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Spreadsheets and Google docs is where we are at now. However, we are a large pack with $18K in cash flow annually. (If you count popcorn sales.) I would like accounting software to reconcile what the bank has against what our records. I would also like to see reports on how much we spending on each program.
What's driving this is that I personally have three outstanding checks to the pack totaling $180. In my opinion, the numbers on the spreadsheets are now in question since I have not way of knowing if they include undeposited money. Also makes me wonder what else we are missing.
I am not an accountant, but I agree that something like QuickBooks greatly exceeds a cub scout pack requirements. You may be able to use it effectively but will your successor be able to do so?
I also agree that uncashed checks are a much larger problem that will not be solved by any computer program. That is downright disturbing. If your unit treasurer is unable or unwilling to timely make deposits and negotiate checks written to the pack then that person should hand off the duties to someone else, sooner rather than later.
Holding checks unnecessarily is an invitation to loss or destruction. How then do you figure out who paid what and who still owes what? Note that I am not accusing your treasurer of any evil intent. I just don't know how that person can properly do his or her job sitting on cash without taking it to the bank.(This message has been edited by eisely)
We have several accountants as our treasurers. They know Quickbooks but they already know Quickbooks. I have heard them say they can do it all in Excel. I have found Excel used more than Google Docs amongst the parents.
Our crew runs a relatively lean operation. (No sales/special accounts, etc ...)
But, I use Google spreadsheets with our treasurers (we have a youth and an adult) to account for trip expenses and who-paid-what-to-whom.
It works wounderfully wherever there's internet, but guess what? We don't have access to the www at our regular meeting place! That's why I haven't applied it to the checkbook itself.
Regardless, hu, you'll find the accountability issue won't disappear when you change software. I think it's time to find an assistant treasurer to help get deposits to the bank next day.
A few scouting accounting practices that have saved us.
- Incoming money ... Every deposit is recorded in a new Excel spread sheet listing check # (or cash), amount, purpose, scout credited and name on check if different family than the scout. The spreadsheet amount total matches the amount deposited. It has saved us many times when other records get screwed up.
- Outgoing money ... Our bank statements are saved and shared as PDF files and include images of unit checks that were cashed.
- We post our files in an online secure spot for sharing documents with other troop leaders. It has saved us when people change computers or computers crash.
Everything else can then be recreated or put in Excel, Quicken, QuickBooks or other.
I came from a family of accountants. My dad was a CFO of a large airline. He always said "Deposits payments as possible, delay payment, hold on to cash." I always think a treasurer should not hold on to a bunch of checks for weeks.
I think there are plenty of good Excel templates for this sort of thing.
We also always have 2 people doing the treasurer job, the main one and a back up. Always have (at least) 2 sets of eyes on your books.
Another Vote for Google Docs here. You can set up different levels of sharing, editing, privacy rights, and people can manage or review on their own schedule. Finally, you are not in a world of hurt when your Treasurer drops out of Scouting and it takes 9 months to get the records from him (BIG problem for my cub pack).
Then again, I am huge Cloud Computing proponent (sorry E61!).