Virtuous CRM is a great tool for tracking donations, but there's much more to finance, which is why it's essential to have a good, separate accounting system, like QuickBooks. Virtuous is designed to reflect your donors' experience as closely as possible, which is crucial. When having conversations with donors, you don't want to be considering administrative fees, depreciation of assets, since that's not in their mind. Your donor knows they donated $XXX to your last capital campaign, and you want to make sure to acknowledge and thank them for that.

Your finance team, on the other hand, does need to consider all of these factors, and many more, all of which requires a separate accounting system.

As a general best practice, we recommend importing all Gifts to Virtuous first, and then exporting data to import to QuickBooks. The Virtuous Gift & Contact Import tool is specifically designed to match Gifts with the correct Contacts, and even create new Contacts as needed, and identify the correct Project designations for recurring Gifts.

Projects are the Key

The connective tissue between Virtuous and your QuickBooks data will be your Projects. Since Projects are used to track the designation, or use, of money received, they should align with the GL accounts you track for accounting purposes. In particular, the Project Code, which is the unique identifier for each Project in your database, should match up with the coding you are using in QuickBooks.

There are two different versions of QuickBooks, each with slightly different import standards and requirements. In this article, we'll focus on working with Quickbooks Desktop. You can learn more about using Virtuous QBConnect to sync data with Quickbooks Online in this support article.

QuickBooks Desktop

The desktop version of QuickBooks uses a proprietary file type, IIF, for imports. Because IIF files are specific to QuickBooks, they are not easy to view, but you should be able to review the contents of the file once you have downloaded it by right-clicking on the file and choosing to open it with a text editor, like Notepad. Because the IIF file requires very specific formatting, it's crucial to make sure that the correct settings are in place before attempting to export or import data.

First, the IIF export requires that a Default Project is selected for your account. As part of your account setup, you should have a Project named "Default Designation," which is set as the Default Project for your organization. To change this, find the Project that should be set as the default from the Projects screen, click to edit the Project, and then check the "Set as Default" checkbox in the lower left. The Default Project should be whichever project represents your general fund, or general operating support.

As part of the import process, Gifts will be imported to a default account and then distributed to the correct designation accounts. The code for this default account is controlled on the main Organization Settings screen for your account, which may require assistance from your administrator.

On the Organization Settings screen, set the Default Cash Accounting Code to match whichever account should be the default for your QuickBooks setup. For some organizations, this may be your general operating ledger account or it may be set up as your main bank account. As a system default, you will see "General Fund" when first making changes to your settings.

This default value can be overwritten on any individual Gift by entering a value in the "Cash Accounting Code" field during Gift entry.

As mentioned before, Project Codes are the crucial link between Virtuous and QuickBooks. Specifically, the Project Code will be mapped to the Account field in the QuickBooks IIF file. The output for the Class and Memo fields is hard-coded in Virtuous. Class will be output as "Donations: Special" for all Gifts that have a Segment Code set, or "Donations: One-Time" for all Gifts that do not have a Segment Code selected. The Memo will include the Contact Type of the donor and the Campaign Name, formatted as "{Contact Type} Donation - Special - {Campaign Name}." So, if the John and Sarah Jane Smith household gave a donation to the a Project called "Document Restoration" with Project Code "HP616," as part of your "Historical Preservation" Campaign, the IIF file would map the Account, Class, and Memo fields as:

Account - HP616
Class - Donations: Special
Memo - Household Donation - Special - Historical Preservation

In addition, the DOCNUM will be the Check Number (if present) for check Gifts.

The IIF file also includes customer data, which will allow for creating records for each donor. The "Note" field for the Customer will be the Contact ID from Virtuous.

Exporting IIF Files

Once your setup is complete, it will be time to generate your IIF file. There are two places to run this export.

Once a Gift Import has been completed, click on the import ID link to view a summary of the data included in that import.

On the import summary screen, click on the Actions button in the upper-right and then select "Export IIF" to generate an IIF export file for all of the Gifts included in your import.

Any Gift query can also be exported as an IIF file. ON the Build Query screen, just look for the "Export IIF" button near the bottom of the screen. 

Use the query option to export data for multiple imports at once. For example, if you plan to sync data to QuickBooks once per week, maybe every Friday, then you can create a Gift query to find all Gifts imported for the week and export all of the data to a single IIF file.

When querying for Gifts by date for exporting to QuickBooks, it's best to use the Create Date field instead of the Gift Date field, in order to capture all Gifts imported within a particular time frame.

There are several different versions of QuickBooks, so the import process may vary. But you should be able to click on the File menu, select "Utilities," then select "Import," and then click "IIF Files." This should allow you to select the correct IIF file saved on your computer and run the import.

There are several import guides available via the Intuit help portal, should you need more guidance on the import process.

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