Double counting on the financials

I got the finances back to zero and started rebuilding. I am recording bank deposits and money out in the Pack Payment Log. The balance accurately reflects what we have in the bank. The Total Cash does not match our balance, which is confusing me. I’ve been recording money deposited into our account above the line. Why is SB adding the payments received by the Youth and the payments received by the unit together? Aren’t they the same thing? How do I link the recorded payment in a Scout’s account to a deposit in the bank account?

It is/was confusing until I thought more about what it was before and how it is now. Basically, the unit is another Scout - it is not the bank account. So, if a check is written to the unit for Scout Judy, don’t record it as a unit check, record it in Judy’s log from her. If the unit receives a check as a donation, say, record that to the unit’s log. If the unit writes a check for advancement, that is a check from the unit. If a Scout goes on a campout, that is a charge to the Scout, if the unit writes a check for the cabin, that is a check from the unit. The balance for the unit shows up in the smart amounts, but not the big number in the unit’s log.

I’m trying to wrap my head around this. So Total Cash should reflect the bank balance? The Balance should Reflect only funds that did not come from within the unit? How does the unit get funded from the Scout accounts then? Seems like the balance will always be negative.

ETA: I think I understand a bit. There is a Record Charge from Unit and a Record Withdrawal from Scout Account. Do you delete the Record a Charge after it get paid? For example, I have a Scout who had a $15 credit from selling Camp Cards. She has a charge for Fall Dues ($40). This was paid and recorded as a Payment from Scout. Her balance would be then $15. She then was charged $144 for recharter fees (Charge from Unit). She paid $129 (Payment from Scout). Now her balance is $0. However, the Unit balance did not change. Should we instead delete the Charges and replace them with Withdrawals? From the instructions I found, that seems like it would move the money from the Scout’s account to the Unit’s account. It also is really confusing.

I did an experiment. The Withdrawal function was supposed to add the amount to the unit Balance. It doesn’t.

This is how I understand it.

Yes, total cash is your checking account balance.

Don’t delete the record.

The unit balance only changes if money comes from the unit (wrote a check) or to the unit (received a check or cash) and doesn’t involve an individual Scout.

I don’t know why I would care much about the unit balance. I think that is a hold over from the Scout display.

If you don’t use the unit balance, how do you spend money? You’d be negative all the time, except from fundraising. If Dues are recorded in the Scout’s account, and then a charge is made, where does that money go?

I looked through that, but it wasn’t super clear. I ended up just recording all the payments from the Scouts as credits on their accounts. I then recorded the same amount as Payment Received by the unit. Now it’s square. We’ll skip the Payment and withdrawal portions on the Scout accounts going forward.

Will you then do “double entry”? That is, you will record a payment to the unit (even if it is from a Scout) to the unit, and then record a second transaction to credit the Scout?

When the parent hands over the money, the amount will get credited to the Scout. When the money gets deposited, that transaction will get recorded as a payment to the unit. The system treats a credit and a payment differently. It looks like credits add to liabilities, but don’t affect the Total Cash. Payments don’t change the balance, so there is no way of accessing that money to use it. You’d have to go back in and charge each Scout every time the unit spends money. For example, we spent $81.41 on advancement in October. We’d then have to divide that between all of the Scouts and charge each account that amount. Much easier to just take it out of the unit balance.

I now see how you are thinking about it. I agree it would work. Never credit the Scout’s account directly on a receipt, always put receipts to the unit account.

@GaryFeutz I don’t think this is the “full design intent”. Do you see any downsides other than making 2 entries? Credit a Scout from the unit, receive all funds to the unit?

Total Cash is = your bank balance + cash on hand.

Crediting the Scout account simply “transfers” money from the unit to the Scout. If you accept cash from a Scout and use the Credit option, Scoutbook will have no means to know what your cash on hand is (undeposited cash).

Here are the rules for Total Cash:

  • Payments to Scout, and Payments TO Unit affect the Total Cash by increasing it.
  • Withdrawals by Scouts, and Payments FROM Unit affect Total Cash by decreasing it.
  • Charges and credits to Scouts do NOT affect the Total Cash.

Rules for Liabilities. A Liability is defined by an amount being owed by the Unit. If a Scout is “banking” with the Unit, the unit “owes” that Scout that amount.

  • Payables only change when a Scout account’s POSITIVE balance changes.

Rules for Receivables (a type of Asset). Receivables indicate that a Scout owes the Unit.
Receivables change when a Scout’s NEGATIVE balance changes.

As was mentioned earlier, the Unit Balance is not very useful and is an artifact of re-using the page calculations that calculated a Scout’s payment log balance.

