When we implemented Dashboard last summer, we made some changes to the data we were tracking on your projects to give you a more complete picture of your accounts and to make it easier to segregate the data within our financial software. These changes also impacted your monthly reports. Based on feedback we have received, we have determined that many of you still have questions about these changes. For the November newsletter, we will do our best to clarify these changes and encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.
Prior to these changes, your project activity was marked as either spendable or non-spendable. All activity for current use/operating projects was considered spendable, and used account codes beginning with 01-. For your endowments, all revenue (gifts and investment earnings less fees) was tracked as non-spendable and used account codes beginning with 02-. We also gave you a spendable income amount every year that your expenditures were tracked against.
We have not made any changes to how we account for spendable money. All current use/operating projects are still considered spendable and are accounted for using 01- account codes. All spendable income and expenditures on your endowment accounts are also still accounted for using 01- account codes. The 02- account codes continue to track realized investment earnings and fees, and at the end of the fiscal year, we transfer your yearly spendable income from these accumulated earnings to the 01- accounts.
What has changed is how we track your non-spendable endowment dollars. We added 03- as an account code to track new gifts. This allows us to keep track of historical gift values directly in our financial software as they are posted from the Advance gift software. Previously, we tracked historical gift values in spreadsheets, which increased the potential for human error.
On June 30, 2012, we transferred all accumulated historical gift values for all endowments from the 02- code to the 03- code, and have continued to track new gifts for endowment accounts with the 03- code since then. When you log into Dashboard, you should see updated historical gift values as new gifts are received or posted. Ultimately, we only transferred the historical gift dollars from one set of accounts within your projects to another - meaning your overall balance was not affected at all.
Additionally, we created a new 04- account code to track unrealized gains and losses. Originally, this information was maintained outside of our financial software. However, by adding this information, we were able to change your total project balance from a "book value" balance to a "market value" balance. You may have noticed that your ending project balances on your non-spendable reports for June 2012 did not equal the beginning balances on your July 2012 reports. That is due to the entry of unrealized gains and losses made after the June reports had been distributed, which are now tracked using the 04- account code.
For those of you who try to reconcile your records to our records, it may be best to track the unrealized gain/loss numbers separately to see how they are added to your accumulated unrealized gain and loss.
If you need additional clarification, please contact us as we would be happy to explain further.