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Accounting Overview

The mBase accounting interface requires little accounting knowledge, yet allows one to add accounting data to the system at a speed that few other systems can parallel.

Ledger Capture

Capturing of ledger transactions can be done in several ways, depending on your requirements. 

  • You can download bank statement details from an internet banking website, and allocate these to ledger accounts and/or member bill items
  • You can capture bank statement details from the paper bank statement and allocate these to ledger accounts and/or member bill items
  • If you only wish to capture payments received, you can do this on the Member Payments form.
  • If you wish to inspect all ledger transactions and filter them by date or by book select the All Transactions form
  • If you wish to automatically generate payment transactions for all the members of a specific organisation, this can be done using the Allocate Payment button on the Organisation Billing subform.

Because mBase was written for associations and similar organisations, it uses accounting principles common to and practical for those organisations.
Normal accounting software used by commercial establishments will post your billings to the general ledger and a debtors control account as they are raised. This practice is largely irrelevant to associations and similar organisations, because so much of your billing is non-enforceable.
In mBase, membership subs and other billings are not posted to the general ledger when you generate invoices, but a detailed record of the billings is kept in the billing subsystem.
Your ledger subs or conference fee accounts are only updated once the money is in the bank. The statements you show your management committee will be based on actual funds received and disbursed. You can, by using the journal system,  include accruals and/or provide for uncollected billings in your financial statements should you want to report on an accrual basis.

Capturing is done directly from bank statements on a single screen, allowing deposits and payments to be allocated immediately to the ledger and billing system.  If you use internet banking, your current bank statement can be downloaded  directly into mBase, eliminating the need to manually capture the bank statement details.

The CashBook/Journal screen displays an exact copy of your bank statement entries, allowing for easy reconciliation. For each bank statement entry you can view all the associated ledger and billing transactions. For example, if an organization makes a large lump sum payment on behalf of several members, you can view to which members and for which bill items that payment was allocated on the Ledger and Billing Transactions subform, .

A major feature of mBase accounting is the sophisticated payment allocation system. All unallocated payments on the Bank Statement are easily identified by means of a filter. For each payment received, the Bill Search form is invoked. On this form you can search for matching bill items by up to 11 criteria, such as Invoice Number, Statement Number, Member Name, date, etc. You simply select the appropriate unpaid items and they are automatically allocated to that payment. A running total of the amount still available for allocation is updated continuously.

You can associate the ledger posting details such as account name, VAT status and posting narrative with a bill item (eg 2004 conference) when it is initially setup. Thereafter, when posting payments in the ledger, just selecting the correct bill item for the appropriate member on the Bill Search form  will automatically complete the rest of the posting.

If a member quotes the Invoice Number or Statement number on the bank deposit (as requested on the Statement/Invoice), then that number can be entered on the Bill Search form when posting a member payment to the ledger, and the posting will be automatically completed from the information on the associated bill item record.

If the member requires a Tax Invoice for a payment, simply double-clicking on the member name on the Ledger and Billing Transactions subform will automatically produce a Tax Invoice for that member.

You will not find a classic bank reconciliation facility in mBase. If you post your ledger from the bank statement and you balance back, your bank statement is automatically reconciled! In mBase, you reconcile as you post, not afterwards.

To assist with the correct allocation of ledger entries to bank statement entries, the Allocated column on the Bank Statement subform shows the ledger amount allocated for each bank statement entry.  If the ledger amount allocated is less than the bank statement amount, the allocated amount is shown in green. If the ledger amount allocated is greater than the bank statement amount, the allocated amount is shown in red. If the ledger amount allocated equals the bank statement amount (meaning that the bank statement entry has been fully allocated), the allocated amount is shown in black.

To quickly see all unallocated bank statement entries,  click on the Allocated button at the top of the Allocated column. Only over - or under-allocated items are then shown. 

Point of Sale (POS)

A point of sale facility is where items are sold directly to the public and funds are received in the form of cash, cheques and credit card payments. In mBase, the funds are posted into their own specific POS book as they are received, and later reallocated by the user in total via journal entries after reconciliation and banking.

On the Bank Statement subform the sales will be recorded as they occur. The type of payment is recorded in the PayMethod field. The member bill item is allocated in the normal way, using the Allocate button. At the end of the day the payments received must be reconciled against the funds on hand.  The POS Reconciliation report on the Cash Book Reports tab shows the payments received by PayMethod, for the date range specified.

This system manages the recording of funds received at a point of sale (such as a cashier's office), the issue of receipts and statements, and the reconciliation of funds received.

Audit trails

An audit trail is kept of changes and deletions to the ledger transaction records. Whenever a ledger transaction record is changed, a before and after record is written to the log file. The "before" record contains the date and time of the change, the user responsible, the "old" member ID, transaction date, amount, ledger book, ledger account and transaction description. The "after" record contains the date and time of the change, the user responsible, the "new" member ID, transaction date, amount, ledger book, ledger account and transaction description.

Whenever a ledger transaction record is deleted, a before record is written to the log file. The "before" record contains the date and time of the deletion, the user responsible, the "old" member ID, transaction date, amount, ledger book, ledger account and transaction description.

The ledger audit trail records can be viewed, sorted and filtered by selecting the Ledger Change Log button on the Cashbook/Journal Reports subform.


All financial reports in mBase are produced for a specific date range, as long or as short as required. Thus, previous period financial data can be retained in the system without affecting current reporting.

Account Setup

mBase has a powerful 4-tier account structure. Ledger accounts are grouped into Account Types (eg Conference Revenue, Subscription Revenue), which are themselves gathered into Account Groups (eg Income, Expenditure), which are finally grouped into Account Structure headings (eg, Equity & Liabilities, Assets).  Most ledger reports are produced using this account hierarchy. The accountant can view and modify the various levels of this structure using the Account Structure form on the Accounting menu.

A standard tax rate, description and amount can be setup for each account. When this account is selected during ledger posting, these standard values, if present, will be used to populate the ledger transaction. For accounts whose details are always the same, such as Rental, for example, this facility saves time and energy, and improves data capture reliability.

All the postings to a particular account for a specific time period can be easily viewed online. If necessary, the actual postings can be easily zoomed into, and modified as needed.

Management budgets may be captured for each account. The budgets can be per month, quarter or per year, and additional budgets can be added at any time. The Budget vs Actual Analysis report shows performance against budget for the current month, Year to date, and budget remaining.  The appearance of the management report can be manipulated using the Yearmonth field without affecting the financial reporting in any way.