Initial setup questions for a small non-profit membership startup (UK)
wm+gnc at tarrcity.demon.co.uk
Wed May 20 16:08:18 EDT 2015
Wed, 13 May 2015 08:23:20 <1431530600840-4678297.post at n4.nabble.com>
Cylindric <mark at hanfordonline.co.uk>
>Hi folks. I'm sort of starting out with this sort of company, which is
>non-profit membership organisation.
It either is or it isn't, the Charities Commission is your starting
point (I'm in the UK too) if you want to formalise it or tell folks
whether you're actually non-profit or not.
>I'm going to need to record basic stuff like bank, rent and bills and
>which is fine and I've done before, but I'm not sure how to handle the
>members and their subscriptions. From time to time we may also sell
>to our members.
You've had good advice in the two replies so far.
I'd like to re-enforce that the legal situation in the UK is not
consistent (Scotland is different to England and Wales, for e.g.) and
can be very different to that in some other countries like the USA where
it varies from state to state.
You should be careful what you invoice formally (i.e. make a demand for
payment) vs what you expect informally and what people have said they
will pay you. Think carefully about whether you want to account as
turnover the amount you expect or the amount you receive (it is very
different elsewhere, you should start with receipts only, promises are
for the future and un-enforceable).
The Charities Commission (if you are a small enough org) will allow you
to work on a cash basis. This is useful if you *do* *not* charge / send
invoices / demands for payment, etc. But you need to be squeaky clean
I was going to use Customers, but I can't see how to create
monthly-repeating transactions for Customers, so should I set them up as
Accounts Receivable accounts, and use normal recurring transactions?
I'm also getting a bit confused with the number of transactions I'm
creating, as I currently have, for example:
£25 invoice in *Assets:AR:PersonName* to *Income:MembershipFees*
£25 payment from *Assets:AR:PersonName* to *Assets:Current:Bank*
A person might pay for 6 months up front, but I'll only want to "take
their fee monthly.
How does that sound? I realise it's probably all a bit wonky :)
If someone pays 6 months up front you don't have a choice, you *must*
recognize it, it happened.
You could treat the 5 forward months as a liability but
a) I suggest you bank the money you've received
b) by creating a liability you're fucking with the Charities Commission
and they were trying to be nice to you by saying you could use cash
accounting because it was simpler.
Be careful, honest non-profit orgs are given many chances to prove their
worth, those opportunities should not be abused on a whim. Offered the
chance of recording things correctly in gnc as my accounting app and
figuring out who promised what in a spreadsheet I'd do the formal in gnc
and the informal (but legal!) in a spreadsheet.
The world of differences is wonderful, if you're in the UK, acknowledge
that, the regime in some USA states (which I think you were heading
towards) doesn't necessarily apply.
More information about the gnucash-user