Tracking/billing memberships in an Non-Profit Organization


A

Andrew

Just acquired my first copy of Quickbooks Pro 2009 - I am the treasurer of a
NPO that has a membership of about 200 - many pay annual dues, many are just
on our email list.

Can I use QB to track/invoice/view the membership easily? I currently use
Quicken, but keep track of the membership on a side Excel spreadsheet that
keeps track of when they paid, how much, expiration date, email address,
etc. I use Mail Merge in Word to produce customized letters to mail
indicating their expiration date when their annual dues are due.

Any ideas (with specifics) would be appreciated, or pointers to articles on
the web that might deal with this - I am sure that this has come up many
many times before.

Somehow I get (after playing for about an hour) that the members would
become 'customers', and annual dues might be 'jobs' that I define? Does
that sound right?
 
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L

Laura

Andrew said:
Just acquired my first copy of Quickbooks Pro 2009 - I am the treasurer of
a NPO that has a membership of about 200 - many pay annual dues, many are
just on our email list.

Can I use QB to track/invoice/view the membership easily? I currently use
Quicken, but keep track of the membership on a side Excel spreadsheet that
keeps track of when they paid, how much, expiration date, email address,
etc. I use Mail Merge in Word to produce customized letters to mail
indicating their expiration date when their annual dues are due.

Any ideas (with specifics) would be appreciated, or pointers to articles
on the web that might deal with this - I am sure that this has come up
many many times before.

Somehow I get (after playing for about an hour) that the members would
become 'customers', and annual dues might be 'jobs' that I define? Does
that sound right?
Yes, your members are "customers". Include all known info (e-mail, address,
etc) in their profile so that you can take advantage of the built in letter
writing features that QB has.

Use the categories in Quicken to create the P &L section of your Chart of
Accounts. Add your bank accounts and any other assets the NPO has to your
balance sheet.

Create an invoice for each member's annual dues that are owed. As they pay
their dues use the Receive Payment task to clear their invoice from A/R. Put
the payments into Undeposited Funds and then use the Banking>>Make deposits
to group the checks to line up with your actual bank deposits. This will
help simplify your bank recs tremendously.

If you need to track the year of dues then I would use Classes instead of
Jobs. Think of Jobs as a sub customer. A good example of job would be a
family is the customer with each child in the family setup as jobs.

If you need to distinquish members from mailing list only you could setup a
customer type and enter that info in the "additional info" tab.

I found a link to a NFP website that you might look at for more help:
NFPAccountingHelp.org

Hope this gives you some ideas to play with. I would also suggest that you
find a Pro advisor that can help you directly.
 
A

Andrew

Laura said:
...
Yes, your members are "customers". Include all known info (e-mail,
address, etc) in their profile so that you can take advantage of the
built in letter writing features that QB has.
...
Create an invoice for each member's annual dues that are owed. As
they pay their dues use the Receive Payment task to clear their
invoice from A/R. Put the payments into Undeposited Funds and then
use the Banking>>Make deposits to group the checks to line up with
your actual bank deposits. This will help simplify your bank recs
tremendously. ...
Thanks Laura for the quick reply - Is there an easy way within QB Pro to
simply set up the membership so that upon some expiration date (job end
date?) the invoice is automatically 'created' for the new year? The use of
'customers' to keep track of members seems somewhat of a kludge to me....I
think I saw some NPO add on product that might handle this in more of a
straightforward method?

I really have been quite happy using quicken and excel (since 2001) to
manage the club's books and membership list. I am giving QB a try since, as
you know from the Quicken forum, I got this copy of QB 'free'. If there's a
LOT of hassle trying to cram what I'm used to using in the past, then it
isn't worth it. To me, having the membership list integrated into the
accounting system is what was attractive to me, but I don't want to go to
contortions to do it.
 
L

Laura

Andrew said:
Thanks Laura for the quick reply - Is there an easy way within QB Pro to
simply set up the membership so that upon some expiration date (job end
date?) the invoice is automatically 'created' for the new year? The use
of 'customers' to keep track of members seems somewhat of a kludge to
me....I think I saw some NPO add on product that might handle this in more
of a straightforward method?
You can "memorize" a transaction such as an annual invoice for the dues.
With each member, enter the first invoice. Then select Edit>>memorize
Invoice. You can specify here how often you want the transaction to be
posted.

