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Using Fiscal Year Data Entry and Receipting
Normally, all data entry for DONATION is done on a calendar year basis, i.e. you are working on one year at a time, and donations you enter must be dated between January 1 and December 31 of that year.
The reason for this is that the vast majority of the users of DONATION are in Canada and the U.S.A., and in both countries, you claim your charitable donations for your taxes on a calendar year basis. So, if the users of the program choose to create only year-end receipts, they will include all donations during one calendar year, which can all then be claimed in one year's tax deductions.
The majority of the reports in DONATION are also normally done on a calendar-year basis, to match the receipting year.
However, for some countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, the tax year and thus the receipting year is different from the calendar year. For those countries, there is a setting "Use Fiscal Year Receipting and Data Entry" that you can select in the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window. After doing that, which is only available after you also set the Fiscal Year Starts month and day on the same window, all data entry and reporting is also done on the basis of the fiscal year you have set up.
If you are not in a country where the tax and receipting year is different from the calendar year, do not set that setting! Instead, see Fiscal Years in DONATION for information about fiscal year reporting for organizations in countries like Canada and the U.S.A., where the tax and receipting year is the same as the calendar year, but still need some fiscal year reporting.
What is considered to be the current fiscal year?
DONATION is always working on a specific calendar or fiscal year. If for instance your fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31, the year represented in the program as "FY2015/2016" (or in some places FY15/16) means the period from June 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016. This is also more conventionally called "Fiscal 2016".
How to Turn on Fiscal Year Data Entry and Receipting for New Users of the Program
If you are just starting to use the program and are in a country where this is appropriate, when you see the setup window prompting for a year, choose the correct fiscal year you want to start data entry for. Then in the Organization Info window, set your Fiscal Year Starts month and day, and check the checkbox for "Use Fiscal Year Receipting and Data Entry".
All data entry, reporting and receipting will then be done on the basis of your specified fiscal year.
If you change to a new year (whether a new later year, or an earlier year) with the Maintenance ⇒ Change Year menu option, it will also be a fiscal year.
How to Turn on Fiscal Year Data Entry and Receipting for Existing Users of the Program
This option is new in version 3.77, released in January 2016. If you were in a country where this is appropriate and had previously been using DONATION, you have been working on a calendar year basis, and working around the receipting problems by creating one batch of receipts for your donors covering the first half of each each calendar year (the 2nd half of a fiscal year) and another batch of receipts covering the 2nd half of each calendar year (the first half of the next fiscal year).
You can now turn on the "Use Fiscal Year Receipting and Data Entry" checkbox in the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window to start doing that. Suppose you are trying to do this early in 2016, to switch to working on a 2015/2016 fiscal year. You will be able to successfully check that checkbox only if all of the following conditions are true:
•The current year is the latest year of data in the database (in this example, that means you are switched into 2016).
•There are no donations after the fiscal year end in the current calendar year (2016).
•There are no receipts in the current calendar year (2016). If there are, and you haven't yet sent them to to donors, you could resolve this by deleting them with the Receipt ⇒ Delete Range menu option.
•Any prior-year (2015) receipts that include donation dates in the current fiscal year (the 2nd part of that prior calendar year) must include only dates in that part of the year. (To put this another way, no receipts from 2015 can include donations that cross the fiscal year boundary.)
•All donations in the prior year, 2015, that are later than the current fiscal year's start date, have corresponding donors in the current year. (This can be fixed with the Database ⇒ Copy Missing Donors menu option if it turns out to be a problem.)
•Any bank deposits for prior-year (2015) donations that include donation dates in the current fiscal year (the 2nd part of that prior calendar year) must include only dates in that part of the year. (To put this another way, no bank deposits for 2015 donations can include donations that cross the fiscal year boundary.)
If you try to turn on this option and the program tells you that you can't do so because one of those conditions is violated, it will tell you which one is the problem. If there is no way to resolve that issue, you will have to wait until the next fiscal year start. At that point, change to a new year in DONATION with the Maintenance ⇒ Change Year menu option, and then turn this option on.
Turning this feature on does a conversion, moving all donations, receipts and bank deposits that are in or for the fiscal year you are working on that were part of the previous working calendar year into the new working fiscal year. It will tell you how many donations. receipts and bank deposits it moved.
After this change, which dates are included in each working year in the program, and allowed for donation data entry, receipts, date ranges for reports etc. will be somewhat complex as you go back, to avoid messing things up. (Years prior to the first fiscal year you are doing the conversion for cannot also be converted, because you have already issued all of the receipts for them.)
•The date range for this year in which you do the conversion is the fiscal year (the fiscal year start in the prior calendar year up to the fiscal year end in the current calendar year, for example July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 for Australia). The same will apply to all later years as you continue using the database.
•The date range for the previous year (2015 in this case) is January 1 to its fiscal year end, for example to June 30, 2015 for Australia (it becomes a partial year, to accommodate the change, and some places in the program will refer to it as "2015 (Partial)").
•The date range for any years before that remains the calendar year that it always was.
The reason it's important to understand about the previous years is in case you need to go back to them to correct or reprint any prior-year receipts.
You Cannot Undo this Change
It's very important to understand that the program cannot undo a change to doing fiscal year receipting and data entry. The only way you could undo it would be to restore a database backup made before you made this change. That's why, if you have existing years of data, the program prompts you to make a backup before it does the conversion. You are also not allowed to change your fiscal year start date after making this change, so do be sure it is correct (and not a fiscal year end date) first!
Changed Behaviours in the Program after Making this Change
Many aspects of the program are changed after making this change:
•Data entry of donations will be allowed for dates in your current working fiscal year, both on the main window and in One Date Batch Entry.
•Receipts can cover dates in the entire working fiscal year. Receipt in a fiscal year are numbered like "FY15/16-00001", for the first receipt in fiscal 2015/2016, rather than the normal numbering "2016-00001" for the first receipt in calendar 2016.
•Most reports can cover dates in the entire working fiscal year, or a part of it if they prompt for a range of dates. Some report column headers change accordingly, like to "FY15/16 Total" instead of "2016 Total". In some reports, however, there is not enough room for that, and they will just give the year number, but it will still mean a fiscal year, so 2016 really means "fiscal 2015/2016".
•The Fiscal Year Reports sub-menu is not available when you are working on a year that is a fiscal year, because it just duplicates normal reports that are also done for the fiscal year. (If you converted when you already had multiple years of data in the program, those Fiscal Year Reports will still be relevant and available for prior years.)
•Custom Reports will also be for fiscal years, and in fact the radio buttons for selecting a fiscal year will just select the normal current working year, unless you converted to this when there were prior years of data in the program, in which case they are still appropriate.
•Bank Deposits will be for donations within the current working fiscal year.
•Importing Donations with Database ⇒ Import ⇒ Donations will only work for donations within the current working fiscal year.