Categories
Budgeting

How to Track Multi-Year Grant Budgets in QuickBooks

Because Quickbooks budgets only span a single fiscal year, a common problem facing nonprofits using QuickBooks is how to deal with budgeting multi-year grants. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to use jobs and estimates to accomplish this:

1. Turn on the estimates function at Edit > Preferences > Jobs & Estimates > Company Preferences. You may also want to turn on progress invoicing if you will be invoicing the grant in stages.

2. Create a Customer for each granting agency and a job for each individual grant. Go to the Customer Center and click on New Customer & Job.

3. Create double-sided service items for each expense category of the grant. Go to Lists > Item List, click the Items box and select New. Make sure to map them to both a revenue and expense account by checking the box next to “This service is used in assemblies or is performed by a subcontractor or partner”.

4. Create an estimate for each grant. Go to Customers > Create Estimates. Select the Customer: Job you created for the grant. Add a line for each expense category you created and enter your budget expense in the Rate column. You can use the Markup column to add a % for overhead expenses, but most granting agencies like to see this broken out in a separate line.

5. You can send your estimate to your granting agencies as a grant proposal by selecting either print or email. You can customize it–change columns, headers/footers, etc.–by selecting Customize, and then Additional Customization.

6. Once the grant is accepted, you might want to consider turning it into a sales order so you can keep track of grant proposals vs. accepted grants. First, turn on the sales order function at Edit > Preferences > Sales & Customers > Company Preferences. Once you do, you can turn an estimate into a sales order by clicking on the little down arrow next to Create Invoice.

7. Make sure to use the items you created for each expense category on all your purchase transactions. All the purchase forms (Enter Bills, Write Checks, Enter Credit Card Charges) default to the Expenses tab, but there’s an Items tab just to the right. Select the Items tab, enter the item for the expense category you’re paying and enter the customer:job for the grant. If it is a reimbursement grant, keep the Billable box checked. You may also need to turn on the “Create Invoices from a list of time & expenses” function at Edit > Preferences > Time & Expenses > Company Preferences. Note: You can have both Expenses and Items on the same purchase form if you are making a payment for both grant and non-grant expenses.

8. If you are making purchasing or using subcontractors on behalf of the grant, you might want to consider using purchase orders. First, turn on the purchase order function at Edit > Preferences > Items & Inventory > Company Preferences. Once you do, you can turn an estimate into a purchase order by clicking on the little down arrow next to Create Invoice.

9. You can turn an estimate into an invoice by selecting Create Invoice. However, if you turned an estimate into a sales orders you should create the invoice from the sales order instead. Otherwise, the sales order will always remain open. If it is a reimbursement grant, you should create the invoice at Customers > Invoice for Time & Expenses.

10. Use the Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail report (Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage) for your grant budget report. You can change the title of the report by clicking on Modify Report and selecting the Header/Footer tab. Other useful reports (depending on what additional functions you turned on) are Open Purchase Orders by Job and Unbilled Costs by Job, both also found under Jobs, Time & Mileage, and Open Sales Orders by Customer (Reports > Sales).

Categories
Wealth Building

5 Easy Steps To Obtain a Grant of Probate

When disposing of an estate, you will sometimes need to obtain a document called a Grant of Probate, or, depending on the situation Letters of Administration. If needed, this document is an official statement to asset and debt holders, informing them that you are the executor in charge of distributing the assets and paying off the debts. It allows them to communicate with you, safe in the knowledge that they are resolving the estate with the designated representative.

You will need to apply for, and obtain a Grant if the value of the deceased’s estate exceeds £5,000.00 or if there is property, such as a house, to dispose of. Banks, building societies and other asset holders can, at their discretion, ask to see a Grant regardless of the value of the asset they hold.

That being said, you are unlikely to need a grant if the estate is passing to a surviving spouse, or if the assets are held in joint names and are passing to the joint owner.