You might check this 3rd party tool:
http://www.bigredconsulting.com/aboutBatchInvoicer.htm to see if this might
help mechanize the invoice creation.

To get your customers into QB look under File>>utilities>>import>>excel
files. There are options here to copy/paste your customer information into a
excel template.
I really have been quite happy using quicken and excel (since 2001) to
manage the club's books and membership list. I am giving QB a try since,
as you know from the Quicken forum, I got this copy of QB 'free'. If
there's a LOT of hassle trying to cram what I'm used to using in the past,
then it isn't worth it. To me, having the membership list integrated into
the accounting system is what was attractive to me, but I don't want to go
to contortions to do it.
The initial setup might take some time but I think you'll find it nicer to
use than Quicken for tracking your NPO.
 
H

Haskel LaPort

Laura said:
You can "memorize" a transaction such as an annual invoice for the dues.
With each member, enter the first invoice. Then select Edit>>memorize
Invoice. You can specify here how often you want the transaction to be
posted.

You might check this 3rd party tool:
http://www.bigredconsulting.com/aboutBatchInvoicer.htm to see if this
might help mechanize the invoice creation.

To get your customers into QB look under File>>utilities>>import>>excel
files. There are options here to copy/paste your customer information into
a excel template.


The initial setup might take some time but I think you'll find it nicer to
use than Quicken for tracking your NPO.
Wow your being so sweet I'm getting a cavity reading this post. The OP will
use any excuse to stay with Quicken so why waste your time. Anyone who is
familiar with both products knows QB is far better suited for the task. I'm
only guessing, but I bet the OP does not get paid for handing the books and
next year someone else will take over the job. It just may not be worth his
time learning a new product.

If he didn't get QB for free we would not be having this thread.
 
A

Andrew

Haskel said:
Wow your being so sweet I'm getting a cavity reading this post. The
OP will use any excuse to stay with Quicken so why waste your time.
Anyone who is familiar with both products knows QB is far better
suited for the task. I'm only guessing, but I bet the OP does not
get paid for handing the books and next year someone else will take
over the job. It just may not be worth his time learning a new
product.
If he didn't get QB for free we would not be having this thread.
Gee Haskel,do I know you? I must, because I can't believe you'd possibly
know exactly what is going on in my mind to assume you know everything that
is motivating me in this. I know Laura from the Quicken forum, and wouldn't
waste her time (or this group's) if I didn't have a bonefide interest in the
subject.
Why would I possibly spent the time playing with QB on Christmas (of all
days) if I didn't intend to use it?

The club I am the treasurer of is a small NPO social/exercise club, and of
course I don't get paid for it. Everything I do for it (and I've been an
officer for 8 years in various capacities) is volunteer, and if I find a
module that handles members easier that what I see I might have to do with
QB it would be out of my own pocket.

I am honestly trying to give QB a fair shake here. Quicken has been fine
for our purposes - we only have a bank account of some $1500 (on a good day)
and if I write more than 4 checks a month, I'm busy. We get a "Bill" from
someone maybe twice a month - usually in the form of a receipt for someone
buying soda and cookies for our social time after a walk or bike ride.

Before you cast aspersions on honest posts, sit back, take a deep breath,
and reflect before hitting the send key.
 
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L

Laura

Andrew said:
Gee Haskel,do I know you? I must, because I can't believe you'd possibly
know exactly what is going on in my mind to assume you know everything
that is motivating me in this. I know Laura from the Quicken forum, and
wouldn't waste her time (or this group's) if I didn't have a bonefide
interest in the subject.
Why would I possibly spent the time playing with QB on Christmas (of all
days) if I didn't intend to use it?

The club I am the treasurer of is a small NPO social/exercise club, and of
course I don't get paid for it. Everything I do for it (and I've been an
officer for 8 years in various capacities) is volunteer, and if I find a
module that handles members easier that what I see I might have to do with
QB it would be out of my own pocket.

