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I'm producing accounts for a local political party using GNU Cash.

There are a lot of benefits in kind that we need to account for.

Previously I included these on a separate spreadsheet, but would like to get all the accounts related stuff in one place ideally.

Is there any standard way of doing this in GNU Cash (or for that matter other accounting software)?

  • Do you mean something like free flights, where there is an accepted value of the gift? Or are you talking about things like appearances at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, where there is no monetary value assignable? – Lawrence Oct 13 at 13:52
  • The former. Say someone donation use of a hall, but pays it themselves and doesn't ask for compensations, then the cost of hiring counts as a donation in kind. Or if someone does work that would also be their day-job, but doesn't charge for it, then at least a cost-rate entry for it ought to be counted under donations in kind. If there aren't many then I can track them on a spreadsheet, but I'd prefer everything to be within the accounts system, rather than in separate places. – mat8iou Oct 13 at 15:38
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Check your local laws, but here's something I googled up:

Australian Accounting Standard AAS 29 Financial Reporting by Government Departments requires contributions of services to be recognised as assets and revenues when and only when the fair value of those services can be reliably determined and the services would have been purchased if they had not been donated (emphasis added). Under the AASB’s strategy for Australian Accounting Standards applicable to public sector entities, the requirements for government departments would be conformed to those applicable to other not-for-profit entities (including requirements in any revision of AASB 1004). - Australian Accounting Standards Board

So assuming your in-kind entry was to be recognised, consider entering it as any other item, with the fair value entered in the appropriate place.

For example, if someone donated a hall hire worth $100, enter an expense "Hall Hire" of $100 against income account "Donations", “In-kind Donations” “Donated Goods and Services”, or similar.

Disclaimer: I'm not an accountant; please seek appropriate professional advice.

  • That's kind of what my thinking is, after a while racking my brains over it - an income account called donations in kind, and then the money is directly assigned to an outgoing, rather than going via the current account or whatever would normally happen with a monetary donation. – mat8iou Oct 13 at 20:17
  • @mat8iou I’ve edited to make the “in-kind” explicit in the income account. The individual entry would show the “in-kind” nature since it didn’t go to a bank account or petty cash etc, but after reading your comment I realised that having a separate “in-kind” income account allows you to more easily pull up those transactions and their aggregates. – Lawrence Oct 13 at 23:35

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