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Bookkeeping Basics: What Every Nonprofit Bookkeeper Needs to Know

“Bookkeeping Basics is very methodical in its approach, introducing one concept at a time. This book will apply to many types of nonprofits and community groups because it is so elemental in nature and because the examples are from these types of groups.”

— Matt Karl, Senior Research Associate, Charities Review Council, Saint Paul, MN

by Debra L. Ruegg and Lisa M. Venkatrathnam, Published by Fieldstone Alliance.

This hands-on guide gives the novice bookkeeper the knowledge and skills to track the financial activity of their nonprofit in a way that brings order out of chaos, safeguards the organization's assets, and provides useful information for making sound decisions.

The authors guide readers through the concepts and processes that every bookkeeper needs to know, including single- vs. double-entry bookkeeping, cash vs. accrual basis accounting, posting financial transactions, preparing financial statements, establishing internal controls, closing out your fiscal year, and much more.

Reproducible forms include an accounts payable register, accounts receivable register, accounts receivable register, general ledger, financial summary form, grant tracking form, internal controls activity flow chart, and an audit preparation checklist.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Bookkeeping Overview

  • Bookkeeping Defined
  • The Importance of Good Financial Records
  • The Three Steps of Bookkeeping
  • Chapter One Key Concepts

Chapter 2: Setting the Stage

  • Cash Basis Versus Accrual Basis Accounting
  • Double-Entry Bookkeeping
  • Chapter Two Key Concepts

Chapter 3: Your Chart of Accounts

  • Designing Your Chart of Accounts
  • Chapter Three Key Concepts

Chapter 4: Recording Transactions

  • Source Documents
  • Journal Entries
  • Posting to Ledger Accounts
  • Preparing a Trial Balance
  • Chapter Four Key Concepts

Chapter 5: Financial Statements 101

  • Statement of Activities
  • Statement of Position
  • Other Financial Reports
  • Chapter Five Key Concepts

Chapter 6: The Importance of Donor Intent

  • Nonprofit Accounting Standards
  • Handling Contributions
  • Chapter Six Key Concepts

Chapter 7: The Bookkeeping Cycle

  • Monthly Activities
  • The Annual Audit
  • Closing Entries
  • Tax and Compliance Reporting
  • Chapter Seven Key Concepts

Chapter 8: Internal Controls Part I: Protecting What You Own

  • Budgets and Financial Statements
  • Segregation of Duties
  • Receiving Cash and Checks
  • Preparing the Deposit
  • Reconciling Your Bank Statement
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Aging of Accounts Receivable
  • Accounting for Bad Debts
  • Petty Cash
  • Inventories
  • Fixed/Capital Assets
  • Depreciation
  • Disposition of Fixed/Capital Assets
  • Chapter Eight Key Concepts

Chapter 9: Internal Controls Part II: Protecting Your Expenditures and Liabilities

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Payable Records
  • Aging of Accounts Payable
  • Paying the Bills
  • Employee Advances
  • Employee Travel
  • Payroll
  • Other Internal Control Issues
  • Chapter Nine Key Concepts



Glossary: Terms Used in Nonprofit Accounting



Useful Nonprofit Publications Written by Members of Our Firm

Other Publisher's Publication for Nonprofit Organizations

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