeeping and nonprofit knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals.
For more information or to set up your free consultation, please call Jennifer at (651) 324-2273 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.