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Fiscal Years in DONATION
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 organizations whose fiscal year is different from the calendar year, there may be a need for some reporting that covers exactly the fiscal year. To accommodate this, you can specify your fiscal year start date in the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window.
You can then use the Reports ⇒ Fiscal Year sub-menu options, and new radio buttons for fiscal year selection in the Reports ⇒ Custom Reports window. You can also optionally set up to have your pledges be considered to be for the fiscal 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, all data entry, receipting and reporting are done on the basis of the fiscal year you have set up. There is a whole separate Help page on that: Fiscal Year Data Entry and Receipting. This Help page is only about fiscal year reporting for countries where the tax year and thus the receipting year is the same as the calendar year, like Canada and the U.S.A.
What is considered to be the current fiscal year?
All fiscal year reports (including Custom Reports) include donations within the current fiscal year. (Some allow you to prompt for a range of dates within the current fiscal year.) If you are working on a specific calendar year in DONATION, say 2016, the fiscal year used for reporting is always "fiscal 2016". What this means is if for instance your fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31, the "fiscal 2016" that gets reported on is June 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016.
This is true regardless of when during 2016 you run those fiscal year reports, i.e. whether the current date is before or after June 1, 2016.
If you are still working on 2016, and it is after your fiscal year end, and you wish to see a report for the new fiscal year (fiscal 2017), just use one of the many built-in non-fiscal year reports that prompt for a range of dates, and specify a range from your fiscal year start to December 31 (or to the current date, if you prefer). Examples of such reports are those on the Reports ⇒ Donor ⇒ Donation Info sub-menu and the Reports ⇒ Donation ⇒ All Donations sub-menu.