I am honestly trying to give QB a fair shake here. Quicken has been fine
for our purposes - we only have a bank account of some $1500 (on a good
day) and if I write more than 4 checks a month, I'm busy. We get a "Bill"
from someone maybe twice a month - usually in the form of a receipt for
someone buying soda and cookies for our social time after a walk or bike
ride.

Before you cast aspersions on honest posts, sit back, take a deep breath,
and reflect before hitting the send key.
Good comeback. I see you have met the group cynic. Don't pay too much
attention to him.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here.
 
A

Andrew

Laura said:
Good comeback. I see you have met the group cynic. Don't pay too much
attention to him.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here.
Well, 'cynic' is not the word that came to mind when I read his post, but
I'll leave it at that.

Just got back from Barnes and Nobles perusing two books for two hours on the
subject Laura! Probably will have to buy one of the two of them at some
point. Learned a little about 'items' that apparently I need to do. What
I think I'm planning is to take our books from the beginning of our fiscal
year 7/31/2008 and enter and learn transactions while continuing to track in
Quicken and Excel and see what happens. If I get 'stuck', I'll let you
know. After all, I don't ever want to be accused of doing anything "Bernie
Madoff" like.
 
H

Haskel LaPort

Andrew said:
Well, 'cynic' is not the word that came to mind when I read his post, but
I'll leave it at that.

Just got back from Barnes and Nobles perusing two books for two hours on
the subject Laura! Probably will have to buy one of the two of them at
some point. Learned a little about 'items' that apparently I need to do.
What I think I'm planning is to take our books from the beginning of our
fiscal year 7/31/2008 and enter and learn transactions while continuing to
track in Quicken and Excel and see what happens. If I get 'stuck', I'll
let you know. After all, I don't ever want to be accused of doing
anything "Bernie Madof
Ruffling through two books for hours and getting spiddle and god knows what
ever else on them plus not buying either one says alot. I can only hope you
paid for coffee or a piece of cake while you read for free.
 
H

Haskel LaPort

Andrew said:
Gee Haskel,do I know you? I must, because I can't believe you'd possibly
know exactly what is going on in my mind to assume you know everything
that is motivating me in this. I know Laura from the Quicken forum, and
wouldn't waste her time (or this group's) if I didn't have a bonefide
interest in the subject.
Why would I possibly spent the time playing with QB on Christmas (of all
days) if I didn't intend to use it?
Oh my, how little you know about Haskel. All I want for Chrismas is QB
2009.


The club I am the treasurer of is a small NPO social/exercise club, and of
course I don't get paid for it. Everything I do for it (and I've been an
officer for 8 years in various capacities) is volunteer, and if I find a
module that handles members easier that what I see I might have to do with
QB it would be out of my own pocket.




I am honestly trying to give QB a fair shake here. Quicken has been fine
for our purposes - we only have a bank account of some $1500 (on a good
day) and if I write more than 4 checks a month, I'm busy. We get a "Bill"
from someone maybe twice a month - usually in the form of a receipt for
someone buying soda and cookies for our social time after a walk or bike
ride.
There you go again, giving another good reason to stay with Quicken.


Before you cast aspersions on honest posts, sit back, take a deep breath,
and reflect before hitting the send key.

Not casting any aspersions but simply making an observation and commenting
on it.
 
A

Andrew

Haskel said:
There you go again, giving another good reason to stay with Quicken.
But you see, I do want to use QB. What you also don't know about me is that
I treat the use of financial software (and the industry infrastructure in
general as a hobby) and moving out to QB (as long as I can still do my job
as Treasurer without screwing things up) is my idea of "fun"! (Sad, yes, I
know.)

So do bear with me Mr. LaPort while I figure all this out. Peace.
 
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M

Michael Arm

Good comeback. I see you have met the group cynic. Don't pay too much
attention to him.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here.
You were sure a lot more polite than I would have been on your
response. Actually, your questions are right up my alley. I am the
treasurer (unpaid) of a low vision Not-for-Profit group as well and
have been trying to convert from spreadsheets and quicken P&B.

Your questions are quite timely and thank you Laura for your answers.
Mike
 

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