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Quickbooks for non-profits: class tracking and grants

Quickbooks for non-profits: class tracking and grants

  • Hello-
    I am helping out a non-profit with their bookkeeping. I have used Quickbooks only in a small "for-profit" business before- I know the basics, but am not an expert.

    Anyway, my first question is what is the best way to assign classes? Right now they have four classes set up:
    Fundraising, Programs, Management, and Retail.
    In particular, where does payroll go? Right now they are tracking it through programs, when it seems it should be elsewhere(they say most of their work is in developing programs). Also bills etc...
    They have workshops and sell books and do various mentoring projects for youth.

    Also, how do I track the grants they receive? They have the people that take their workshops set up as customers, so Im not sure how to assign and differentiate the grantors.

    I apologise that this post is so long- I appreciate any ideas or feedback anyone can give!!!
    Thank you,
  • I think I can help a bit.
    Payroll: We have 2 classes, one for permanent staff and one for temporary (seasonal) workers).
    For grants, I got lot's of help from this NG as well as a Quickbooks specific NG, and boiled it down to this guide for our Office Manager; hope it's of some use:

    Grants will be tracked in QuickBooks using the Customer:Jobs model. Each Grantor/Funder

    will be designated a Customer, and each grant &/or project will be designated by a Job. Each Job

    will be further categorized by Classes; Classes are a requirement!

    The model will look like this:

    Customer >> Grantor/Funder
    Jobs >>
    * Unrestricted, xx-xxx
    * Restricted, xx-xxx
    * , xx-xxx

    * Classes (just some ideas; it is advisable to have the classes match the

    grant/project budget line-items for easy correlation)
    * Administrative
    * Equipment
    * Field equipment
    * Program/Project
    * Non-Program/Non-Project
    * Etc.
    Where “xx-xxx” represents the Grant/Project number; this allows the specific grant/project to be


    As an example, let’s take a fictitious grant, #12-345, for Whooping Cranes funded by USFWS

    and NET. The total award is $50,000; $35,000 from USFWS and $15,000 from NET. Of those amounts

    $20,000 from USFWS and $12,000 from NET is Restricted with the rest being Unrestricted. The budget

    line items are: (1) Heavy equipment rental, (2) fill dirt, (3) plant seeding.
    These last 3 items will be set up as Classes, and the name of each could also include the

    grant/project number for further clarity. Using the Customer:Job model, we arrive at:

    USFWS (Customer)
    Restricted (Job), 12-345
    Unrestricted (Job), 12-345
    NET (Customer)
    Restricted (Job), 12-345
    Unrestricted (Job), 12-345

    The Accounts will need to be updated, or added to. Currently they denote non-specific

    projects. In order to correctly manage and track grants/projects, they must be the name of the

    Grantor/Funder only. This applies to the 3700-series (income side) and the 5500-series (expense


    As with the previous instruction guide for Discretionary Funds, insofar as possible,

    associate monies with Account “1200 A/R”.

    When creating the Customer:Job(s), ensure you mark each as “Active” in the setup window.

    Every grant/project must have a budget created in QuickBooks and specifically associated

    with it. I found that the Help file was fairly useful in understanding this.

    (1) Every expense and income for a grant/project must be assigned a Job and a Class.
    (2) If you have multiple funders for one grant/project, you must figure out an arbitrary

    means of who pays for what. A suggestion – stagger them month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter.
    (3) Grantors/Funders typically require financial reports during the life of the

    grant/project. Keep in mind that their reporting dates may differ from our fiscal year, so adjust

    the dates spanning the report to be created accordingly.
    (4) The Profit and Loss by Class report will provide the necessary information for

    completing Form 990.
    (5) The Profit and Loss by Job report will provide the info needed for Restricted and

    Unrestricted Net Assets. It is also needed for reports back to the funders/grantors on how their

    money is being spent.
    (6) Every month you should compare Customer:Job(s)’ against the Profit and Loss by Class

    report to ensure all income and expenses are properly categorized!!

    ====================================== Michael J. Webb Administrative Assistant/IT Administrator Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, Inc. 6611 W. Whooping Crane Dr. Wood River, NE 68883 Office (308) 384-4633 x104 FAX (308) 384-7209 email Mike_Webb -at- ======================================

  • Are you using the QB Nonprofit Version?

    Using Nonprofit Version:

    Jobs are used to report on Funds & Grants. Classes are to report on Programs, Admin & Fund Raising. You can apply payroll to Jobs and Classes.

    Using Pro:

    Classes are used to report on Funds & Grants.


    Steven R. Hinds, Ph.D.

  • Hi, There - we are using quickbooks pro right now.
    Thanks for the input!