Setup Accounting

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If you haven't read the Intro to Accounting and you're not an accountant, now would be a good time to read over the basics.

Setup Accounting

Note: You need the Treasurer role to be able to setup, view or record transactions. One of your Pack/Troop leaders will need to set this up.

How to setup Accounting

 You need the Treasurer role to be able to record financial transactions.


Setting up Funds & Accounts

Some BSA units will not want to do fund accounting. That's fine -- we support your decision. You can set up a General Fund with all the accounts. If you decide later you'd like to track money spent for a specific item, we can support that too. However, fund accounting is generally recommended for non-profit organizations.

When should I consider setting up a new fund?

If your unit receives a donation from someone, and they ask you to spend the money a certain way, you'll want to set up a fund so you can track the specific way the money is spent. For instance, Joe Scouter gives your unit $1000 and asks you to spend it on new tents for the boys. Here's an example how you'd set it up.

Tent Fund
Type Name
Asset Tent Assets
Expense Tent Expenses
Revenue Tent Donations


When you receive the $1000, deposit the money into the *Tent Assets* account and credit the *Tent Donation* as the source. As you buy tents, make a payment from the *Tent Assets* account and debit the *Tent Expense* account.

Using this approach, you will know exactly how much money you've spent on tents using the original donation and how much is left over. You'll also be able to easily report back to Joe Scouter to show him exactly how the money has been spent.

General Fund

We're calling it the general fund, you can call it whatever you like, but this is the base set of accounts for day-to-day operations using money not earmarked for a specific purpose. You can set up all the accounts you think you'll need or just add a few and add more later when they are needed. Here are the recommended accounts you should setup:

General Fund Accounts
Type Name
Asset General Cash
Expense General Operating Expenses
Revenue General Donations
Revenue Unit Dues
Liability 2014 Registration fees
Member Scout #1
Member Scout #2
Member Scout #3
Member Adult Scouter

Examples of other Funds

These are examples, your accounts may differ significantly.

Popcorn Fundraiser Example

2013 Popcorn Fundraiser
Type Name
Asset 2013 Popcorn Assets
Expense 2013 Popcorn Expenses
Revenue 2013 Popcorn Revenue

Popcorn fundraisers are popular in the BSA as a great source of income for the unit. Some units share the profits with scouts into their own accounts, while others simply keep the money in a general account available for use by the unit. As you collect sales money, deposit the money into the *Popcorn Asset* account and credit the *Popcorn Revenue*. When it's time to pay for the popcorn, pay from the *Popcorn Assets* and debit the *Popcorn Expenses*.

If you decide to share profits with your scouts, you can debit the *Popcorn Revenue* and credit the Member accounts. Money left in the *Popcorn Asset* account can be transferred into the unit's general asset account.

Fall Camporee Example

2013 Fall Camporee
Type Name
Asset Fall Camporee Assets
Expense Fall Camporee Expenses
Liability Fall Camporee Food Payable
Liability Fall Camporee Registration Payable

Let's say you are attending a Fall Camporee and the total cost is $40 per scout. $25 is for food and $15 is for the Fall Camporee registration. We have 2 Liability accounts to split the money. We've used liability accounts (not Revenue) because this is not a fundraiser for the unit. All the money collected should go towards the camporee.

As you collect money from the scouts, split the food and registration money into the 2 different accounts. Deposit all money into the Fall Camporee Assets account and credit $25 into *Fall Camporee Food* and $15 into *Fall Camporee Registration* accounts. When the time comes to pay for the Camporee Registration, make the payment from the *Fall Camporee Assets* and debit the *Fall Camporee Registration* account. When the time comes to reimburse the Food Dudes for buying the food, reimburse them from the *Fall Camporee Food* account.

If either account comes up short, you'll know someone either didn't pay or you didn't collect enough.

T-shirt Example

T-shirt Fund
Type Name
Asset T-shirt Inventory
Expense T-shirt Expenses
Revenue T-shirt Revenue

You unit wants to buy BSA logo t-shirts and sell them back to the scouts as they need them. T-shirts cost you $9 and you charge scouts $10. You want to be able to track over time how much investment you have in t-shirts.

You buy 100 shirts costing you $900. You want to track when a scout gives you money to buy a shirt and you already have scout member accounts set up.

  • purchase t-shirts debit *T-shirt Inventory* account (increase inventory) and credit *Cash* account (decrease cash)
  • scout buys a t-shirt
  • $9 debit to T-shirt Expense (increase in expenses) and $10 credit to T-shirt Revenue (increase in revenue)
  • $10 debit to Cash (increases cash) and $10 credit to T-shirt Inventory (reduces inventory)