Once you have established whether or not you need to obtain a Grant, you will need to follow the below steps to successfully obtain the Grant.

Step One

Your first step will be to work out the value of the estate. In the simplest terms, you will do this by adding together the estate’s assets and subtracting the estate’s debts.

The asset holders will inform you of the value of each of the assets at the time of death. You need to enter these figures into the Inheritance Tax form, and this will calculate the value of the estate.

You must do this even if the Estate is below the Inheritance Tax Threshold.

Step Two

Complete an Inheritance Tax form either IHT205 or IHT400.

To know which form you need to fill out you need to understand the differences between the forms. Form IHT205 is the form that you need to fill out if there is no inheritance tax to be paid, either because the estate is too low in value or because the estate is an exempted estate.

The IHT400 is the form that is filled out when there is inheritance tax to be paid. However, there will be some situations where there is no inheritance tax to be paid, and the IHT400 will still be the form you need to fill out so you need to be careful and assess the estate in detail. if you are unsure then start filling in IHT205 and it will guide you to form IHT400 if it is needed.

If you think that there is no inheritance tax due on the estate then you should start filling out IHT205, you may soon find however that you will need to change to form IHT400.

Step Three

Complete a probatePA1 application form.

To complete this form, you will need to know the basic details of the person who has died, e.g.: their first name & surname, date of birth, date of death, and marital status. You will also need to know some more specific information e.g.: did the deceased own any assets under another name, was the deceased adopted.

You will have to fill in questions about the Will if one exists. As well as any information on any foreign held assets e.g.: did the deceased own a holiday home abroad.

Section five of this form discusses the relatives of the deceased. Section six is a section where you provide your details.

Section seven is where you provide details of any inheritance tax owed by the estate. You can get these figures from the inheritance tax forms completed at Step Two.

Section eight applies to those who are applying on behalf of someone who has been nominated as an executor but has lost capacity. You will need to provide details of the person you are applying on behalf of.

Section nine is a helpful checklist that allows you to make sure that you have completed all of the forms and enclosed all of the necessary documents. Following this checklist means that your application is far more likely to be accepted.

Step Four

Swear an oath. You can obtain an oath from the probate registry or draft one yourself, although if you choose this, then you need to be careful as an oath will only be valid in certain formats.

Swearing the oath will not take long, you will need to swear it in front of a solicitor or a local probate office, and this will cost approximately £5.00.

Step Five

Send your application to the probate registry.

You should include:

  • The probate application form PA1,
  • The Inheritance Tax form, an official copy of the death certificate,
  • The Oath,
  • The original will and three copies – and any codicils,
  • The application fee of £215 – a cheque made payable to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (there’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000.00).

You can pay for extra copies of the grant (50p each) – this means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.

Once you have received the Grant of Probate, you can continue with gathering in the assets and paying the deceased’s debts.

You should now have a basic understanding of hen you might need a Grant of Probate as well as what steps to follow to obtain a Grant.

Categories
Student Loans

Financial Aid – The Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is one of the post-secondary education grant programs run under the auspices of the United States Department of Education. The name itself comes from a US Senator, Claiborne Pell, while the program was originally called the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program.

The fact that it is a grant means that it does not require repayment, and it is awarded on the basis of financial need, which is calculated via a formula devised and overseen by the US Congress. A student’s application is considered after his or her submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (more commonly known as the FAFSA) form, which may be downloaded from the Internet.

Due to the fact that the Grants are aimed principally at students from lower-income families, the receipt of a Pell Grant is often used for research purposes to gauge the attendance of low-income students as well as to gauge how economically diverse the student body of a college is. In early 2006, Federal budget legislation served to cut the financial aid budget a staggering $12.5 billion, although the maximum limit was upped to $5,800 until the end of 2011.

