Reclassing Net Assets in QuickBooks

unrestricted net assets

However, it doesn’t really matter where the revenue is coming from, as long as the unrestricted net assets amount is positive and it positively contributes to the overall financial health of the non-profit organization. These unrestricted net assets are also referred to as the operating reserves and represent the cumulative earnings over the life of the non-profit organizations. Next you will need to add some columns and rows and do some calculating to determine the debits and credits that get you to the desired new balances for your “internal” net asset accounts. In the example below, the board designated an additional $10,000 to the Operating Reserve since there was a larger than normal operating surplus. In addition, there was a capital project campaign (to renovate program space), and several large campaign contributions were not fully spent on the project by year-end.

  • To ensure you’ve chosen the correct type, I recommended consulting with your accountant.
  • Their usage is determined by the not-for-profit organization as it deems fit.
  • If the organization has no facilities or skilled staff devoted to crocodiles, it may be forced to spend more than the amount donated in order to fulfill the terms of the bequest.
  • The fund balance ratio, now called the unrestricted net assets ratio, measures the amount of unrestricted, spendable equity to the organization’s annual operating expense.
  • These further distinctions are not required by GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), but they provide more clarity for management and internal understanding of net assets composition and liquidity.

Grants receivable means grant funding that has been committed to the organization but not received. Let’s change our make-believe nonprofit to be a little more realistic. The above conversation is fictitious, Nonprofit Accounting Explanation but it follows some of the conversations we’ve had with folks over the years. A common misperception is that net assets equals the amount of resources the organization has immediately available to spend.

Should I move Opening Balance Equity to Unrestricted Net Assets for a non profit?

If there is uncertainty as to when an expense is matched or is used up, the amount spent should be reported as an expense in the current period. In order to properly report the amount in each of these subgroups, it may be necessary to allocate some management and general salaries to fundraising based on the time spent by employees performing fundraising activities. For example, a management employee might be spending 30% of her time in fundraising activities but her entire salary has been recorded as management and general expenses.

Maintaining an appropriate level of unrestricted net assets is often a legal or regulatory requirement for nonprofit organizations. Having sufficient reserves ensures compliance with regulations and safeguards against financial instability. Unrestricted net assets represent the equity that is not subject to restrictions, while retained earnings specifically refer to the accumulated profits or losses of a for-profit organization. Calculating unrestricted net assets helps assess the financial health and stability of an organization.


It provides insights into its financial resources that can be used for various purposes without any restrictions. The first thing you may notice is that non-profits call their financial statements different names than for-profit companies. The concept of unrestricted net assets encompasses various financial resources an organization possesses, including revenues, investment returns, and unrestricted donations. Note the official wording for unrestricted net assets in the balance sheet above is “net assets without donor restrictions.” We commonly use the term “unrestricted net assets” since it’s easier to say. Also that’s the way we’ve always said it until a recent accounting pronouncement introduced the new language.

  • Deferred revenue traditionally refers to cash which has been received for some restricted condition which has not yet been met.
  • Additionally, reducing expenses and managing liabilities can help improve unrestricted net assets over time.
  • Notice that the split between net assets with and without donor restrictions has changed.
  • For instance, if a nonprofit has three main programs, then each of the three programs will be listed along with each program’s expenses.
  • Restricted funds, tied to specific purposes defined by donors, ensure that resources are allocated according to their intentions.

Relying heavily on restricted funds can lead to vulnerability if a specific project or funding source ends. Unrestricted net assets play a vital role in building credibility and instilling confidence in an organization. Donors, investors, and stakeholders often consider the level of net assets when evaluating an organization’s financial health and accountability. Having unrestricted assets allows organizations to pursue new initiatives and expand their programs.

Recording Net Assets for an NPO

The NPOs cannot use these donations for whatever operational purpose they deem fit as they are earmarked for certain programs. You’re right that Permanently Restricted, Temporarily Restricted, and Unrestricted are not currently available as the account detail type in QBO. Right now, we are unable to add more types when creating an account.To make sure you’ve selected the correct type, I suggest consulting with your accountant. In order to split net income and retained earnings into the net asset accounts appropriate for our purposes, we need a little work-around. To prepare this entry, you will need to determine what the new ending balances need to be.

Any information contained in INVESTOR TIMES is for educational and/or informational purposes only, it is not financial and/or investment advice. The site owner and author are not liable for any actions taken based on the information provided. INVESTOR TIMES may obtain economic retribution by recommending services or products of third parties. INVESTOR TIMES does not accept, nor will it accept in the future, subsidies or funds from Governments, political parties or public institutions. Restricted net assets are funds that have specific limitations on their use.


For the interim report, the Net Income to-date (from QB) would be counted with the amount in Available for Operations to get the unrestricted (net assets without restriction) total. IF the funds you entered as the opening balance for the checking account are unrestricted, then yes. Simply make a journal entry moving the opening balance from the OBE account to your Unrestricted NA account.

The presence of net assets provides an organization with financial flexibility and autonomy. These assets serve as a safety net during times of financial uncertainty or unexpected challenges. These funds are not bound by donor-designated purposes or external mandates, enabling the organization to utilize them to further its mission, support ongoing operations, or invest in future growth and sustainability. Other sources of revenue might include unrestricted grants or contributions and in some cases, it can also be through the release of the temporarily restricted net assets.

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