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Budgeting for release of resricted funds

Mike Mc's Profile

I am struggling with how to present the budget for my nonprofit employers. With respect to releasing restricted funds that were recorded as revenue in a previous year, for a project to be done next year.

We use Quickbooks and are a bit constrained on how we can present. We aren't set up for a two-column restricted/unrestricted presentation for internal reporting and budget tracking.

I have to balance the goals of: (1) wanting to budget for the actual GAAP basis results we expect to show for the year (which means there will be no income for this item next year). And (2) wanting to show that this project isn't "losing money" but rather using revenue from a previous year.

Basically, I either add a line to revenues for "use of restricted funds" and then we aren't GAAP basis and will show a budget variance at year end. Or, show the use of restricted funds as a write-in below the net income in the budget.

I cannot seem to find examples of how other organizations have done this.

Thanks

Answers

Tony Morales
Title: Certified Public Accountant
Company: James, Surman & Goldberg CPA
(Certified Public Accountant, James, Surman & Goldberg CPA) |

It's hard to thoroughly explain it out on a message board, but I would like to point a few things out. First, Quickbooks does allow you to create classes, which will yield you financials with multiple columns to break out Restricted from Unrestricted funds. That's a partial, potential solution to your presentation issue.

When it comes to budgeting, I normally don't rely on Quickbooks reports alone. Rather, I will export the information I need onto an excel spreadsheet and manipulate it from there. It may take a bit more manual labor and it certainly won't be convenient; but often times with accounting, you just have to go back to the basics and hit the debits and credits.

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