How can I allocate a checking account to multiple categories?

Sandy Member ✭✭

For some reason, I'm hung up on this.

I'm treasurer for a church. We have a checking account with $XX dollars in it. Each committee has been allocated an amount from that checking account to spend as needed throughout the year, and to be rolled over into the next year if it is unused (like an envelope system). There are some excess funds that aren't allocated to any committee.

I know for future expenses and income I can use categories to show money spent and income. But I can't figure out how to set up the beginning balance. How can I show the current initial funds available so each committee can see their funds spent and remaining funds available?


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    How many committees do you have?
    If it's a small number, I'd try to set up Offline (manual) Checking accounts, one for each committee.
    Set each of the accounts' Opening Balance to 12/31/22 and whatever money is allocated to each of them.
    When money is spent, pay from the Checking account and categorize as transfer from the [Committee name], the account name in [square brackets].
    The Balance in each Committee account register will tell you how much money they have.

    Alternatively, you can create and use Categories for each Committee.
    Begin the Checking account with a startup deposit transaction, as of 12/31/22, to prime each Committee category with the money they have available to spend. This should, of course, equal the actual balance of the checking account at the start of the year.
    When money is spent, pay it from the Checking account and categorize it as an expense to the Committee.
    The Annual Budget view, after customizing it to enable Rollover of balances in each of these categories, will tell you at a glance how much money is left in each category.

  • Sandy
    Sandy Member ✭✭

    UKR, thank you for your very thoughtful answer.

    We have 10 committees. I apologize, I'm still a little confused by your answers. In scenario 1, if I set up 10 [committee name] manual checking accounts, when I spend money from the real account and transfer it to the [committee name] account, wouldn't it show up as a deposit, not an expenditure for the committee? An expenditure from the real checking account should also decrease that amount for that committee. How can I decrease both accounts? I'd rather not have to do two separate transactions.

    The church already has set up 10 [committee name] manual liability accounts so a payment from checking would show up as a decrease. I'm hoping to correct that. It makes my head spin to see assets counted as liabilities we don't owe and negative numbers when they're in the black.)

    I like scenario 2. I had already thought about creating categories for each committee. I'm not sure I understand how to "prime" it. Since it is an existing checking account with money already in it, I can't start it up on a certain date with the deposit transaction as you suggested. (Also, not all the money is allocated to committees, but I could create an "Excess" category to account for the remainder.)

    Please elaborate further, if you could.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would investigate use of Savings Goals. Those are sort of not-real-world set-aside accounts.

    Each committee would be a goal. As of some starting date you would transfer (allocate) their share of the checking account to their goal. If on some schedule they are allocated more dollars, make the proper additional transfer. Each time the spend something, transfer back to the checking account and write the check.

    The checking account will generally show the unallocated balance. I believe their are easy ways to report and reconcile the checking account ignoring the Savings Goals set-asides.

  • Sandy
    Sandy Member ✭✭

    Thank you. I believe that comes as close as I'm going to get to what I need to do. I wish Quicken would automatically do the addition or withdrawal from the savings goal without my having to do a separate transaction. I'm not sure how hard it will be to convince the church that the money is actually still in the account, when the balance shows the savings goals dollars removed. 😬😊

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭


    The REAL amount of money in the checking Account is always available to you since it's the real Account balance that you need to reconcile. You can hide all the Savings Goals transactions in the Account register by clicking the gear wheel in the upper right hand corner  (the Account Actions icon), and deselect Show Savings Goal transactions in register and reports. This will hide your savings goal transactions in your register and show you your actual account balance.

  • Sandy
    Sandy Member ✭✭

    Thank you! That’s very helpful to know. I’ll have to test that out to see if I can get the reports I need from it.

This discussion has been closed.