Creating a Charity (Not for Profit) Organisation - Check List

Collect and enter some or all of the organisational details for the charity

On the Organisation profile the Charity details and Operating details Tabs identify the Charity. Note the user can return to the Organisation Profile to make changes at any time.

Control - Organisation Profile
Identify the Charity with the following information
Information Select from: Input
Legal Name -
Charity Regulator
  • Charity Commission for England and Wales
  • Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
  • Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
  • None/Excepted Charity
Charity Regulator Number -
Company Number (if a Charitable Company -
Trading Status usually selecting Active
Date the Organisation Commenced -
Principal Purpose of the organisation -
Financial Period From - To -
Registered Office Details -
Operating Name if different to Legal Name (to display on documentation) -
Operating Address if different to Registered Office (to display on documentation) -
Operating Country, confirm the Country Usually United Kingdom
Phone, mobile, fax, web address and e-mail, any of which if required (to display on documentation ) -

On the Accounting Options tab of the organisation profile an initial chart of accounts is selected and other information.

Initial Accounting Options
Information Select from: Input
Choose an initial chart of accounts from
  • Church and Church Centre
  • Not for Profit (Charity) Organisation
  • PCC (Anglican Church)
  • PCC (Anglican Church) and Community Centre
Opening Balance Leave the default Opening Balance Open status -
Transaction Lock date Ignore for the moment -
Charge Schedule For now select Month End, it may be amended later. If the asset register is used depreciation will be posted automatically each month end. Month End
Track VAT box Only tick if the organisation is VAT registered
Primary (Initial) Bank Account Name -
Primary (Initial) Bank Account Sort Code and Account Number -
Primary (Initial) Bank Account International Codes (if necessary) -
Primary (Initial) Bank Account Opening Balance (usually from a bank statement) -
Primary (Initial) Bank Account Opening Balance Date (this usually means the day before the first day of the new accounting period) -

The optional features tab of the organisation profile allows for the selection of functions that may be required for the organisation.

Select any Optional Features required
Feature Outline Input
Sales Quotes Create and manage sales quotes. For more details see Creating Quotes Y or N
Track re-chargeable expenses Associate an expense payment to a specific customer so it may be recharged Y or N
File uploads Activates the ability to use CSV format files to upload information to the system Y or N
Asset Register Record tangible fixed assets as well as automatically computing depreciation. Using the Fixed Asset Register Y or N
Operating Lease Register Record operating leases such as photocopiers, printers, computers etc. Operating Lease Register Y or N
Vehicle Register Record details of vehicles owed by the charity. Managing the Organisations Vehicles Y or N
Personnel P11D expense and benefit tracking Manage employee expense and benefit recording and reporting. P11D and Online Filing - Overview and Setup Y or N
Prompt for analysis on transaction input If enabled users are automatically presented with the Analysis tab when creating transactions. Analysis to Funds and/or Activities is then completed first. Y or N
Budgets Activates budget setting and reporting. For more information see Budgets Y or N
Donor ledger and gift aid Activates donor ledger and giftaid claiming. For more information see Donor ledger and Gift Aid Claiming Y or N
Payroll Activates integrated payroll. For more information see Payroll - Overview and start point for users unfamiliar with payroll processes Y or N

Collect all the details of the funds that the charity manages

All charitable organisations will have at least one fund. All income and expenditure transactions must be all related to a fund. Click for more information on Charity Fund Accounting. Details of funds are entered via the funds menu.

Funds - Add Fund

or

Control - Opening balances - Opening Balance Control Panel - Add Funds
Charity Funds
Information Input
Fund (name)
Fund code (if required, likely to be used in donation uploads) e.g. 'gen001' for a general fund
Default (if ticked is the default but can be amended at point of transaction entry)
Fund type select from
  • Endowment Capital
  • Endowment Expendable
  • Restricted
  • Unrestricted designated
  • Unrestricted
Trading Fund (tick if the fund is a trading fund)

Enter as many funds as are needed by the charity.

Entering the opening balances for the charity

Existing charity, starting using the system from the start of a new financial reporting year

In this situation, a set of financial balances from the prior year will be entered on the system as opening balances. Additionally a user will set up relevant accounts (including bank accounts), funds, activities plus details of any customers, suppliers, employees and donors.

Click on Opening Balance process and set-up for an existing charity; entering data from the beginning of a new financial reporting period for more information.

A worksheet to assist in collecting initial opening balance information can be found from Charity opening balance work sheet

Existing charity starting using the system at a point in the middle of a financial reporting period

In this situation, a set of financial balances for the start date will be entered on the system as opening balances. A user will set up relevant accounts (including bank accounts), funds, activities plus details of any customers, suppliers, employees and donors. In addition to the above income/expense balances for the period of the year to date and comparative period should be entered.

Click on Opening Balance process and set-up for an existing charity; entering data from a date in a financial reporting period for more information.

A worksheet to assist in collecting initial opening balance information can be found from Charity opening balance work sheet for mid-year start

What next?

One or all of the following activities may be required in moving forward with using the system

Some follow up activities
No. Activity and menu navigation Information Required
1. Add a bank account
Accounts - Add Custom Account
  • Account Number and Sort Code
  • Account name
  • Account balance (if any) and balance date
  • An associated Fund (for posting interest and bank charges)
  • Bank statement import format
2. Add additional users
Control - Manage Users - Click Red + symbol
  • User name (for an existing user) or
  • User name to create a new user
  • A user role will need to be selected
  • Title, First and Last Name
  • Valid email address
3. Donor ledger and gift aid claims
Donors - Configuration
  • HMRC Charity Reference
  • Donations income account (as default)
  • Donations Fee Account (if necessary)
  • Whether claiming GASDS or not
  • Any connected charities under GASDS (if necessary)
4. Dealing with regular church collections
  • A source of income analysis to record the Income to the appropriate accounts e.g. Donations, Fees, Room rental etc. The transactions likely to be used are Cash/Card Takings, Donations, Miscellaneous Income
5. Setting up and running a payroll
  • Control - Organisation Profile - Optional Features - tick Payroll and SUBMIT (to turn payroll feature on)
  • Payroll - Configure Payroll
  • Payroll - Payruns (Running a Payroll)
  • A new user or a user unfamiliar with payroll may find it convenient to use a Payroll Check List as a good guide to the information required to set up and run payroll. This check list contains links to other relevant help and information.
6. Preparing a SoFA Report
Reports - Statement of Financial Activities
Select between an Income and Expenditure or Receipts and Payments version. The user can select date periods as required.