ACCOUNTS version 0.25: Sample Accounts, Sales Taxes

OK, the Olympics are over, it’s time for me to get back to work! <grin>

I have a new beta-test version of ACCOUNTS ready for all of you to take a look at, with two great new features (in my humble opinion, of course!).

The first is that when you are setting up new databases, you have an option to use a standard sample chart of accounts, with different ones being available for churches / charities / non-profits, Canada / the U.S.A., for the U.S.A. organizations that fill in the form 990 / 990-EZ / no 990, and with or without Payroll accounts.

Along with this comes a new Maintenance -> Government Forms window, for setting up the names of forms you want to be able to associate with accounts, and an ability to associate such forms, and lines on those forms, with accounts. (That is done in the editing window for individual accounts, accessed from the Maintenance -> Chart of Accounts window.)

The new sample charts of accounts already set up those associations with government form lines (for the T3010 in Canada, and form 990 or 990-EZ in the U.S.A.), and have accounts matching the vast majority of the categories needed in those forms. Of course, you will want to do further maintenance of the chart of accounts after starting with a sample list!

The second great new feature (especially for Canadian users) is the ability to set up Sales Tax Codes, and accounts and percentages associated with those codes, with Maintenance -> Sales Tax Codes. You can then specify such a Tax Code in a new field on the Register window, and the program does an automatic split for you, based on the predefined accounts. This will greatly simplify the data entry needed so that you can apply for sales tax rebates.

So, as usual, please give it a try, by upgrading your current installation with the Tools -> Check for Updates menu option, or by downloading directly from the http://www.software4nonprofits.com/accounts/pretest.htm page.

And please give me your comments on everything you check out, either via Comments on this blog post, or email. I’m especially interested in your comments on these major new features, and the contents of the sample charts of accounts (which can still be changed on my end, based on your feedback, before the official release of the program!).

I’m really starting to feel that the program is getting towards being usable. (But don’t start really using it yet, there are many changes yet to come, some of which could still possibly make existing databases unusable.)

I do have a lot of major features left to do though, and I’m starting to think about how to prioritize them, in order to have an acceptable version ready for my planned release date of November 1st (to give users plenty of time to check it out before possibly really starting using it on Jan 1, 2013). I may send you all a short survey in the next few days, seeking your input on those priorities.

Many thanks.

4 thoughts on “ACCOUNTS version 0.25: Sample Accounts, Sales Taxes

  1. The correct handling of HST & GST is to charge the portion to be recovered to a Current Asset account such as GST Refund and include the portion that is not being refunded in the same account as the expense was charged to. The suggestions of having an account for the GST or HST Not Refunded is not correct accounting as you are undersating the cost of the asset you purchased or the expense.

    • I agree with you Ron, and if you read the topic “Handling Sales Tax” in the current version of the program’s Help, you will see this is my suggested Method 1. However, I have heard from users who do it other ways, so I do mention that as an option, Method 2. (I also state clearly that you should get advice from your accountant.)

  2. I have created many chart of accounts for a variety of companies and one for a church. What I like is a four digit main number and a three digit sub code. I typically leave 5 blank numbers between each account number to allow for adding new accounts.

    Typical chart of accounts could be

    1000 Assets
    2000 Liablities
    3000 Equity
    4000 Income
    5000 Expense

    I can add more detail if you want

    • Thanks, Ron, but I’m trying to keep them short and consistent, so currently the program offers an option of either 4 or 5 digits, with all accounts being the same length. Levels of sub-account are defined clearly when setting up individual accounts, and on lists / reports, are shown by indentation. Try it in the beta test version to see what I mean.

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