Watch the video for assistance with setting up the Accounting features, or continue reading below.
Here's a few tips for setting up a new bank account on the accounting screen in ChurchTrac. To create a new account, open the Accounting screen and click on the Accounts button on the toolbar. This opens the Account List screen, which lists all your accounts (checking, savings, credit, etc.), as well as some basic information about each account.
To create a new account, click the "Create a New Account" button at the bottom of this screen. This will open a window where you can enter some basic information about your new account:
IMPORTANT: When creating a new account, it is strongly recommended that you locate a recent bank statement and enter the opening balance from your bank statement in the Beginning Balance field. The Beginning Date field should also match the date for your bank statement's opening balance. Your account will probably not reconcile properly if you do not configure your account using this method.
HINT: If possible, use a bank statement that is dated from the month before you want to begin tracking transactions. For example, if you're planning on using ChurchTrac's Accounting screen to begin tracking accounting information on January 1, then set up your account using the Opening balance from your December bank statement.
Once you've entered your new account's basic information according to the instructions above, click the "Create this Account" button. Your new account will be displayed on the list of accounts, and you'll be able to enter deposits, debits and transfers for this account now from the Accounting screen.
For assistance with entering transactions and using the Accounting screen, see this knowledgebase article.
Hint: When you create a new account, the beginning balance transaction will be created automatically, and the Cleared (Clr) field on the Accounting screen will automatically be checked next to your Beginning balance transaction. When you click the reconcile button, the opening balance field is automatically calculated by adding the sum each Cleared transaction. This total should always match your opening balance on your bank statement. If you're using the reconcile feature to help balance your account, it is highly recommended that you do not check the Clr box manually, as this will cause the built-in reconcile process to not work correctly.
If your account was set up properly, then reconciling (or balancing) your account should be pretty simple, and it works similar to balancing your checkbook. On the Accounting screen, click the "Reconcile Account" button to begin. The Opening balance should be displayed automatically, and it should match the opening balance from the bank statement you are attempting to reconcile with.
Note: If this opening balance on the reconcile screen does not match the opening balance from your bank statement, then you may not have set up your account correctly according to the instructions above. Also, if you've manually checked one or more of the Cleared boxes on the Accounting screen, the opening balance displayed here will not match your bank statement.
You'll need to enter the Ending Balance and Statement Ending Date as it appears on your bank statement, then click OK. Two additional items will appear on the screen. First, you'll see a summary section:
The information in this section will update automatically as you check or uncheck transactions in the register display:
You should check off each transaction that appears on your bank statement. When you've checked each transaction, the Cleared Balance should equal the Ending Balance from your statement, and the Difference should be zero:
If you realize a transaction is missing -- such as a check entry or deposit -- click on the "Add a Missing Transaction" button at the bottom of the screen. The transaction can be added here (without having to go back to the Account Register). The new transaction will then appear on the Reconcile Account screen as cleared and adjust the Ending Balance and Difference fields appropriately.
When you click the Finished button, you'll be returned to the Accounting screen. Each reconciled transaction will now have a check in the Cleared (Clr) box; un-reconciled transactions will be unchecked.