Here is a step by step scenario and results: starting with zero in all payment logs, with a Unit and 2 Scouts:

$10 payment to Unit:

  • Cash Balance: $10
  • Receivables: $0
  • Payables: $0
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Total Assets: $10
  • Net Assets: $10
  • Cash Conservative: $10
  • Scout A Balance: $0
  • Scout B Balance: $0

$15 Charge to Scout A and Scout B for dues:

  • Cash Balance: $10
  • Receivables: $30 (increase by 2x15 $30)
  • Payables: $0
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Total Assets: $40 (increase by 30)
  • Net Assets: $40 (increase by 30)
  • Cash Conservative: $10
  • Scout A Balance: -$15 (decrease by 15)
  • Scout B Balance: -$15 (decrease by 15)

$7 Payment by Scout A

  • Cash Balance: $17 (increase by 7)
  • Receivables: $23 (decrease by 7)
  • Payables: $0
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Total Assets: $40
  • Net Assets: $40
  • Cash Conservative: $17 (increase by 7)
  • Scout A Balance: -$8 (increase by 7)
  • Scout B Balance: -$15

$20 payment by Scout B

  • Cash Balance: $37 (increase by 20)
  • Receivables: $8 (decrease by 15, as Scout B no longer has negative balance)
  • Payables: $5 (increase by 5, as Scout B now has positive balance)
  • Total Assets: $45 (increase of 5)
  • Net Assets: $40 (stays the same because $5 is owed now)
  • Cash Conservative: $32 (increase of 15)
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Scout A Balance: -$8
  • Scout B Balance: $5 (increase by 20)

$5 withdrawal by Scout B (overpaid and wants $ back)

  • Cash Balance: $32 (decrease by 5)
  • Receivables: $8
  • Payables: $0 (decrease by 5 as Scout B no longer has a positive balance)
  • Total Assets: $40 (decrease of 5)
  • Net Assets: $40 (stays the same because $0 is owed now)
  • Cash Conservative: $32
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Scout A Balance: -$8
  • Scout B Balance: $0

$5 Credit to Scout A for Popcorn Sales Profit

  • Cash Balance: $32
  • Receivables: $8
  • Payables: $0
  • Total Assets: $40
  • Net Assets: $40
  • Cash Conservative: $32
  • Unit Balance $10
  • Scout A Balance: -$3 (increases by 5)
  • Scout B Balance: $0

$31 Payment From Unit for Campout costs - food, campground fees

  • Cash Balance: $1 (decreases by 31)
  • Receivables: $8
  • Payables: $0
  • Total Assets: $9 (decreases by 31)
  • Net Assets: $9 (decreases by 31)
  • Cash Conservative: $1
  • Unit Balance -$21 (decreases by 31)
  • Scout A Balance: -$3
  • Scout B Balance: $0
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I noticed that the Unit balance never increases, so the unit is running a negative balance all the time, even though it is receiving money from the Scouts. For the campout, the unit paid the money, but the Scouts’ accounts were not debited. I understand what this is doing, but it’s not intuitive and it makes it really difficult to match up with bank statements when audit time comes around. We’d have to go to each Scout’s account, then start doing calculations to figure out how the deposit gets split out for the payments. Using my method, the Scout receives credit immediately upon handing over the money, then the unit gets the money added to its balance when the deposit is made, and that recorded amount matches the bank statement.

If your method works for you, great, as long as you realize that your cash on hand is not accounted for that way

As far as I can tell, our Cash Available (Conservative) is our Total Cash (equal to our Unit Balance and equal to the amount actually in the bank) minus the credits to the Scout accounts. If there was a way to account for future deductions, like re-charter, I could see the value in the other numbers. As it stands, we still have to take the Cash Conservative number and deduct those future expenses by hand to determine our true cash available. I don’t understand the value of having the Unit account operating perpetually in the red, when in reality, there is money in the bank. I don’t see any function for funding the Unit balance from the Scout accounts. The individual Scouts aren’t making purchases from the Total Cash part, and if they did, you’d have to credit them, and enter the purchase to get them back to $0.

The definition of Cash Available (Conservative) is the Total Cash - Liabilities.

Since the Liabilities are equal to the sum of the positive scout account balances, then the Cash Available (conservative) is the actual “unit account” balance.

As I mentioned earlier, when looking at the Unit Payment Log, the balance on that page is irrelevant, and there is a request for the developers to remove it altogether as it just adds confusion. It is an artifact of code re-use from the Scout payment logs.

If you accept the definitions and use the system as designed, it works fine. It is not designed to separately report cash on hand and cash in the bank.

It has an inherent bias toward the Scout’s payment logs - most transactions appear only in the Scout payment logs. This bias is a result of the legacy payment logs. The Unit Payment Log was added in a manner that had the least impact to legacy data.

If the system was designed from scratch with unit accounting in mind, it likely would have been different, but the system does work if used as designed.

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