Upcoming Event: Practical Financial Steps for Nonprofits


Is your nonprofit concerned that it isn’t doing everything it could be doing to prevent fraud? Are you retaining the records you should for a financial or IRS audit? Are you missing out on opportunities with cryptocurrencies? Can you improve your financial reporting to save time and give you more information? We will be covering these topics at our upcoming seminar on March 21st at Blue and Co., LLC. Learn more about this free event which offers CPE, and register here.

But for now, let’s talk a little bit about tracking grants and programs in QuickBooks.

Tracking of Grants and Programs with QuickBooks

Are you tracking your grant or program expenses in spreadsheets, or is your current method not working well for you?

If your organization is using QuickBooks, there are built-in features that help with grant, program, and donor-restricted funds. Each organization is different, but for many organizations, setting up a feature called “Classes” in QuickBooks will enable you to track programs.

QuickBooks “Classes”

Each transaction in QuickBooks can be assigned a class allowing your organization to track both revenue and expenses for a particular program. You can also create “parent” classes that allow you to track groups of programs together and create subtotals. The class feature allows you to have an income statement which is divided into columns – one for each program. You can also filter the report and run an income statement for just one program. Another useful feature of classes is that you can create a budget for each program; thereby, allowing you the ability to compare actual results from the program income statement to the budget for just that program

Donor gifts which are restricted for a specific use can also be tracked similarly to program tracking.

Using classes allows a nonprofit to have one set of general ledger accounts and share the accounts for all their programs and restricted gifts. This allows the nonprofit to have a shorter, less complex chart of accounts. This is also helpful for QuickBooks Online which recently imposed a limit of 250 general ledger accounts without paying an increased fee.

QuickBooks desktop allows you to set up an unlimited number of classes. QuickBooks online recently implemented a restriction that allows only 40 classes for its plus subscription. If you are a current user and have more than 40 classes, you can continue using them without upgrading. However, if your organization needs more classes you will either have to delete some or upgrade your subscription to the new advanced subscription.

Grant tracking can be accomplished using the job feature in QuickBooks. Grants (jobs in QuickBooks) are set up underneath a customer as a sub customer. Each transaction can be assigned a grant. Just like the income statement by program, an income statement can be created for each grant. This feature allows a nonprofit to run a report of the income and expenses for a particular grant. You can also set up a budget for the grant which will help track your organization’s spending.

Each nonprofit is different, and there are alternate ways to set up tracking of programs and grants. If you would like to learn more about tracking grants and programs in QuickBooks, please contact your local Blue & Co. office or Nancy Orben at either norben@blueandco.com or 513-834-6906.