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Level 1

operating quick books as a charity

I am the treasurer of our local u3a (University of the 3rd Age), in case you haven't heard of us we are a Uk based National organisation with branches throughout the UK As a branch we have over 700 members paying an annual membership fee, income which comes in once a year. We have two bank accounts one for unrestricted funds utilising the membership income for speakers, meetings, accounting and general expenses relating to the branch. The second restricted account is for our activities, we have around 50 diverse groups most of which have income and expenditure especially Theatre groups and outings. 
I currently control things with a large spreadsheet paying bills and recording income from the groups and membership. The turnover is around £70k / year and requires me to spend around 4 hours a week of unpaid voluntary work to keep control of the figures. We have NO payroll, Invoice, VAT or tax issues to contend with. 
i would like to set the whole thing up on a formal accounts package which would hopefully make my job and future handover much simpler, features we require include: (in no particular order)
  • Management and payment of Bills normally via BACS (occasionally Cheques)
  • Balance the bank monthly
  • Record income and expenditure as it arises
  • Prepare occasional reports of Expenditure against budget for Committee 
  • Prepare annual final accounts and balance sheet
  • Maintain two bank accounts and two separate ‘divisions’ (Restricted and Unrestricted funds)
Can anyone help me decide whether to use quick books and if so which package I need to go to?


QuickBooks Team

operating quick books as a charity

Hello there, Adrian-Long001.


Allow me to chime in for a moment and provide some information on how to set up this thing in a formal accounts package. 


First, you can pull up the Supplier Contact List and Supplier Balance Summary report to check the balances for the Management and payment of Bills. 


Second, you can reconcile your account so they match your bank statement. 


Third, you can create bills or invoices to record income and expenditure.


Fourth, to prepare occasional reports of expenditure against the budget for the committee you can pull up the Budget vs the Actual report. 


Fifth, to prepare the final accounts and balance sheet, you can pull up the Balance Sheet Summary.


Sixth, you can use Location or Class Category to maintain the two bank accounts and two separate divisions. You can check this article for more details on how to track account balances using different classes in QuickBooks Desktop: Set up and use class tracking in QuickBooks Desktop.


In terms of accounting, QuickBooks Pro is one of the most developed solutions available, boasting a chart of accounts, journal entries, bank reconciliation, 130 reports, and more.


You can also reach our support team for more guidance in purchasing the product or if you have further questions. For the steps, please see this article: Contact QuickBooks products and services Support.


Moreover, I've attached relevant articles you can utilize to manage reports in QuickBooks:



Don't hesitate to post again if you have other QuickBooks concerns. I'm always around to provide the information that you need. Have a great day!

Fiat Lux - ASIA
Level 15

operating quick books as a charity


Your tag is QB Desktop and they are discontinuing UK version until next year. If you don't need any online access (e.g bank feeds, MTD requirement), you may consider to purchase a one time license for QB Desktop 2020 UK Pro or Premier edition. You can manage multi files without extra cost. Otherwise, you should explore QB Online Advanced to have more features regarding user permissions and "divisions" as locations.


Level 1

operating quick books as a charity

Thanks for that but I'm getting quite confused with the advice so far, I'm really not sure which option to chose that will do the job I want, quite happy to work on-line rather than on desktop so that isn't an issue, but establishing which product I require which has the right features seems quite daunting, there is nowhere on the site which deals with Charities so I'm now wondering if this is the right platform to go for? When I look at the web site it asks Sole traders limited company, Vat Tax etc etc, there is no where which answers my requirements. I made an appointment with an "expert" who sent me various reminders but didn't keep the appointment, I e-mailed him but no response, we are a small charity so obviously cost is also an issue. I need to be sure the product will do the job at a reasonable price, how do I get that information?


operating quick books as a charity

I'm here to share additional information about choosing the version of QuickBooks that suits your needs, @Adrian-Long001.


You can use QuickBooks Online to set up and record in-kind donations and fund donations in QuickBooks Online. For detailed guidance on how to set it up and process those transactions, check out these articles:



Yes, you can reach our Sales Department our Customer Support to help you choose the right version of QuickBooks. Check this article for more information about the different types of support we offer and their availability: QuickBooks Online Support.


Here's a guide that can show you how to get started with QuickBooks Online by setting up your company file and many more.


Let me know in the reply section if you have further questions about QuickBooks. I'm always here to help. Have a wonderful day!

Level 1

operating quick books as a charity

Hi. Many thanks for your comprehensive reply and sorry it's taken so long for me to get back to this project. I am presuming that I need an online account particularly as I like the idea of linking our bank accounts and making sure every payment and deposit is recorded properly and easily including balancing the bank which currently seems to take an age!. Can I do that with two Bank accounts with one online account package? in which case which package do I need?

We receive new membership receipts throughout the year although the bulk of them come in over the first three months. Purchase invoices are paid throughout the year. We have no requirement for payroll, VAT or tax.

Reports for the committee against our budget would be nice to have. and we need a P&L and Balance sheet at the year end for inspection by the charities commission.

Your advice would be helpful.

Thank you 




QuickBooks Team

operating quick books as a charity

I appreciate your interest in using QuickBooks Online to manage your business, @Adrian-Long001


To find the right online package account for your needs, it's best to speak with one of our Sales Team Department agents, who can provide updated offers and product details.


You can find their contact information in the upper right corner of your Community page. 


Alternatively, you can visit this link for the latest plans:


For future reference, I'll attach this article to help you get started with QBO: Get started with QuickBooks Online.


If you have any concerns or questions in the future, the Community is always here to help. Feel free to tag me in your reply, and I'll respond as soon as possible.

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