Whether your nonprofit’s fiscal year ends with the calendar year or not, it’s never too early to become familiar with the required End of Year (EOY) processing steps in The Financial Edge. Typically, before executing EOY processing, an organization will have an audit of its finances conducted. To prepare for an audit, your organization will need to gather and prepare information for the auditor. The auditor may provide your organization with a list of items they will examine and items you will need to prepare and complete. Once your organization has completed your audit and has made all necessary adjustments via journal entry into the General Ledger, you can begin your EOY processing.
Running the General Ledger EOY process is important because it will automatically calculate the net/surplus deficit for each fund and transfers this activity to the appropriate fund balance accounts. It will also calculate the EOY closing balances for all balance sheet accounts while creating your starting balances for the next fiscal. The EOY process will also balance out all your income statement activity while preserving the transactional details of your activities. By closing your income statement activity this will in turn calculate the increase/decrease in net assets for the year. And last but not least, the EOY process will permanently restrict journal entries from being posted to the closed fiscal year.
It is important to note that Blackbaud’s General Ledger gives you the ability to keep multiple fiscal years open at once. While it is wise to complete these processes each year in a timely manner, if you need additional time to complete your audit you can continue to work in the General Ledger in the new fiscal year. If you do have multiple fiscal years open, General Ledger will perform a mock close on your reports for open fiscal years so your report balances are accurate. Closing a fiscal year alone does not delete any transactional activity.
Prior to closing your fiscal year in Financial Edge™, you will want to ensure the following:
- Make sure all your data is posted from each of your subsidiary ledgers
- Make sure your next fiscal year is defined in the General Ledger
- Make sure your fund balance account information is correct in configuration
- And, most importantly, make sure you have a backup of your data before you begin
All of your EOY closing activities will be located in the administration portion of the General Ledger.
There are a few steps necessary to closing your fiscal year. Prior to closing your fiscal year you will need to run the pre‐close report. The pre-close report will check your database to make sure that all the prerequisites have been met to be able to close the year. This report will identify any discrepancies to those prerequisites. All discrepancies must be addressed or you will not be able to proceed with the closing process. The pre‐close report will contain information regarding your funds and projects with their associated fund balance activity, any outstanding open batches, and the net increase/decrease of your net asset classes.
The pre-close report can be found under the ‘Close fiscal years’ option under Administration. This is also where you will perform your pre-close as well. Once you have successfully run your pre-closing report you will be able to proceed with the actual closing process. The purpose of closing a fiscal year in the General Ledger is to update your fund balance accounts with your income statement activity. The General Ledger will automatically calculate the net surplus/deficit for the year you are closing. It then balances out the income statement activity and balances it out to your net asset accounts by class. All of your balance sheet activity will roll forward to the next fiscal year. There are two options in the actual EOY closing; the pre-close and the actual close.
A pre‐closing is a mock closing used to temporarily close a fiscal year. Because closing a fiscal year is permanent, it is wise to pre‐close each fiscal year as soon as you enter all your EOY activity for the previous year. This ensures that no journal entries are erroneously posted to the year you are preparing to close.
Once your fiscal year is closed, you have completed your EOY processing in the General Ledger. After completing this process you should run the following checks to make sure that all your closing activity is accurate:
- Check the status of the fiscal year your just closed to make sure it is marked as “Closed”
- Reconcile your post-closing financials with your pre-closing financials
Now there are two additional EOY processing options available for older historical data, however these options are usually only utilized if there are space restrictions on your data server. If your organization chooses to, they can either summarize or purge a fiscal year. If you run these processes, the only way to restore this data is through a backup, so choose these options carefully and only at the direction of your auditor. If you choose to run either of these options it is suggested that you produce hard copies of any detailed reports you may need in the future.
The summarizing process will remove all transactional detail from the General Ledger. However, your beginning and ending balances as well as the net change for your net assets are still available for reporting purposes by period. By purging a fiscal year, you remove ALL detail about the fiscal year from the General Ledger.
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