How to Set Up Your Accounting Software

Each nonprofit organization is unique, so each QuickBooks file needs to be developed to meet the needs of each individual organization.  When first creating the QuickBooks file or cleaning up its current structure, it’s vital to understand its purpose and place in the organization as well as to identify the needs of the stakeholders in the organization so that you can take advantage of the full potential of QuickBooks.
QuickBooks is a reflection of the entire organization, so it is important to hold a meeting with each part of the organization to review their goals and ensure the reports necessary and most useful to each segment of the organization can be created from the accounting software.  Gather together the treasurer, the program managers, the accounting staff, the development director, the executive director, the auditor (if feasible), and other stakeholders who use or need financial information for their role within the organization.
During the meeting, you’ll be able to identify how the data entered into QuickBooks needs to be grouped and presented to provide valuable information to all users of the data. Evaluate the nonprofit’s mission, its programs, its main sources of revenue, the reports used internally, the reports required externally, the current chart of accounts, the current budget, how accounts receivables are processed, how accounts payable is processed, how each aspect can be improved, and the ideal situation for each part of the organization.
By understanding and communicating the necessary reporting, the accounting staff, treasurer, and/or auditor can create the design, structure, and set-up of the QuickBooks file that best fits the organization as a whole.

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