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Chart of Accounts for Profit Center Analysis

I just became the acting Treasurer for a NPO...essentially a 'makers' co-op for sharing equipment. The closest I have to experience is a class 20/+ years ago. A casual view of our financial accounting shows it is a mess (requiring huge effort to reconcile for taxes) and we are not set up for any kind managerial analysis.


We have several shops such as woodworking or welding. At present we have three potential sources of income: 1.) subscriptions to the org which give access to all the shops, 2.)  quick (16 hours or so) classes hosted by individual shops, 3.) and, under development, semester-length in-depth classes partnering with charter schools and a foster-care transition program.


I want to set up a managerial accounting system so that we can make informed decisions about investing in our shops and classes. But I need to do it without messing up our future reorganization on the financials/tax side. For the moment, I'm focusing on the short classes. We charge a fee for the classes based on "materials fees + 2x instructor class wage, of which we get half." I want to set the chart up to isolate these three segments as sub-categories within the relevant shop. Then:


1.) "Materials Fees" would be allocated to the individual shop to support their operations


2.) The instructor's pay would go to them (being essentially transparent to us except as payroll)


3.) The rest would go to the organization as a whole for overhead, building remodel, etc.


My first question is, can this be done in QB?


Then, is it better to use accounts and sub-accounts, or classes and sub-classes.


And, is there a better approach I'm missing because I don't know what I don't know?


Ultimately, I'd like to roll up income and expense by the three programs -- subscriptions, short classes, academy classes.


Thanks for any thoughts, links to articles, book or article suggestions, QB pointers, etc.




QuickBooks Team

Re: Chart of Accounts for Profit Center Analysis

I appreciate the complete details about your concern, @davefwood.


Yes, you can utilize QuickBooks' Project feature to organize your income and expenses for each potential source of income. I can walk you through how it works. 

First, let's create your projects.

  1. Go to the Projects menu.
  2. Click the New Projects button.
  3. Enter the name of the Project and the customer's name.
  4. Click Save

Once completed, ensure to associate all your income and expense transactions under each project. For more detailed instructions, you may refer to this article: Track income, costs, and profitability by the project.


On the other hand, the class tracking feature enables you to determine which departments or location of your business is more profitable or not. You can visit this article to learn more: Using Classes and Locations in QuickBooks Online.


To learn more on about the projects feature, you can visit these articles:

Let me know if you have other questions. I am always here to help.

Not applicable

Re: Chart of Accounts for Profit Center Analysis

A big thanks to you, juVieIL.


You've given me a sense that


1.) This can be done, and

2.) I can figure out how with QB resources.


That's a big relief.


I'll go through what you've given me, try to integrate it all in my head, and try a test case with two of the shops: one in a growth phase that has expanded it's class offerings, the other a new class that wants to pay off a recent board investment for the equipment needed to for them to start operations.


If I need to ask more specific how to questions, should I do it in this thread, or start another?


Dave W


Not applicable

Re: Chart of Accounts for Profit Center Analysis

A big vote of thanks, juVieIL.


You've confirmed:


1.) It's doable, and 

2.) I can figure out how, using QB resources.


That's the difference between a huge frustrating slog and a calm systemic project.


I'll read through what you've given me, then try setting up two shops with different expense structures as a test case. For the moment, I'll assume there's a way to isolate them in then Chart so that my efforts don't throw of the rest of the system.


I'm new to using this sort of community board. If I have further questions, should I ask them under this thread to create a kind of journal for other readers, or close this thread and start each question in it's own thread?


Dave W

QuickBooks Team

Re: Chart of Accounts for Profit Center Analysis

I’m delighted to hear that QuickBooks is helping you stay on track, @davefwood!


Yes, you can create a new thread or leave your comments by clicking the Reply button. Either way, it will be visible to all my colleagues and other members of the Community.


Also, be sure to visit our blog for news on the new time and money-saving features we'll add: Firm of the Future.


Lastly, you may join our webinars and training classes to learn more tips and tricks in using QuickBooks accounting and bookkeeping features:

Feel free to swing by if you have other questions. Wishing you continued success!

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