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# Non-Profit Workflow

<a id="workflow-dictated"></a>

Many accounting systems seem to assume that the workflow fits a certain type
of uses.  While the ability to impose a specific workflow (e.g., for a
bookkeeper who might make an error easily if the system doesn't require a
workflow), the workflow should not be dictated.

<a id="workflow-configurable"></a> Ideally, in fact workflows should be
configurable in some way.  Many systems try to do this and are a bit
constraining on it.

## <a id="unaccrued-invoice"></a>The "Unaccrued Invoice" Example

The easiest example I have of this relates to accruing income upon invoice
generation.  Non-profits very typically generate invoices as part of a
fundraising discussion *even though* the non-profit doesn't have a good faith
belief that the invoice will be paid.  Using an invoice to convince a donor
to make a donation is, in essence, just a fundraising strategy to pressure
for them to commit to a donation that the donor has hinted they might make.

Under GAAP, these invoices should **not** be accrued nor recognized, because
the organization doesn't have a good faith belief that the income is
forthcoming.

Many accounting systems assume that the user would never possibly generate an
invoice without realizing the income immediately.  In most for-profit setups,
this is true, but for non-profits, there is good reason to generate invoices
before accruing the income.  In fact, if you're  generating an invoice merely
to "inspire" a donation, it's wrong to accrue that, since you don't have a
good faith belief that the invoice will be paid.

## <a id="purchase-order-required"></a>The "Purchase Order Required" Example

Many organizations do require issuance of a purchase order before invoicing
is permitted.  However, this isn't mandatory, it's just common practice and
likely this isn't even possible with the types of
[[reimbursement requests|UseCases/ReimbursementRequests]] that some
non-profits have.  (By way of example, Conservancy is sometimes "surprised"
by a volunteer [[reimbursement requests|UseCases/ReimbursementRequests]], so
there's no way we can "require" a PO issuance before accepting any invoice.