About this time every year, a host of ResultsPlus customers have just completed their fiscal year. The business office and/or accountant begins to wrap things up, formulate totals, reconcile accounts, and generate financial reports. Collectively, this is termed ‘closing the year’ and it usually involves some reconciliation between the accounting office and the development office.
When our customers see the term ‘closing the year’ inside the ResultsPlus application, the calls start coming into the support line. Perhaps because the phrase bears a weight of seriousness imposed by their accountant, it strikes fear in many of our customers and causes them to be hesitant and nervous. If this sounds like you, then I’d like to try and alleviate some of the anxiety.
While closing the fiscal year in ResultsPlus is important, the organization will not implode if it isn’t done at the correct moment with laser-like precision. Your database will not self-destruct, and no house of cards will come tumbling down if you don’t perform this task in a specifically-defined manner. Your data will remain as it always was – and you can continue to add new data as each day passes.
In fact, the reason we force you to take this very specific action to close your year is for your own good. Well, perhaps convenience is a better word. ResultsPlus could perform the task for you, however it would need to be set to occur on a specific date (like June 30th at midnight) and you may or may not be ready to close your year at that time. So the application simply asks you to do it when you’re ready.
So what do you need to do to get ready to close the year? Here are a few suggestions to do before you close the year:
- Post all your batches that contain 2015 gifts. Make sure to put any 2016 gifts into a separate batch, as you won’t be able to post those until the year-end closing process is complete.
- Run any of these year-end reports that you find helpful:
- LYBUNT and SYBUNT reports (to find out who is lapsing)
- Outstanding Pledge report (your accountant will likely ask for this information)
- Matching Gifts report
- Pledges Past Due report
- Solicitor Analysis report
- If you use Giving Levels, and they are set up based on fiscal year giving, run any related reports or mail merges on that data. The Giving Level field will be set back to zero when you close the year.
- Backup your database and close the fiscal year. If you’re a Platinum customer, you’ll be given the opportunity to back up the database during the closing procedure. If you are a customer of ResultsPlus Online, just let your administrator know when you’ve completed these steps and they’ll handle this task for you.
There is a handy tutorial available on closing your year: View it on the How-To tab in the Tutorials group. More information is also available in the user assistance area under the topic of Maintaining Your ResultsPlus Database: Year-End Processing.
Here’s hoping that fiscal year 2015 was prosperous and that fiscal year 2016 will be even better!