ACCOUNTING practice question

Arthur Dyck arthur at
Sat May 19 16:10:07 EDT 2007

On Sat, 2007-05-19 at 11:31 -0800, Lewis Overton wrote:
> I'm the treasurer for a non-profit community band. We have now received our
> first grant specifically for purchase of music, so I need to set up a way to
> track the funds. Rather than blunder ahead blindly, I thought I would ask
> how others do it.
> We have one bank account for cash. The real money goes there. I want to use
> gnc2.0.4 to reconcile the bank account.
> The source is in accounts tracking kind of donor (individual, corporate,
> government, etc.).
> Contributions for music come in three classes: any kind, music for the jazz
> band, (potentially) music for the concert/park bands.
> I presume I need accounts for temp-restricted assets: jazz music, concert
> music, any music.
> UCOA v3 includes accounts:
> 3110    Use restricted net assets    Control accounts for program restricted
> grants    equity
> 3110    Use restricted net assets    Net assets - temporarily restricted for
> programs    equity
> 3110    Use restricted net assets    Temporarily restricted net assets -
> programs    equity
> 3110    Use restricted net assets    Use restricted net assets    equity
> Suggestions for how to structure this using GnuCash (which I really like)
> appreciated.
> Lewy

In my experience, it's hard with gc, especially if you have more than
one grant.  There are software programs out there which have a project
feature to which you can allocate income and expenses.  Then you create
an income account for each grant you receive, e.g. income:city grant,
income:state grant, create a project for that grant and allocate that
income to that project.  Then when you spend that money, you allocate
the expense to the same project.  Then you can create reports which will
show the project details.  I find this is easier and cleaner than
creating multiple accounts to handle each grant or project.  This,
however, may be more than you need and can be handled the way you are
suggesting.  But I'm usually juggling 5 - 6 grants and found that is the
way to go.

If you want to stick to linux, take a look at Ledger-smb or SQL-Ledger.
Both have project features.  If you're on Windows, Quickbooks and Simply
Accounting will do the job, for a price.


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