Accounting for Charities in Ireland with Sage
The Charity Act 2009 will change many of the ground rules for charities. The Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) was established in October 2014. There will be more onerous bookkeeping requirements and a requirement for annual reviews of performance. At some time in the future the Charity SORP (FRS 102) is likely to be designated for use in Ireland by the Charity Regulator, but currently the SORP (Statement of Recommended Accounting Procedures) is recommended.
Sage 50 for Charities- Tracking Funds
Tracking funds can be a challenge for any business, charity or non-profit organisation. Funds by nature are different to a nominal code and cannot always be catered for by using the department functionality in an accounts package as you may already need to track transactions by department for departmental reports. Some funds may be restricted and require a report from the recipient on what exactly the fund was used for.
Charities and non for profit organisations may need to do more than just track funds – they may need to record donations or to hold details of donors and members. The good news is that Sage 50 can help to do all of the above by using a feature that is already contained within the software and incurs no extra charge.
The charities and non-profit feature is available in all levels of Sage 50 and can be turned on in the company preferences section. This feature is compliant with SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice). Once this feature is turned on it will appear under the financials module of the software. This feature contains as number of aspects and allows companies to pick and choose which they may need to use.
- Setting up SOFA (Statement of Financial Activities) categories. In this section you can set up the titles you want for your categories. You can then view a list of all your nominal codes and assign them to specific SOFA categories .
- Setting up and tracking funds. This section will allow you to set up each fund you receive. You can specify if the fund is restricted or unrestricted, enter the opening balance, assign a nominal code and also store the originators name and institution. Once funds have been set up you will notice that a ‘fund’ field appears on all of your transaction entry screens such as the invoice creation screens and the receipt and payment screens. This allows you to tag any transaction that you enter as being used by this fund. This in turn allows you to run a fund analysis report on each of your funds at any time.
- Departments You can still separately set up and use departments in Sage 50 to track either departmental costs or to track different charitable activities and can run a profit and loss by department.
- Entering members and donors When the charities and non-profit feature is turned on it adds additional fields to your customer records. This includes the ability to tick a box to say that this is a member, donor or customer. It also includes the ability to add a membership renewal date for members, to relate the donor to a fund and also to record that a gift aid declaration has been received.
- Recording Donations With the charities / non-profit feature enabled the bank module will not contain a ‘donations’ tab. This tab will allow you to record donations into the bank, record which donor it was received from and also to assign this donation to a fund that we have set up.
- Reporting In addition to the existing large library of reports in the Sage 50 suite, the charities / non-profit feature creates some extra and specific reports that can be run at any time. This includes the SOFA Report and a fund analysis report.