Accounting Date helps improve reporting on and recognizing income as it is received – not just when it is processed into the Spektrix system. Accounting Date allows you to set the date you want the income accounted for, and works in conjunction with your existing orders and reports.
In this article, we'll cover:
- What is Accounting Date?
- Setting up Accounting Date
- How do you use Accounting Date?
- Campaigns and Accounting Date
- Gift Aid and Accounting Date
- Checking Accounting Dates against Transaction Dates
- Reporting on and segmenting by Accounting Date
What is Accounting Date?
Accounting Date is a flexible date field that allows you to recognize income based on when it needs to be accounted for, if this is different to the date a transaction was confirmed. For example, this might include:
- Backdating a donation if you're processing it after it was received, for example at the end of a calendar year
- Splitting a gift over multiple years to reflect when you expect to receive the funds
- Backdating a ticket sale when you're editing an order so that you can keep the original sale date
Accounting Date is a date field in addition to Transaction Confirmed Date. This Accounting Date can be edited by you to reflect the date that you want items and payments in a transaction to be accounted for. Accounting Date is stored against each transaction within an order.
NOTE: you can choose to restrict the ability to edit Accounting Date to only those users with the Sales Administrator and/or Opportunities Administrator role. To do so, just head to Settings > Users > User Roles > General Actions and click the switch next to Edit Accounting Date to toggle this on:
Setting up Accounting Date
The ability to view, edit, segment by and report on Accounting Date can be toggled on by Spektrix Support – please get in touch to request that this be turned on for your Spektrix system. Once it is, you'll be able to change the Accounting Date for any new transactions you process.
Before using Accounting Date, it's important to decide how it will be used across your organization. Considerations you may want to make are:
- Whether you'll use it to reflect the date income was accrued or the date it was paid to you
- Which users you want to have access to edit Accounting Date
- Which custom reports you might need to update to reflect Accounting Date
- Many standard reports will update automatically when Accounting Date is turned on in your system; see below for a full list
If you want any advice or consultation on these areas, please contact the Support, Training and Consultancy team.
How do you use Accounting Date?
Using Accounting Date is very simple; you can input Accounting Date in both the Sales Interface and Opportunities Interface. You can view Accounting Date for each transaction throughout the system, including in reports and segmentation.
Inputting the Accounting Date
You'll see Accounting Date whenever you're processing a transaction either in the Sales Interface or Opportunities Interface, just under the Customer information in the basket. The Accounting Date field will default to the date that you started the transaction:
To change the Accounting Date, simply click the blue pencil next to the date and select the date that you want to account for the transaction:
Once you've picked the right date, you can save your input.
NOTE: you cannot adjust the accounting date on a transaction with a card or Chip and PIN payment. This is because the Accounting Date must match the Transaction Confirmed Date of any card or Chip and PIN payments in a transaction for accurate financial reconciliation.
Changing the Accounting Date on items you've processed
Accounting Date lives at the transaction level. This means that, in order to change it on an item you've already processed, you need to return and re-buy that item within the order, using multiple transactions. For example, imagine that you've processed a donation in 2021 and you intended for it to be in the previous financial year, in 2020. Your transaction may look something like the below:
In order to change this donation to be dated correctly for the previous financial year, we recommend returning the donation using the original Accounting Date for the transaction in which you processed the donation. You can refund the payment to a Custom Payment Type, too. This means that, for the original date you processed the donation, the donation net value will be zero:
Next, within the same order but in a new transaction, add the donation to your basket again, but this time select the correct Accounting Date. You can pay for the donation using a Custom Payment Type so that you can balance the order:
Once you've done this, your donation will be reflected in your Spektrix reports for the day on which you want it processed.
NOTE: we'd recommend you set up a Custom Payment Type and Custom Refund Type called, for example, 'Accounting Date Error Adjustment' – more information on setting up Custom Payment and Refund Types can be found here.
Viewing the Accounting Date
Accounting Date is possible to view across your Spektrix system for transactions you've already processed. You can see it in:
- A customer's order history in both the Sales Interface and Opportunities Interface
- The donor timeline in the Opportunities Interface
- The order search, where these date fields will look at Accounting Date and Date Transaction Confirmed
- The donations tab in the Orders section of a customer's record
Campaigns and Accounting Date
In Spektrix, Campaigns are used to project and track revenue from donations, and are especially useful for managing fundraising targets and goals. We recommend structuring your Campaigns around your financial year so the Campaign level tracks by the financial year, and then your Sub Campaigns and Sub-sub Campaigns can break down income streams more specifically. For more information on setting up your Campaign structure, have a read of our article on Campaigns.
Accounting Date works in conjunction with the financial year Campaign structure to add more specificity at the transaction level. While Campaigns attribute income to the correct financial year for projection and targeting, Accounting Date allows you to specify the exact date in that financial year the money was received. This is key for accurate acknowledgments, renewals, and order histories. Because Campaigns allow you to forecast and track progress, you should continue to maintain the financial year structure and use it alongside Accounting Date to ensure all of your income is recorded correctly.
Gift Aid and Accounting Date
When you start using Accounting Date, you'll need to consider how Gift Aid declarations are added and maintained on the customer record, and how to take Accounting Date into account when making a Gift Aid claim. For more information, head to this section of our article on Tracking and Claiming Gift Aid.
Checking Accounting Dates against Transaction Dates
You may wish to check the details of specific transactions where the Accounting Date does not match the Transaction Date. For this, you should run the Accounting Date Audit Report.
The Accounting Date Audit Report enables Spektrix users to easily review transactions where the Accounting Date differs from the Transaction Date. This level of oversight will help you spot unintended accounting discrepancies, and ensure payments are being processed correctly.
Reporting on and segmenting by Accounting Date
When you begin using Accounting Date, it's important to consider when you should use this date versus Date Transaction Confirmed. For example, when segmenting donors by calendar year, you will want to use Accounting Date to accurately capture the date they made the donation. When review any orders processed Spektrix in a time period – regardless of when the money is accounted for – Date Transaction Confirmed might be best.
Accounting Date is available to output in these report types:
- Mailing ROI
- Soft Credits
Accounting Date is available as a criteria for these report types:
- Soft Credits
Accounting Date is available in these segment types for Customer Lists and Auto Tags:
- Soft Credits
Accounting Date is available to output and in standard date criteria in these Standard Reports:
- Average Price Tracker
- Accounting Date Audit
- Event Sales Comparison
- Payment & Activities
- By User
- Daily Breakdown
- ROI by Mailings
- Donation Conversion Analysis
- Donation Analysis
- Donations Report
- Event Sales Movement Report
- Movement by Event
- Movement by Instance
Accounting Date is also used to calculate these metrics in reports and Customer Lists:
- Purchase Date
- Average Days Booked in Advance
- Weeks Since Last Order
- Campaign Items Date
- Date Returned
- Days Booked in Advance
- Advance Sale
If you still have questions about how to use Accounting Date, or if you would like to discuss anything else, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Support, Training, and Consultancy team.