Financial improvements release for Saturday, July 9th

This weekend (Saturday, July 9th) marks the first release of our planned financial system improvements. As with most CampSite releases, there will be no impact on system availability during the update.

The most significant new feature in this release will be the introduction of custom payment methods. In our current system, camps are limited to selecting ‘Other’ when posting a payment or refund that is not made by one of our standard methods. Many camps require more detailed reporting - whether it’s wire transfer, cash, money order - or any other non-standard method. With this new release, camps can define any number of methods, as well as special instructions and behavior for each one. For example, you can decide to offer ‘Wire transfer’ as an option on the enrollment form, but keep ‘Cash’ as a method only administrators can use.

Note that the existing ‘Other’ method will be copied over to this new system, so that existing data will not be affected. If your camp currently uses a custom label for ‘Other’, that custom label will be copied over and associated with its existing transactions.

This release is also the first of several upgrades to our accrual accounting system. We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of great feedback on this system over the past few years, and we think the improvements planned will make this accounting method in CampSite much simpler to use, and easier to generate meaningful reporting on.

The first new accrual accounting feature to be aware of is accrual periods. Accrual periods are a way to map your camp sessions to camp-defined labels. Based on our conversations with existing accrual accounting users, we expect that these labels will mostly be periods of time, such as calendar months or fiscal quarters - but they can be any label that makes sense for your camp. For example, a camp may decide that Sessions 1, 2 and 3 should be mapped to the “June” accrual period, and Sessions 4, 5 and 6 should be mapped to “July”. This mapping does not affect how the accrual accounting system works in CampSite, but is an additional layer on top to enable more useful reporting. This feature is optional, but recommended to take advantage of improved financial reporting coming later in the summer.

One of the most confusing aspects of our current accrual accounting system is the way in which payments, refunds and credits are accrued to sessions. Because it’s not always clear which sessions these transactions should be accrued against, many of these accrual assignments must be done manually by users in CampSite via our “accrual assigner” tool.

In our conversations with camps who are currently using this accounting method, it’s clear that accrual assignments are only meaningful in CampSite for charges and discounts - transactions that CampSite can accurately accrue on its own in the vast majority of cases.

Starting at the end of July, CampSite will no longer support mapping payments, refunds or credits to sessions for accrual purposes. Reporting on existing accrual assignments for these transactions will remain available until later in the summer, and we will update users via this e-mail list before that is scheduled to occur.

If you have any questions or feedback about these changes, you can respond directly to this e-mail. Thank you, and we hope you’re having a great summer!

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