Deposit accounting method for small non-profit
June 11, 2013 10:55 AM   Subscribe

As a small non-profit how should we be making and accounting for bank deposits?

I work for a small non-profit. There's really only 2 of us regularly, but for one month a year we have a large event where we take in about $300k that is our bankroll for the year. During the preceding months and the following month, there are lots of deposits to be made to the bank. The current system is to take a deposit slip for each set of checks that are for one category of income from the event, which might only be 1-20 checks, write the category on the deposit slip and deposit, repeat for each category. There are about 10 categories, so we blow through a ton of deposit slips.

After the event we reconcile using the deposit slips for actual cash vs registration forms and spreadsheets.

We dont have any real accounting software that's used on a regular basis (the accountant who comes in maybe once a month or every two months uses quickbooks). I've worked in a finance dept of a large corporation, but I was more on the IT side rather than the accounting side, but am familiar with some accounting.

This all feels very inefficient to me (writing tons of deposit slips). How can we be doing this better?
posted by Raddu to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
IANPA, I am not your non-profit accountant. I think there's a few different ways you could attack this. Are you making check copies currently? It seems like it probably wouldn't be that much work to make a spreadsheet detailing which categories the checks are connected to and attaching some sort of check copies to go with the spreadsheet for each daily deposit. If you had remote deposit, you could easily do this same thing, but I'm not sure if that would be cost effective for you. Ultimately, you do need to keep a log of all your contributions and it sounds like your deposit slips are doing at least part of that. Aside from all the writing, it doesn't sound like your system is terribly inefficient, my questions for you would be more along the lines of how you are doing donor tracking, and if that could be tied together better to make this process flow better and with less actual deposit slip writing.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 11:12 AM on June 11, 2013


I've done the same thing for non-profits and I can't see another way of doing this if you primarily get your donations by check. It seems cumbersome but you need to have a record of each check. I've done work for non-profits where they made copies of each deposit (each check) to make sure they had adequate back up for receipts/thank yous.
posted by readery at 11:28 AM on June 11, 2013


Currently I take a picture of the deposit slip and each corresponding check with my phone and I have an app that converts them into 1 PDF document, which I save to dropbox, so we have adequate backup.

I feel like we should just be including as many checks/cash on one deposit slip as possible and accounting for the money in some other fashion other than by deposit slip.
posted by Raddu at 11:49 AM on June 11, 2013


Quickbooks can track all of that and it is not a hard program to learn.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:02 PM on June 11, 2013


I do the books for 2 non-profits as well as all the financial stuff for my own business. I don't know how different your reporting requirements are in the US - I've never known of anyone photographing cheques here in AU - but hopefully this is still helpful.

As Nimmie Amee says, this could be done as simply as by just listing the cheque details in a spreadsheet and having a column for the category. You can then sum that in various ways depending on sort or selection. Or, if you only have a few categories, you could have a separate column for each and put the cheque amount in the appropriate column. The sums of each column could then feed directly into your profit/loss statement. Spreadsheets are pretty powerful.

Or you could use simple accounting software like Quickbooks. You don't need much by the sounds of things.
posted by mewsic at 4:36 PM on December 31, 2013


Oops. Just realised this is months old...
posted by mewsic at 4:38 PM on December 31, 2013


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