How to Use QuickBooks to Input Tithes & Offerings
By Steve McDonnell
To comply with the special accounting standards for churches, tithes and offerings collected from church members should be allocated to separate accounts according to how the donors intend for the money to be used. Many churches establish different funds, such as a general fund, a building fund and a missionary fund, that are either unrestricted, temporarily restricted or restricted. To use QuickBooks to enter tithes and offerings, enable the class tracking feature and create a class for each fund. As you receive tithes and offerings, record the donor and allocate the donation to one or more funds.
Select "Edit" from the menu, choose "Preferences" and then select "Accounting" in the list of preferences on the left.
Choose the "Company Preferences" tab and click the "Use Class Tracking" checkbox.
Select "Lists" from the menu and choose "Class List." Select "Class" at the bottom of the list and then choose "New."
Type the name for the class -- for example, "General Fund." Choose "Next" to save the class and enter another.
Set up other classes as necessary. For example, create "Missionary Fund," "Youth Fund" and "Building Fund" classes. Set up a class for "Pass-Through Donations" if you want a category for offerings that you pass on to another organization, when the other organization decides how to use the money. Choose "OK" when you've finished adding classes.
Recording Tithes and Offerings
Choose "Donations" from the QuickBooks Home screen.
Click the "Customer:Job" box to display a list of donors and select the donor. Choose "Add New" and complete the information in the form to add a new donor.
Select the Class for the donation if the entire donation should be allocated to a single fund.
Confirm or change the date of the donation and choose the type of payment -- for example, "Cash" or "Check."
Click in the "Item" column. Choose "Add New" to add a new item if you haven't created an item to record tithes and offerings. Type "Tithes/Offerings" for the item name and "General Donations" for the description. Select "Service" as the item type and choose the Tithes/Offerings account from the account list. Choose "OK" to save the item.
Type a description for the donation and enter the amount. Select the fund to which the donation applies.
Add another item if the donation is to be split among multiple funds and choose the appropriate class for each portion of the donation.
Type an optional comment for the donor in the box provided.
- When you initially install QuickBooks, choose "Church or Religious Organization" as the industry to automatically set up accounts that are common for churches, such as a Tithes/Offerings account. Most churches number their accounts as follows: Assets - 1000's, Liabilities - 2000's, Net Assets - 3000's, Revenue - 4000's and Expenses - 5000's.
Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.