TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

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TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby Fred Johnson » Tue May 17, 2011 2:22 pm

Can anyone provide insight on why to use TroopLedger vs QuickBooks. We are in the process of recovering from an over-scheduled treasurer and we need to re-create troop records. Since we are almost starting from scratch, I'd like recommendations on whether to use TroopLedger or QuickBooks. TroopLedger may be specialized for scouts, but it's dated. QuickBooks is state of the art, but "might" lack features needed to manage troop finances.

Any guidance would be great!
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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby smtroop168 » Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 pm

We use Microrsoft Money.
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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby kwildman » Wed May 18, 2011 1:19 pm

we use quick books. FYI - microsoft money is no longer developed or supported by microsoft so i wouldnt consider that a viable option going foward with a new system. I am not aware of troopledger. the other option to consider is gnucash which is a free/open source program that has the same look and feel as quickbooks.
No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way. - Lord Baden-Powell
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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby JH-SM-T03 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:01 am

Good ol EXCEL spreadsheet.

Develope one that works for your unit. THis is not rocket science.
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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby Fred Johnson » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:11 pm

Ya know... I was thinking we needed something more ... double entry accounting, GAAP and such. Probably the result of too many college operations mgmt and business courses 20+ years ago. (Loved my college accounting course. Must be the engineer in me.)

- I tried to get started with TroopLedger. Worked for a day or two with it. It's quirky, dated and was just a little too difficult to use.

- I tried QuickBooks. I'm not a professional accountant and realized it needs more expertise and commitment than I had. Chart of accounts. Which accounts go up or down with credits/debits. Plus, I was concerned about handing it off to a non-accountant volunteer later.

- I had already started producing "event summaries" in Excel. Who, when, where, what, ROSES, THORNS, BUDs on a single page for review at the troop committee meetings.

- I had already started documenting in Excel each bank deposit in detail. check #/cash. Amount. Scout to credit. Name on check (if not scout family). Purpose of money. This was a big problem before as we did not document deposits. Previously data was entered directly into TroopLedger and then deposited. When the treasurer re-closed the previous year (after making a fix), it re-formatted and destroyed all our deposit data for nine months of the next calendar year. We had very little documented elsewhere to use for recovery. Also, I think some deposits were combined or other money was dropped into the deposit without being posted to TroopLedger. Argh.

...
...
...

So the FINAL RESULT is

- Made slight changes to the "event summary".
--- Listed and summed the scouts and adults attending.
--- Listed and summed how much was charged each scout adult
--- Listed and summed event expenses
--- Calculated a profit / loss on each event
--- Calculated a cost per person for the event
--- (might add) a calculated cost of food per person for the events


- Every deposit is documented in Excel.
--- check #/cash. Amount. Scout to credit. Name on check (if not scout family). Purpose of money.
--- I use the same format for every deposit so that I can easily cut/paste them together. That allows me to sort accross deposits.


- Use QUICKEN (not QuickBooks) to report by merging #1 event summaries (How much to charge each scout) and #2 deposit records.
--- each scout is an "account"
--- each event is a "cagetory"
--- I can report with subtotal by category to see if charges match event summaries and if credits match the deposit record.
--- I can report with subtotal by scout to handout scout account balances and history.
--- Depending on the adult, I sometimes bill/credit the adult under the scouts name. Sometimes I create a separate adult account for them. It depends on the family, the scout and the parent leadership involvement (taxes, seeing them weekly).

...
...
...

It's not perfect, but it's easy. The part I like the best is that it divides and conquers. Instead of requiring the whole accouting process to be perfected, progress is made by completing individual event summaries and deposit records. The scout account reports are just re-typed summaries of the official data.

Personally, even if I adopted QuickBooks or TroopLedger, I'd still want to document every event/deposit in an Excel file. Depending on only clean usage of QuickBooks and/or TroopLedger is how we got into our current mess. It left us with no way to re-create our financial records.
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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby ismellbacon » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:02 pm

I took over Troop Treasurer becuase the last person was just spread too thin with other activities. The last treasurer used some program that I've never heard of, and subsequently, I couldn't open...

With paper reciepts and statements I was able to account for 99% of all the transactions and started my books with a clean slate.

I use Excel... everyone has it and it is easy to use. I know how to use Quickbooks, Peachtree, and some other programs from my college accounting classes, but I believe in the KISS method... Keep It Simple Scouters!

Something to keep in mind is the person that will come after you... they will need to be able to use whatever you are using and understand it.

I have a few sheets that I use: an account ledger (a rolling debit/credit for everything throughout the year), scout accounts, a sheet for each campout/event, and even the Troop Treasurer's monthly committee report (in/outflows, etc...)


Also, I keep a paper copy of everything, as I know how computers can crash with impecable timing. And, each time I finish working on the ledger, I save it as a different file (just change the date at the end of the file name)... that way if I discover a mistake a month or two down the road, I can recover from a previous one as needed.

Also, make sure you periodically bounce your statements off the bank's (or whoever keeps your money) statements... they should jive to the penny.

My two cents ;P
Yours in scouting,

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Re: TroopLedger vs QuickBooks

Postby RWSmith » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:46 am

See also: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Treasurer - Good Practices

Seriously, if you're interested in your unit's financial record keeping, take a look at it.

P.S. Kudos to Philpisch, who put a lot of time and effort into this.
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