I’m going to be working on a feature in DONATION to export summary donation information from each bank deposit to a transaction in QuickBooks. I’d appreciate your thoughts on the ideas and questions below, because there are a lot of complicated issues about this, and I want to do it in a way that will work for at least a large majority of users who use QuickBooks.
I will need to add a maintenance/setup window for QuickBooks transfers, where the user selects the bank account to deposit to, and for each DONATION category, a matching QuickBooks category. Would users also need to optionally have a QuickBooks class attached to the DONATION category? (Classes are generally used for fund accounting, which admittedly QuickBooks doesn’t do very well.)
In order for DONATION to put a transaction into QuickBooks, it needs to login. I could prompt for and store the QuickBooks username and possibly password in DONATION, via the setup window. Or we could always have the user login via the QuickBooks login window, which it will bring up automatically if needed. Which is better?
How does DONATION decide which donations to include in a bank deposit transaction?
· When they choose to transfer the transaction, it could prompt for a range of donation dates to include. However, that might require users to enter cheques with the date they are to be deposited, rather than the date on the cheque. (I think some, but not all, DONATION users already do this.) If they didn’t do that, a cheque that had been mailed late might have a date in a date range that had already been transferred to QuickBooks, and so would be omitted if you were only doing a later date range.
· Do we (also) need an option to transfer “all since last transfer”, just like most online banking systems have an option to download “all since last download”? That would require that the program in some way mark donations as having already been transferred. It would probably also require providing a way for the user to see and change which transactions were marked as already transferred, since things could go wrong with this process and they would have to fix things.
· Might there be some donation categories that should never get transferred?
There seem to be several issues in relation to whether donations are included, based on the value the user entered into the Cheque # / Paid By field:
· “Gift in Kind” should never be included, because it’s not cash.
· Other values get into the bank a different way, like “Credit Card”, “Debit Card”, “Direct Debit”, “MasterCard”, “PAC”, “PAR” and “Visa”, so they shouldn’t be included.
· Most likely “Pre-Receipted” would get into the bank a different way, though that might vary. (How would we deal with that?)
· What about other values that the user just types into this field? Ones starting with numbers would be considered to be cheques, and thus included, but it’s not clear how to do the others.
· We might need a part of the QuickBooks transfer maintenance window referred to above to be a list of the possible values in the Paid By list, with a checkbox for each one to indicate whether it was to be included in bank deposits / QuickBooks transactions. The user would also have to be able to add custom values that they use, with an indication of whether they are to be included. (Example: online donation systems like CanadaHelps in Canada, that can automatically deposit the money to your bank account.)
· I have also been considered bowing to a few users’ requests and adding a separate maintenance window for Paid By values, that would allow the user to delete ones they never use, and add ones they want to use (and pick from the drop-down / auto-entry-as-you-type feature). This would have to have a couple of limitations, like never deleting or changing the name of “Non-Receiptable” or “Pre-Receipted”, because they have “magic” features in DONATION, of preventing those donations from being included in receipts. If they were delete or edited, that “magic” would stop working. Should a Paid By list maintenance window be added? If it was, the QuickBooks checkboxes would be on this same separate maintenance window.
Might there be parts of the actual bank deposit that the user wouldn’t normally bother entering into DONATION, because they aren’t really charitable donations and/or don’t need receipts? Is it reasonable to insist that the users enter those amounts into DONATION anyways? Or, before transferring the transaction to QuickBooks, do we show what will be transferred, and have an option to add further split lines to the QuickBooks transaction, to cover parts of the bank deposit not entered into DONATION? Or should I just say that a user should change the transaction in QuickBooks afterwards instead, if not everything was entered into DONATION?
It seems to me that there should also be a new report to go with this, which would be a printout of the transaction to be entered into QuickBooks, which could also be used as input for the hand-written bank deposit slip. People keep asking about the program printing bank deposit slips, but I have the impression that at least in Canada, banks require you to use their own printed format. So I don’t see how this could realistically be done. Printing bank deposits also would require another new feature to separate out the cash into counts of coins and bills.