"Funds" becomes "Merchant Account": July 25, 2018

The "Funds" section on your Flipcause sidebar has a new name: "Merchant Account".  We recognize that change isn't always easy, so we want to thank you for your patience as we work to make this part of Flipcause easier to understand. Read more to learn about why this update was made.

What are the updates?

1. The "Funds" section is now called "Merchant Account".

2. CSV Statements: You now are able to download and automatically email Account Statements in CSV format (in addition to PDF format) for easy import into quickbooks or other accounting systems. When Statements are set up to be automatically sent out by email, BOTH file types will be attached.

2. Campaign Filtering: The ability to filter records by "Campaign" was removed from the "Merchant Account Records & Reports" page, in order to preserve data integrity. This is because of the fact that "Campaign" information can be edited, while all information in the Merchant Account section is related to financial data, which is non-editable. The "description" field of all Merchant Account records now includes the Campaign Title and ID as it stood at the time of a transaction for your bookkeepers reference.

3. Better Understanding of Merchant Accounts: We've made several small design and terminology changes for clarity, including overlays and infographics showing how your Merchant Account works and links to new Help Center articles About Merchant Accounts and Flipcause Reporting Types. This last article will guide you through which report to use for your Merchant Account, and which to use for performance tracking, such as using the Transaction Report to determine how much you received through the Flipcause gateway for a specific campaign. (We've also added a new at-a-glance output of "Net Received on Flipcause" in "Reports" > "Full Transaction Report", so you can see how much your Flipcause Merchant Account Balance received from specific campaigns.)

Why did we make these changes?

We made these changes for a couple of reasons: 

1. The term "Funds" was simply confusing. We had been using the term as shorthand to mean " Flipcause Merchant Account Balance", which was not clearly defined within the platform. We heard your feedback, and recognized that this term was unclear because of the true definition of "funds" within the nonprofit space. 

In the nonprofit space, a 'fund' refers to a specific accounting ledger that is generally categorized as unrestricted' or 'restricted'. The number of 'funds' within each of these general categories can change over time and are determined by the restrictions and reporting requirements by donors, board, or fund providers. These ledgers or 'funds' should be set up internally in your organization, and all of your organization's contributions (from individual donors, grant issuing foundations, events, etc) should be reconciled into their proper 'fund' in your accounting system. Learn more about Fund Accounting here.

2. Flipcause is NOT an accounting system to be used for 'fund' reconciliation and accounting. It is important not to try to reconcile your various contributions into your organization's separate ledgers or 'funds' within Flipcause itself.  Your bookkeeper should instead reconcile all contributions to your organization to the proper organizational 'fund' using your accounting system. 

3. Flipcause IS a payment processor with a built-in merchant account (like Paypal), and a suite of community engagement tools. Some of your contributions (i.e. cash, checks, grants) come in directly to your bank account, so your bookkeeper will look at Bank Statements in order to reconcile these types of contributions. Contributions through your Flipcause payment gateway (forms and campaigns) are all accounted for within your Flipcause Merchant Account, so your bookkeeper can look at Flipcause Merchant Account Statements to reconcile contributions made through Flipcause. Every financial transaction through the Flipcause gateway is settled in real-time in your Flipcause Merchant Account Balance, so all money received is considered your organization's asset as soon as it is posted to your Merchant Account.  Since your Merchant Account Balance is considered your organization's asset, the balance does NOT need to be transferred to your bank account in order to be accounted for in your books. We recommend keeping a balance in your Flipcause Merchant Account to be available for potential refunds to your supporters. 

4. To make this easy for you, we issue monthly Merchant Account Statements, just like banks issue monthly Bank Statements. These Statements can be downloaded from your dashboard or emailed to your bookkeeper on a monthly basis via CSV or PDF.  They provide financial information about all money that has been raised through your Flipcause payment gateway, any fees that you've paid to Flipcause, and any other debits and credits that have been added to or deducted from your Flipcause Merchant Account. Like your bank statements, these statements provide transaction details such as Posted Date, Amount, and Description.  The "Description" field includes relevant information from the transaction such as: supporter name, activity type, and the original campaign that the transaction occurred through.

We hope that this change to terminology will improve your overall understanding and experience of your Merchant Account, and we welcome your feedback!