QuickBooks is a popular and efficient accounting tool for all businesses, including nonprofit organizations. But you need to know how to work with it to get the maximum benefit. Here are 6 things to remember that will help you in day-to-day operations, as well as when you have reports to file like the Form 990.
- Use account numbers for categories – You don’t need an account number for every detail, but it’s helpful to set up for broad categories such as net assets, revenues, liabilities, expenses.
- Set up grants as jobs – There is a ‘job’ feature that will let you track revenue and expenses related to each specific grant. So, when you log funds received, or pay a bill from a designated grant, you can assign the job number to track it.
- Set up budgets for programs – If you have fundraising events that you want to track against a budget, set the budget in QuickBooks. You can estimate projected expenses and revenues when you set the budget, and review progress as the event timeline progresses.
- Set up classes to differentiate between expense functions –For reporting purposes, you need to track expenses by categories such as fundraising, programs, and general/management funds. Classes let you do that, and you can find it in QuickBooks as ‘use class tracking.’
- Consider the Premier Nonprofit version of QuickBooks – A few additional menu items in this version – donations, pledges, statements and sales orders make it very easy for nonprofit organizations to input and track transactions. (Sales orders can be used to take orders or reservations.)
- Mirror the Form 990 – In all of the above, look to the 990 as your guide to make things easy when it’s time to fill out the Form. Look at the revenue categories and expense categories in Part VIII of the Form 990 as your guide.
Salmon Sims Thomas has a QuickBooks expert who works with all sizes and types of companies to make sure that QuickBooks is set up correctly and providing all possible benefits. It’s worth your time to find out if there are things you can do to be more efficient. Email Hope Wenzel, CPA, manager, accounting and consulting services.