Companion Handbook to "QuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations"



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The Companion Handbook to Lisa London's signature book QuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations is delivered as an electronic 32 page, print-ready PDF document.

This handbook outlines Lisa's recommended steps to ensure solid internal accounting controls and provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up an accounting system for a church. The Companion Handbook is designed to be printed and filled out with your church’s specific information, appropriate lists, and information printed out from QuickBooks. 

The Companion Handbook is not a replacement for the QuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations, but rather an optional resource for anyone tasked with setting up Quickbooks for a church.

Prior Read Highly RecommendedQuickBooks® for Churches and Other Religious Organizations

 Table of Contents
I. Fundamentals: Fund Accounting, & Controls I-2
A. Will QuickBooks Work for My Church?I-2
B. Fund Accounting I-3
C. Reporting Differences I-4
D. Differences in Terminology I-5
E. The Case for Internal Accounting Controls I-6
F. Advice for the Governing Body of the Church I-7
G. Tips, Hints, and When to Let Someone Else Do It I-8

II. Acquainting Yourself with QuickBooks II-9
A. Layout of the Program II-9
B. Backing Up. The Most Crucial Part of this Process!!! II-12
C. Restoring the Data II-17

III. Setting up Your Church File III-20
A. Required Information III-20
B. Express Start III-20
C. Preferences III-23

IV. What is the Chart of Accounts ? IV-33
A. Designing the Chart of Accounts IV-33
B. Numbering Structure IV-33
C. Naming the Accounts IV-36
D. Chart of Accounts Menus IV-36
E. Adding New Accounts IV-36
F. Tracking Restricted Cash IV-41
G. Enter Chart of Accounts IV-42
H. Editing, Deleting, and Hiding Accounts IV-43
I. Beginning Balances IV-47

V. How do I Track My Grants & Programs? V-50
A. Classes vs. Jobs V-50
B. Recording the Beginning Balance Entry V-55

VI. How About Members & People I Owe Money To? VI-61
A. Setting up Members and Other Donors VI-61
B. Custom Fields VI-68
C. Job Entry-Specific Grants or Contracts VI-69
D. Other Member Information VI-70
E. Attaching Files to Your Member’s Account VI-72
F. Setting Up Vendors (The People You Pay) VI-74

VII. Inputting Members & Vendors from Files VII-78
A. Getting Members from Email Contacts VII-78
B. Spreadsheet Method VII-86

VIII. Items—Tracking the Transactions VIII-93
A. Types of Services VIII-93
B. Setting Up New Items VIII-94
C. Using Items to Allocate Expenses VIII-96
D. Tracking Volunteer Hours through Items VIII-96
E. Fixed Asset Item List VIII-96

IX. Money In—Recording Donations & Revenues IX-100
A. Accounting Controls for Receipts IX-100
B. Entering Donations IX-104
C. Entering Cash Receipts IX-109
D. Entering Donations from a Separate Donor Base IX-110
E. Pledges Made and Paid IX-112
F. Receipt of Restricted Funds IX-115
G. Miscellaneous Receipts IX-117
H. Pass-Through Collections IX-119
I. Undeposited Funds IX-121
J. Recurring Donations from Credit Cards IX-125

X. Money Out—How Do I Pay the Bills? X-127
A. Cash vs. Accrual Methods X-127
B. Internal Accounting Controls for Paying Bills X-128
C. Controls for Electronic Payments X-130
D. Entering Bills X-131
E. Copy/Paste Line Items X-133
F. Recurring Bills X-135
G. Editing and Deleting Invoices X-137
H. Bills Entry Main Menu X-138
I. Paying Bills X-138
J. Tracking Amounts Owed to Parent Organizations X-141
K. Online Banking Payments X-142
L. Write Checks X-143
M. Handwritten Checks X-145
N. Bank Drafts X-146
O. Entering Credit Card Receipts X-147
P. Credits Received from Vendors X-149
Q. Automatic Allocation of Expenses X-151

XI. Entering Payroll XI-154
A. Recording Payroll from a Payroll Service XI-154
B. Preparing Payroll In House XI-157

XII. Bank Reconciliations & Other Reconciling Issues XII-180
A. Internal Controls & Bank Reconciliations XII-180
B. Cash Transfers XII-180
C. Returned Checks XII-183
D. Voiding a Check XII-186
E. Reconciling the Bank Account XII-189
F. Reconciling Petty Cash XII-195
G. Other Reconciliations XII-196

XIII. Where Do We Stand? Designing Reports XIII-198
A. Types of Reports XIII-198
B. Navigating the Reports Center XIII-199
C. Defining the Parameters XIII-200
D. Most Useful Reports XIII-211
E. Exporting Reports to a Spreadsheet XIII-215
F. Other Miscellaneous Reports XIII-220

XIV. Am I Meeting My Targets? Budgeting XIV-222
A. The Budget Process XIV-222
B. Entering Your Budget XIV-224
C. Forecasts XIV-232
D. Cash Flow Projector XIV-234

XV. It’s Month End and/or Year End—What do I do? XV-235
A. Month & *Year-End Checklist XV-236
B. Reviewing your transactions XV-237
C. Allocate Fund Balances XV-241
D. Restricted versus Unrestricted Cash XV-242
E. Year-End Adjusting Entries XV-245
F. Board Reports XV-245
G. Year-End Closing XV-245
H. Year-End Donor Acknowledgments XV-247
I. Other Year-End Requirements XV-250

XVI. What About…??? XVI-259
A. How Do I Account For …? XVI-259
1. Mission Trips or Member-Specific Accounts XVI-259
2. Fundraisers XVI-263
3. In-Kind Donations XVI-264
4. Volunteer Hours XVI-266
5. Reserve Account on the Income Statement XVI-270
6. Inter-Fund Transfers XVI-274
B. How Do I …??? XVI-274
1. Set Up Multiple-Users and Passwords XVI-274
2. Send an Accountant Copy XVI-279
3. Record a Mortgage XVI-282
4. Send a Thank You from the Receipts Screen XVI-284
5. Merge Duplicated Donor or Vendor Accounts XVI-291
C. What About …..? XVI-291
1. Reports I Need for an Audit XVI-291
2. Tax Stuff XVI-293

XVII. Appendix XVII-294
A. Before You Start Checklist XVII-295
B. Proposed Chart of Accounts XVII-296
C. How to Upload a Chart of Accounts File XVII-304
D. Basic Item List XVII-308

About the Author


Lisa London, CPA, is a financial professional and accountant with more than two decades of accounting, business, and training experience. Lisa has the unique ability to distill complex accounting information to the heart of what the end user needs to know in a way that is easy to understand. From Auditor to CFO to church volunteer, Lisa is known as The Accountant Beside You to many churches, businesses, and organizations.