Ending the Summer and Your Fiscal Year

We’re nearing the end of summer, which generally causes some predictable things to happen here at Metafile. Our support team tends to get busier as our customers return to a ‘normal’ office routine. Summer vacations wind down, new school years are prepared for, and employees on reduced summer schedules are back in the office full-time.

This is a season when we prepare for an increase in calls about an important annual maintenance task which you need to perform in ResultsPlus: closing your fiscal year. Many of our customers operate on a fiscal (or accounting) year which begins in July and ends in June – particularly education organizations. So now is a typical time to wrap up activity from the previous year and begin tracking for the year ahead. Since the concept seems to generate questions each year, I thought it might be helpful to understand more about the process and what actually happens when you close your fiscal year in ResultsPlus.

You may have heard your accountant talk about ‘closing the books’ and the ResultsPlus process is similar in concept. In both cases, we’re attempting to tally up and total all the figures pertaining to a given fiscal year and archive the information so that we have a static picture of that years’ performance.

Using a fiscal year-end date of June 30, 2012, here are the specific changes that are made to your ResultsPlus database when you close Fiscal Year 2012:

  • The Fiscal History and Fiscal Summary tables are updated.
    (FY2012 gifts are counted and summed and moved from the ‘YTD’ (year-to-date) fields into the ‘Year1’ fields.)
    (‘YTD’ fields are emptied, making room for FY2013 gifts.)
  • The Annual Giving view on a donor’s Executive Summary is updated, showing FY2012 totals and counts at the top of the list and shifting all previous-year giving downward in the list.
  • If you use Giving Levels, and they are based on your fiscal year, the levels assigned based on FY2012 giving are cleared in preparation for FY2013 giving level assignments.

In ResultsPlus, the process of closing your year basically just shifts the definition of the term ‘this year’ so that it applies to the fiscal year in front of you. This may mean something to you if you track and report your ‘Lybunts’ (those who gave Last-Year-But-Unfortunately-Not-This year) and ‘Sybunts.’ If you want to easily see a list of donors who gave last year (FY2011) but not this year (FY2012), then make sure to run the report or query while ResultsPlus still thinks ‘this year’ is FY2012.

While it sounds very serious, closing your year is really just an opportunity to take advantage of some built-in conveniences that can help you organize and analyze your data more quickly. No worries, though – even if you close your year before you’re actually ready, it’s still possible to get the information you’re looking for in other ways. It may take a few more steps, but it’s all still obtainable and we’re here to help.

Check out the information in the user assistance area and the built-in tutorial on the How To tab: ‘How to Close the Year.’