USA Chart of Accounts issues

Sep 18, 2019
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United States
Hi all!

I am not an accountant and I haven't stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in a while, so I need help! I am attempting to get Quickbooks Online setup for a non-profit that I am a member of. I will explain the situation of what we do and then ask for advice.

What we do:
We are a non-profit boosters that supports the fine arts programs (band, choir, drama, etc) at a high school. We have many fundraisers and donations, just like every boosters program. The issue that I am having is understanding how to store all of the information. The checking account and expenses are easy enough. The issue I am having is that each student has a "student account" that is technically nothing more than a collection of records from every time that they owe money (band fees, checked out candy, etc) or make money from fundraisers. I don't understand how to create those accounts.

What do I need help with:
I am having a lot of trouble understanding and deciding what those "student accounts" should be as far as accounting. I thought at first that they should just be sub-accounts of our checking account, but then I realized that we charge the kids fees that doesn't technically reflect in the physical bank account. For example, band fees are added to their accounts every season for $100. If I were to add a $100 debt to each account for band, it would reflect the main checking account by reducing the balance by $100 * number of kids. Then I thought maybe they should be accounts payable, since we are technically paying them to attend fundraisers, etc and soon realized that I cannot modify a payable account manually, that everything needs to show on the general ledger. As I have said, we are a non-profit, so I setup quickbooks as a non-profit and have made the "customers" to display as "donors". Should the student accounts be made as donor accounts? If that is the case, how do I track that money? As invoices? I am literally confused as could be. Sorry!

So, my question is, how do I setup these "student accounts"? What type of account should they be? Should they even be in the chart of accounts? I am losing my mind at this point and could seriously use some help. Thank you in advance for anyone that supports our organization and my lack of accounting skills!




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