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The basics

Hello everyone:

I am wondering if someone can give me a shove in the right direction...

I am the treasurer for a relatively small, non-profit cross-country ski club and am looking at ledgerSMB as a possible replacement (enhancement) to our current accounting application. The club is run by volunteers and provides learn-to-ski programs for about 350 youngsters each winter. The club has grown considerably and we are now trying to catch up on the administrative side of things. (I have limited accounting experience but I will be meeting with one later on this week. I would like to know my way around ledgerSMB enough that I can convince the accountant that this software is preferable to something like QuickBooks. From what I can tell, ledgerSMB will do everything that we need and the two big advantages for us are cost and integration. We have built an online registration system that could eventually be linked directly into our accounting app, hopefully.)

I am having a bit of trouble getting started -- not so much with the installation side of things as I have found the documentation to be quite clear. My problem is moreso on the accounting side of things. I am trying to set up our accounts in ledgerSMB and am not sure that I am doing this correctly. Our old accounting regime does not revolve around the sales cycle as explicitly as is the case in ledgerSMB so there is a shift needed in the way I am thinking about this.

A typical transaction for the club:

There is a family of four (Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter). The family purchases a "Family" membership ($100). The family also purchases "Bunnyrabbit" classes for Son ($30) and "Jackrabbit" classes for Daughter ($40). Mom joins the "Masters" program ($50).

What is the correct way of setting this transaction up?

1. Add customer - should I add each member of the family separately or should I enter it as one single family unit? We tend to think about a family as one unit because the parents often pay for their children. There can also be multiple transactions over the course of the year as a child could be involved in other activities from time to time.

3. What are our products? The memberships and classes are our "products". Should I set these up as "Services" in ledgerSMB?

Thanks in advance. Would there be interest if I wrote this up as a "Case Study" to be included in the documentation? Perhaps as a complement to the example, "Retail with Light Manufacturing".

(I realize that this request is going above and beyond the call and would be interested in hiring a consultant to help us set up our accounts and processes correctly ... if the price is not too high = ~ $200. Please contact me if you have the time to help us out.)

Cheers. And I just want to say that you have all done an amazing job on this program (as have the folks over at sql-ledger prior to the port)! I trully respect the job that you have done so far!