Hello DONATION advisors.
I’m going to be working on a feature in DONATION to export summary donation information from each bank deposit to a transaction, for import either into my new ACCOUNTS fund accounting program that I am developing, or into QuickBooks. I wrote to the DONATION advisors in early 2009 for advice on this, and got the answer that it’s not worth doing such an integration, because it’s so easy to enter summary bank deposit information into QuickBooks without any integration.
However, it is clear to me that I must do this for ACCOUNTS, so that there is at least a small integration between the two programs. And if I’m doing it for ACCOUNTS, I might as well do it for QuickBooks (the most commonly used accounting program in my survey earlier this year) as well.
So, I’d very much 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 ACCOUNTS or QuickBooks.
I will need to add a maintenance/setup window for ACCOUNTS or QuickBooks transfers, where the user enters the name of the bank account to deposit to, and for each DONATION category, a matching accounting program category. (For QuickBooks, that might be a sub-category.) I think QuickBooks users would also need to optionally have a QuickBooks class or tag attached to the DONATION category. (Classes/tags are generally used for fund accounting, which admittedly QuickBooks doesn’t do very well, and which will be completely unecessary in ACCOUNTS.)
The really hard question is, 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.
- And/or, do we 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. (And on first use, all prior transactions would have to be marked as already having been transferred!)
- And/or, do we need an option to hand-select the donations that should be included in the current bank deposit?
- Might there be some donation categories that should never get transferred?
There also 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”, “PayPal” 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 checkboxes added to the Maintenance -> Donation Paid By Values window, to indicate whether each value was to be included in bank deposits / ACCOUNTS/QuickBooks transactions.
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 could require another new feature to separate out the cash into counts of coins and bills (or that could be omitted for now).
Answers to any or all of the questions stated or implied above, about how this should work, would be most welcome! Thank you.