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Online Payments via Paypal

You can setup Scout Manager to allow your users to pay money into their account with you using PayPal. Think for a moment about what this means: basically, they are adding money to their account with you. So if somebody is “paying for an event” it takes multiple transactions to handle this properly even if they give you cash. For example if you were manually collecting money for an event:

  1. Accept money from somebody. (conceivably, there is no other manual tracking here, the money could get lost)
  2. Record in a ledger that they gave you money for the event.
  3. Deposit the money into your bank (they record this and increase your account balance)
  4. Write a check later to pay expenses for the event

Scout Manager does the same thing, but it looks a bit different.

  1. Accept money from somebody (via PayPal). (The next step is implied!)
  2. Record in their account that the money was received from them. Record that your asset account increased with the money. (Paypal sweeps the funds directly to your bank!)

Now they can spend the money with you however they want such as paying for an event.

  1. Charge the user for a specific event. Their account is decremented and the Event account is incremented. You’ll be able to see at a glance how much you’ve received for the event.
  2. Write a check later to pay expenses for the event.

For this to occur properly your users will start from Scout Manager allowing it to establish a link with PayPal. Then Scout Manager sends them to Paypal where they interact to make their payment. PayPal uses the established link to provide information back to Scout Manager allowing it to automatically record the transaction and update the user’s andaccount.

You must establish an account with PayPal, then you can enable this feature in Scout Manager using information provided by PayPal.

Set up PayPal Payments

NOTE: your Treasurer must complete this setup before payments can be accepted for your unit.

  1. Set up a PayPal Account for your unit
  2. Create an ASSET account to hold your PayPal Payments. We recommend naming an account such as PayPal Payments to make it easy to identify but you can name it anything you want.
  3. Using the menu navigate to Accounts => PayPal Payments
    1. Enter your unit’s PayPal email address. This is the email-address you used in Step 1 above to setup the PayPal account.
    2. Select your ASSET account. This is where Scout Manager will record payments via PayPal in the Accounts module.

You are now ready to have your users add money to their accounts using PayPal.

Disable PayPal Payments

If you need or want to stop accepting PayPal payments you can quickly do this by.

  1. Navigate using the menu Accounts => Setup/PayPal Payments.
  2. Select PayPal Payments Disabled for the “Select an Account” field.

PayPal payments will immediately be suspended until you re-enable it.

Integration into Accounting

Treasurers can see all incoming payments and whether they are pending or completed. To view all transactions the treasurer just needs to navigate to Accounts => Chart of Accounts and click the top level menu button labeled PayPal Payments

Pending Transaction

A pending transaction is one that has been started by a user, but they have not completed it with PayPal yet. Whenever a user attempts a Paypal transaction you’ll see it show up in pending. PayPal offers a variety of payment methods so until the person has fulfilled the payment via PayPal a transaction will remain in pending.

Completed Transaction

A completed transaction is one that has been completely processed by PayPal. This means the funds have been transferred from a user to your unit and PayPal has notified Scout Manager of the completion. Users view

Users can see when a PayPal payment has been completed and credited to their account via the Accounts tab on their User Profile page. PayPal payments are prefixed with PAYPAL: which credit the account. They cannot see pending transactions.

User Guide to online payments

Add Money to an Account

NOTE: your Treasurer must complete the Setup Paypal Payments steps above before payments can be accepted for your unit. You must have your own PayPal account to do this.

You can add money to your account or your scout’s account anytime you want. Navigate to your profile to view your account balance and click the button to get started.

  1. Upper right-hand menu [Your name] => My Profile or My Scouts => [Name of your scout]
  2. Click on the Accounts tab
  3. Click the Add Money to My Account button
  4. Enter your PayPal email address. This will used to create a payment which you will need to authorize.
  5. Select the account you would like to credit. This is typically your member account on Scout Manager.
  6. Enter a descriptive memo to remind you what this is for or leave the default setting
  7. Enter an amount you want to pay
  8. Click the Add Money via PayPal button.
  9. Click the Pay Now button. You must now authorize the payment to your Unit. You will be connected with PayPal to complete the transaction.

When the transaction is completed you’ll see it show up in your Scout Manager account prefixed with PAYPAL and your Account balance will updated.

Note: there is a transaction fee to use this service. You are responsible for all fees.

Viewing your Account

You can view your account details to see all transactions to your account including PayPal credits.

  • Upper right-hand menu [Your name] => My Profile or My Scouts => [Name of your scout]
  • Click on the Accounts tab
  • Click on the Details button next to the account you’d like to see.

Understanding PayPal fees

Using the online Paypal system is not free. As of this writing Paypal assesses a 2.9% and a $0.30 transaction fee for each transaction that uses a credit card. Please refer to PayPal for their current fees.


If a user sends the unit’s PayPal account $20.00 the fees and the total charge to your credit card will be $20.88. Here’s the break down of the fees.

Description Amount
Amount $20.00
Paypal Tx 2.9% $0.58 (this is calculated based on $20.00)
Paypal Tx fee $0.30
Total $20.88

Note: You are responsible for all fees. Transaction fees are non-refundable by PayPal.

PayPal FAQ

  • Question: Will the transaction costs be billed to the Troop or to the individual?
    Answer: Transaction costs are paid by the individual via the PayPal transaction. See above for details on transaction costs.

  • Question: Will Scout Manger deposit funds directly into our bank account and then show a deposit on the Scout Manager ledger?
    Answer: While the transaction is initiated by Scout Manager, all financial transactions are handled solely by PayPal who deposits the money into your PayPal account and then you can transfer it to your bank account. PayPal offers different types of services, both free and paid to move your money into a bank account. After PayPal verifies the payment is complete, it will send Scout Manager a payment notification and we will automatically update your account with the information. To ensure this works properly you’ll need to set up an ASSET account in Scout Manager where you want your PayPal payments to be logged. Scout Manager will also credit the scout or adult’s account for which the transaction is being processed. A best practice is set up an ASSET account solely for your PayPal payments and then when you transfer the money from PayPal to your actual bank account you can move it to an ASSET representing you checking account.

  • Question: Can I do some tests and then reset accounting?
    Answer: Yes! Use the Reset Accounting link or click http://scoutmanager.com/sm/acc/startOver.do So feel free to experiment and make mistakes as you learn. I think you’ll find working with it’s not as difficult as you might have thought after a while.

  • Question: I keep getting this error message: PLATFORM.Application Error: Account [email] is restricted (520009) …
    Answer: All errors starting with PLATFORM are PayPal specific. Your best bet is to reach out to them for assistance. e.g. If you’re getting a restricted account error (like above), they are still reviewing your account and you will need to reach to PayPal for assistance.