Despite this, however, maximum Grants are not funded at such a high amount, and the highest Pell award that can be made to students has remained at $4,050 since the 2003-04 academic year. The maximum award given under the Grant program can change from year-to-year, and is entirely dependent on available program funding. The current indications are that the maximum Pell Grant will rise to $5,400 by the year 2012. Due to increasing cost posed by fees and tuition, however, a Pell Grant only covers around 31% of a student’s attendance cost as compared to around 60% twenty years ago.

For a student to qualify to receive a Pell Grant they should demonstrate financial need, and this is calculated against Expected Family Contribution, which is determined from the information the student provides on their submitted FAFSA form. A student may only receive Federal Pell Grant support from one school at a time.

Categories
Student Loans

Financial Aid – The ACG Grant

In 2005, the Higher Education Reconciliation Act set up two new grant programs designed to aid those students eligible to receive the Pell Grant-one was the Academic Competitiveness Grant (APG), and it was first available during the 2006-07 academic year in order to stimulate students into taking on more rigorous high school study course that they may also consider challenging college courses in turn.

The Academic Competitiveness Grant is open to applicants that are first-year undergraduates having graduated from high school post-January 1st, 2005. Second-year students that graduated from high school after January 1st, 2005 are also eligible. The ACG is an additional award on top of the Pell Grant. The program is likely to come under fairly sharp focus in political circles soon, as, despite the fact that an initial $790 million was ascribed to fund the program during the 2006-07 academic year and $4.5 billion set aside over the following five year period, the program is set to expire when the 2010-11 school year unless it is renewed. The program itself is under the management of the Academic Competitiveness Council and is chaired by the Secretary of Education

In respect to the terms of eligibility for the grant itself, the definition of a ‘rigorous program’ is determined by a state or local educational body and is subsequently recognized by the Secretary of State of Education

Due to the fact that a number of states, as yet, do not offer programs that are officially recognized as ‘academically rigorous’ under the terms of grant eligibility, and the government’s desire to include privately-schooled students, home-schooled students, and so forth, other programs of study are also recognized, such as State Scholar Initiatives, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In order to be eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant, applicants should be full-time students, US citizens and should also meet all eligibility terms and conditions for the Federal Pell Grant. In order to formally submit their application, students should fill in and return a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which can be done online or via regular mail. Alternatively students may also apply for other federal grants at the same time and help make the most out of one application.

Categories
Student Loans

Financial Aid – The FSEOG Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is typically awarded to undergraduate students from low-income families, and, as it is a grant, does not require repayment, unlike a student loan. As of last year (2009), grants were awarded under the FSEOG program of anywhere from $100 to $4,000 per annum. In order to provide proof of their qualification for the award of a FSEOG Grant, students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon the successful receipt and evaluation of this form, their application will be either granted or denied, depending on the information given therein.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant was implemented in 1966, and has, from this time, awarded many millions of dollars to students from low-income families. From 2009, the FSEOG program was second only to the Pell Grant program in terms of being the largest federal grant program.

In order to meet the criteria necessary to qualify for receipt of a FSEOG award, students must meet three main conditions: First, they must be an enrolled college undergraduate at one of the 4,000 participating universities. Second, the applicant should be a US citizen. Finally, the student should demonstrate ‘significant financial need’. By filling out the FAFSA form, the student will automatically be considered for a FSEOG, so there is no need to fill out a separate application.

Students in receipt of the Federal Pell Grant-and those with the lowest projected family contributions-will be the first in line to be considered for the FSEOG. The main deadline for submission of FAFSAs is June 30th, although with regards to state financial aid, individual states will have their own deadlines, so be sure to look on the FAFSA website in order to be sure of your dates.

With regards to the receipt of a FSEOG award, students should get their FAFSAs in on time, and should also make sure that they maintain a decent academic record whilst also being enrolled in a minimum of six credits. In the event that these conditions cease to be met in full, FSEOG payments may be stopped. Additionally students may wish to see what other federal grants may be available to them in order to maximize their potential funding while attending school and minimize the financial difficulties they may face afterward.