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Payments log best practices?

We are very excited about the updates to the payments log at our unit. I would like to move all of our unit finance information into the system.

Any best practices that any if you could recommend? Also, is this a full featured accounting package? Can we use it to reconcile bank statements to the log? Can I get unit finance reports for our treasurers report from the system?

Really interested in any advice any of you can give to help with our units accounting with the system.

By no means is it a full fledged finance system - it is just to track “Scout accounts” if your unit uses them or payments for events/unit actions (charter)

Its more than @DonovanMcNeil suggests, but is by no means a full accounting system.

It can be used to record:

  • member (Scout/Leader/Adult) charges for things like events and dues
  • payments made by members
  • credits from the Unit to a member.
  • payments from a Unit to outside parties (e.g. reimbursements, campground charges, etc)
  • payments made to the unit by outside sources
  • withdrawals from member accounts

Since the logs track both for members AND the unit, it can keep track of what the unit’s bank balance is (so you can reconcile on a periodic basis)

It allows members to make payments via PayPal (IF the unit wishes to absorb PayPal fees)

It Prints reports of:

  • the overall cash balance held by the unit (e.g. the bank balance),
  • the net amount owed by members (Receivables - sum of negative member balances),
  • the net amount owed to Scouts (Payables - sum of positive member balances),
  • Net Assets
  • Total Assets

It does not track things like physical assets (values), allow you to create/move cash between accounting categories, or set up budgets.

It is very similar to what the Feature Assistant extension offered, but more streamlined because the functionality is now native.

My own units (Pack and Troop) have successfully used the functionality previously as part of the extension. We generate reports on a monthly basis and reconcile with our bank account. We like that it gives members visibility into their own charges, payments, and balances.

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Thanks @GaryFeutz - I sat back on this development (as my unit does not currently use it, but just to show totals) and Gary took the lead (hours and days of work.) But looking at it now and playing with it my unit might have to implement this more extensively.

That is great. We maintain two separate “cash” accounts - one is a checking account at a local bank and the other is a credit balance on account at the local Council service center. Can I differentiate between those accounts when making journal entries? Also, can I xfer funds from one account to the other (when we write a check from the bank account to the council service center)?

Unfortunately, no. We have a very similar issue - a bank account and a credit balance at our local Scout Shop. Our solution is to track the Scout shop account separately - we fund it as needed, but transactions in/out of the Scout shop account are not managed the same way.

From the payment log reporting, we will only see a check or payment from the unit to the Scout shop.

I think it would be nice to be able to define subaccounts for the unit and be able to track them and transfer between but the system is not that advanced.

A workaround might be to use Categories to track the Service Center credits - but your reporting would have to be custom using the csv export.

Example:
type descript Category Amount

Charge Fund Scout Shop FundShop -100
Payment Scout Shop ShopBalance 100
Charge Badges ShopExpense -5

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A big thank you to all who worked on this. We will use it in our Pack and troop. We will track our small council account separately. This will make it very easy for our treasurer to report our checking balance, what is owed to Scouts and what is still owed to the troop. We will also continue to use the Scout account feature. This will be huge in the pack that has been tracking Scout accounts in a crazy huge spreadsheet. For the pack, starting from zero, this will allow families to see what is due on their own at any time. Thanks!

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Question, where did the Pack Financial Info numbers come from on the Financial update yesterday? Can we delete and setup with current bank info? If so, how? I tried looking at Setting up your Initial Balances but it made no sense to me. Thanks.

This answer assumes you did not use the extension for unit accounting.

Currently, any legacy logs you have include only two transaction types, Payments and Charges.

Your total cash is the sum of all Payments, from current and previous Scouts. Payments represent cash your unit received.

Your Fees Receivables represent the sum of accounts that have a negative balance, or the net of what is owed to the unit.

Your Payables represent the sum of accounts that have a positive balance or the net of what the unit owes the Scouts.

Assets and net assets are simply calculated.

To set everything up to start using the system with the correct balances, you need to think about cash that was paid out and any other funds that might be in your real life bank account. Up to this point, neither transaction type represents cash leaving the system. Starting with this release, cash leaves either by Member withdrawals, or by charges to the Unit.

To easily set it up, you need to enter a one time adjustment transaction to your new Unit Payment Log. Take your real life bank balance, and subtract your reported Total Cash in Scoutbook. If the result is Negative, add a new Charge to the Unit Payment Log for that amount. If your result is Positive, add a new Payment to the Unit Payment Log for that amount.

For more information, see What kind of financial recording does Scoutbook Provide? - Payment Logs (SB) | Scoutbook Knowledge Base

Once you make your initial adjustment, your transactions in the logs will properly track.

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Maybe this is a silly question, but I am new to the Payment Logs. We just started using them with the extension in July, just in time for the change. I have been reading up, but I am not sure if I am doing everything correctly after the transition. My balances in the Scout Accounts and the Fees Receivable & Payable tie out perfectly. Yay! On the Payment Log I have our starting balance and the outflows to payments like the Scout Shop. I don’t have any credits from Scout payments there because then it looks like it will throw off the Pack Financial Information since those amounts are already accounted for in the Scout accounts. So, at some point my Pay Log is going to go negative, but the Financial Information will still be positive (and reflect our actual “cash” available). Just to confirm- is this the way it is supposed to look/work?

@SarahDeShane First - did you previously use the dummy account named UnitPaylog Account? And did you run through the transition process for extension users? 8as. Payment Log Transition Help Extension for Scoutbook.pdf - Google Drive

If you use that, the process adjusts the transaction types for you.

After the transition is complete, the report numbers should all match between what was the extension method and the new method. The one “odd” thing you will probably notice is the payment log balance for the new “Unit Payment Log” will likely go increasingly negative over time, but the balance of the unit in the report itself will be correct. The report calculates the balance based on payments made to both member accounts and the Unit Payment Log - but since members are making the vast majority of payments, and the unit writes all the checks, the Unit Payment Log sum decreases. I hope that makes sense to you - I actually don’t even like the balance shown for that specific log for that exact reason.

Perfect. Thank you! That answers my question/concern exactly. It would be a lot less confusing if they wouldn’t show that balance.