Fund accounting is a system of accounting used primarily by nonprofit organizations and governments to track and manage their financial resources. It involves segregating the organization’s resources into different funds, each of which has its own set of accounts and financial statements. This allows the organization to track how money is being raised, where it is coming from, and how it is being used. Fund accounting is designed to provide transparency and accountability, and is intended to help organizations demonstrate that they are using their resources in accordance with donor restrictions and legal requirements.
How Does Fund Accounting Impact the Chart of Accounts for an Organization?
Fund accounting impacts the chart of accounts for an organization by requiring separate accounts and categories for each fund. Each fund is treated as a separate entity, with its own set of accounts for recording revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities. This means that the chart of accounts must be structured in a way that allows for the proper segregation and tracking of funds. Each fund will have its own unique codes, account numbers, and categories within the chart of accounts. This can make the chart of accounts more complex than in a for-profit organization, but it is necessary in order to accurately track and report on the financial activity of each fund.
Sample Chart of Accounts for Different Funds
|Account Category||Fund 1 Annual Drive||Fund 2 Program Event|
|1400 Program Revenue||X|
|1500 Investment Income||X|
|2100 Salaries and Wages||X||X|
|2200 Employee Benefits||X||X|
|2300 Professional Services||X||X|
|2400 Office and Administration||X||X|
|2600 Program Expenses||X|
|2800 Equipment and Supplies||X||X|
|3200 Accounts Receivable||X||X|
|3300 Prepaid Expenses||X||X|
|3500 Property and Equipment||X||X|
|4100 Accounts Payable||X||X|
|4200 Accrued Expenses||X||X|
|4300 Deferred Revenue||X||X|
|5100 Unrestricted Net Assets||X||X|
|5200 Temporarily Restricted Net Assets||X||X|
|5300 Permanently Restricted Net Assets||X||X|
Note that this is just an example and that the chart of accounts for each organization will be unique to their specific needs and operations.
How Can Accounting Software Help with Fund Accounting?
Accounting software can help with fund accounting in several ways, including:
- Segregation of funds: Accounting software can segregate funds and maintain separate accounts for different funds. This helps in keeping track of the revenue and expenses of each fund separately.
- Accurate financial reporting: Fund accounting software provides accurate financial reporting, including balance sheets and income statements for each fund. This helps organizations to monitor the financial health of each fund and make informed decisions.
- Budget management: Accounting software can help manage budgets for each fund, allowing organizations to track actual revenue and expenses against projected budgets.
- Donor management: Accounting software can help manage donations and track donor information, including donor preferences and restrictions. This ensures that funds are used in accordance with donor intent.
- Compliance management: Fund accounting software can help manage compliance with regulatory requirements and reporting obligations. This includes tracking compliance with grant requirements, tax reporting requirements, and other regulatory obligations.
Fund Accounting is an essential tool for nonprofits to manage their finances. With this approach, they can keep track of their funds in a transparent and accountable way while complying with regulatory requirements. And what’s more, the unique chart of accounts associated with fund accounting makes it easier for organizations to report on individual funds. Plus, using accounting software designed specifically for fund accounting can automate accounting processes, reducing the likelihood of errors and streamlining financial management.