Is the end of the year the end of your year? We get questions like this all the time:
Question — The end of our fiscal year is December 31. Our offices our closed from December 31 through January 3rd. If funds are sent on or before December 31 but not received and deposited until after January 3, do those funds get credited for the previous fiscal year as a donation?
Answer — You should set a cut of date in January for when you start recording gifts as 2011 rather than 2010. A week to ten days in is usually sufficient. If funds are sent prior to 1-1-11 (I prefer to use the post mark on the envelope as a guide rather than the date on the check) I would definitely honor those as a 2010 contribution.
You would record those as 2010 income even though you deposit them in 2011. In QuickBooks, you would list each of the checks as a sales receipt and date them for the appropriate December date and have the funds go to Undeposited Funds (you may have to create or activate that account). Then record the bank deposit of those funds on the day they were deposited. The income matches the donor intent and your checking account will reconcile up nicely to the bank statement. Then all you have to do is get the donor thank-yous out so they can prepare their tax returns.
Other ideas out there? Questions? Ask them or tell us in the comments below.