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Introduction to Accounting

Scout Manager uses cash basis accounting methods, which works similar to your checkbook. The date entered for the transaction is the date used for reporting. It provides single-entry accounting to allow you to track transactions against 1 or more accounts at a time. For example, you can just deposit money into a checking account or you can deposit money into checking account and track it against 1 or more scout’s accounts.

Each entry you make is called a transaction and you’ll be able to view all of them for all accounts. A transaction can have more than one account associated with it. When you view or edit a transaction you can see all the accounts associated with it.

If you understand so far you’ve tackled the biggest hurdle in understanding how Scout Manager Accounting works and basic accounting practices.

General Accounting

Accounting, broadly considered, is the system of measuring, recording, and reporting economic events based on the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Equity (also stated as: Assets - Liabilities = Equity).

Single-entry accounting is similar to a personal checkbook – money simply enters stage right (when you deposit a paycheck) and exits stage left (when you write a check for groceries).

You should never want money to simply appear; it should be transferred from a source account to a destination account. For instance, you might buy awards from your checking account (Asset); the payment withdrawal could be entered as an Awards expense account (Expense). This allows you to track exactly where, how and when your finances are being used.

The transactions are recorded as negative and/or positive entries. Deposits create positive entries accounts. Withdrawals create negative entries in accounts. Transfers creates a negative entry in one account and a positive entry in another.

Net Assets (or Equity) – is what remains of your Assets after deducting your Liabilities. If you have $100 in Assets and $25 in Liabilities, your Net Assets (Equity) would be $75.

  • Income is the revenues you take in during a given time period. Your income accounts might be: Donations, Pack/Troop dues, Fundraiser.
  • Expenses are the costs you incur during a given time period. Utility Bills, Scout Awards, Insurance – these are typical expense accounts.

Understanding Accounts

Before you can effectively set up your accounting you’ll need to understand the basic account types and how to use them. The type of account is super important as it determines how the accounting system behaves as it flows money through an account.

Account Types

Accounts represent a variety of ways of keeping track of the flow of money (where it comes from, where it’s going) within your unit. At the most basic level accounts consist of a name and type.

  1. Asset. This represents your checking or savings accounts.
  2. Expense. Represents the Pack/Troop’s expenses. (Not the scout’s expenses.) For example: awards, t-shirts, office supplies, etc.
  3. Revenue. Represents income into the Pack/Troop. Could be fundraisers, donations, dues, etc.
  4. Liability. These accounts hold money you are legally obligated to pay to someone else. For example: registration fees, camping money). You can also use liability accounts to set aside money for future purchases such as tents.
  5. Member. These are the famous scout accounts. Every member in your Pack/Troop can have one.

Manage Accounts

Use Account Management to create and manage all your accounts. Select from the dropdown for each account type, then use the add, save and delete buttons to manage your accounts. Provide a name and optionally set a starting balance and date. A red outline when appear around input fields which have been modified but not saved.

Account Balances

Every account will have a balance. The balance is simply a sum of the starting balance and all transactions. You can set a starting balance at any time. You’ll need to provide a date for the starting balance - this is purely for reporting purposes and will be the date when the account starts showing up on reports.

Delete Account

You can delete an account any time you want, but we recommend to wait until it has a zero balance. When you delete an account, all the transaction history for it is also removed. Warning: deleting an account and transaction history is non-reversible and non-recoverable.