QuickBooks Online: Entering Donations and Matching with Bank

I think QuickBooks is a very solid accounting software for small to mid-sized organizations…which includes the vast majority of churches. Thanks to the wonderful ministry of TechSoup, it only costs $75/year for a qualifying charity. The biggest issue I have with QuickBooks is that it was built for businesses, not nonprofits.

Although you can rename Customers to Donors or Members, you will still have some translating to do…especially on the income side. All the income is under Sales. So you need to remember…Sales = Donations. Here’s some other translations to keep in mind:

Pledges = Invoices

If your church takes pledges or estimates of giving, QuickBooks will have a menu option that says Pledges but it’s really an Invoice. When you go to enter Pledges, you have to enter Invoices. One of the nice things is, you can customize the “Invoice.” On the bottom of the Invoice screen, there is a “Customize” button. When you click that, you can change the statement so it shows Pledge instead of Invoice. When people pay toward their pledge, you would record it there.

Non-Pledge Donation = Sales Receipt

If your church doesn’t do pledges or if someone gives to a special offering or another fund, this isn’t through Invoices/Pledges (receiving a payment). This is a Sales Receipt. I show this in detail in the video. One thing I tried about three years ago was just entering a Deposit and just entering the Donor Names there. This didn’t work. I couldn’t get QuickBooks to properly report on the donor giving when I tried this.

Fund = Product/Service

Most churches receive donations for things besides the General Fund. There are Building Funds and Flower Funds and many others. If you want these to show up broken out on the Donor’s Statement, you need to setup a Product/Service for each one.

For a lot of donations, QuickBooks Online can be a little slow and clunky. I wish you could enter them into a table instead of one screen at a time. You get used to it. I’m eventually going to look into integrations as many of my donors give electronically. What would it be like to just review donations instead of entering them?

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