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Can Quickbooks handle Cooperative Accounting?

Ruth Bauer's Profile

We are in the early stages of setting up a cooperative.   Looking for an inexpensive software package to get us started.   Can Quickbooks handle the reporting - including the detailed patron information required?   We will look for a cooperative software package once we get further along.    Are there other software packages you would recommend?


(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

After looking around at some of the vendors who offer accounting systems for Coops where all the history of the members are stored and managed as well as producing entity financial statements, I would say NO, Quickbooks is not designed for that type of business.

Ruth Bauer
Title: Treasurer
Company: In Job Transition
(Treasurer, In Job Transition) |

Thanks for your reply. Are there any relatively inexpensive packages you'd recommend?

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I can't recommend systems for this type of entity since its not my specialty area, but I would try to do this...think about the Co-ops that you are familiar with, call them up and ask them what systems they are using. And if you google you will find the larger software vendors, call them and ask them if their pricing will work for a small business, if not then ask them if they know of another vendor name.

I would say this, if you skimp on the system, you will be overcome by the volume of spreadsheets for member accounts when you need to be building the business. If you have to bring in more than one bookeeper and an accounting manager to manage the member activity, you might find that a more expensive system will generate savings on staff and supervision. Decide where the cost trade off is.

It could be it is too early to consider a system, sometimes it is.

You might have some fiduciary responsibility over the member records and discount balances and dividend balances.

Also consider if you spend money to establish excellent books and records for the member accounting, you will have a decreased cost of audit, and an enhanced marketing position.

Decide where the cost trade off is, what are you giving up vs what you could achieve.

I don't know the cost of those Co-op systems so cost could be prohibitive if they are really out of your budget.

See if you can find a CPA firm who has worked with co-ops and ask them for a quick tip about best systems. They will be familiar with the various systems their clients have used successfully and what the work arounds have been, good and bad.

Ruth Bauer
Title: Treasurer
Company: In Job Transition
(Treasurer, In Job Transition) |

Thanks for your advice - very much appreciated.

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