Uplifter's main functionality that affects accounting is to help a club manage their revenues and receivables. Every club has different needs and every club will want to account for the details stored in Uplifter in very different ways. Some clubs may decide that they don't require a separate accounting package to manage their club while others wish to record a fair amount of detail in their accounting package, mirroring much of the information in Uplifter. If you decide that you would like to transfer some of your data from Uplifter into your accounting package, before entering any data into your accounting package, be sure to review the types of reports that Uplifter has available and consider how it is that your club runs before making these decisions.
Elements to consider:
- Do you allow for changes in registration once a program or a season is underway? If so, what are the volume of those changes and what are the effects financially? (ie, do you allow participants to withdraw from a program and provide a refund?)
- What type of detail do you want to record in your Accounting package? Do you want full invoice and member level details (meaning managing the details in both Uplifter and your accounting package together in tandem) or do you just require summarized details? If summarized details, summarized to what level?
- Do you offer installment payments? If so, do you want to manage the details of those installment payments in both Uplifter and your accounting package?
- Do you want to use accrual-basis or cash-basis accounting?
How do other clubs use Uplifter in conjunction with their accounting software?
Because many clubs that use Uplifter are seasonally based and run with primarily volunteers to operate, many clubs opt to allow the details of each individual invoice and payment to be stored in Uplifter and store summarized data in their accounting packages in relation to revenues and bank deposits. There are some clubs that don't mind completing the double entry of entering all of their invoice level detail that is stored in Uplifter and enter it into their accounting package. This method if far more work, but some clubs prefer the depth of the financial tools in their accounting software.
What Does Uplifter Store?
As Uplifter is not a GL, all the reports in Uplifter reports balances. Much like looking at the chart of accounts in your accounting software after you have made adjustments to invoices, the revenue reports that you see will reflect any changes you have made to your revenues once complete. Keep this in mind as you are transferring any revenue information from Uplifter into your accounting package.
Uplifter stores and keeps track of revenues and these elements are stored in each individual registration invoice line item. The season, category, category level and program that is captured at the time of adding the details to the invoice are recorded and stored and this is how the revenue is tracked. The Revenue Reports available in the "Reports" menu in Uplifter aggregate the data based on season, category level and SKU (either for the program or product/subscription) that is recorded at each individual invoice line. Uplifter allows you to report based on these summarized elements or on each individual invoice line detail. Uplifter timestamps the moment any given line item of a registration invoice is created. Determining when to export your data to be captured into an accounting package based on this date may work best.
Payments & Receivables:
Uplifter stores all payments that are associated with any given invoice. These payments may have already been completed (with a payment status of "paid"), overdue (with a payment status of "pending" and a transaction time in the past) or are upcoming installments (with a payment status of "pending" or "undeposited" and a transaction time in the future). Because Uplifter managed many of your online credit card payments for you automatically, these amounts are always in movement, especially if you are taking installment payments. Payments that are marked as "paid" will be similar to amounts that will appear in your bank accounts once they have settled (either by way of a bank deposit of a group of cheques or when a batch settles from your merchant account). Payments that are not marked as "paid" are not marked as paid are your receivables.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is imperative that when you are managing your invoices and making changes, all of your revenues match your payment amounts for each individual invoice - that is, each invoice should balance. This is a basic accounting principle, and not following this will never allow you properly capture your revenues and payments into your accounting packages accurately. You should be pulling an "Invoices - Unbalanced" report regularly to ensure that you keep on top of these discrepancies.
What are my options?
- Use cash-based accounting and store no categorization in your accounting software regarding the breakdown of your revenues. All your reports regarding revenues and how they are categorized can be pulled through your various reports in Uplifter. This option requires the least amount of work.
- Use accrual-based accounting and transfer summarized levels of revenue categorization into your accounting software. Granular transaction details can be found by directly referring to the details in Uplifter. This options requires additional work to keep revenues and receivables in balance as the season progresses.
- Use accrual-based accounting and transfer all revenue and payment details into your accounting software. It would be best to use third-party import tools to import these details on an ongoing basis and will require diligence on your end to ensure that any changes that are completed on an invoice that has already been recorded into Uplifter will be reflected in your accounting program.
But I'd like to do things differently, is that OK?
Absolutely! These articles are merely suggestions on how different clubs have chosen to tackle the same problem. Your accounting software or additional tools might work differently or perhaps your club is small enough that you don't need to use accounting software at all. It's important that you decide as a team what the best way to complete these tasks are. Don't forget to document your procedures to share with the rest of your team and don't be afraid to reach out to your accounting professionals so they can provide you with ideas on how to best approach managing the accounting for your club.