How Transactions Work
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You may be used to thinking of a "transaction" as being a complete financial deal -- for instance, the rent charges, the taxes, and the payment. In Campground Master, this would be recorded as 3 separate "Transaction" records, one for each line on a receipt. This level of detail allows Campground Master to generate a number of very useful and flexible financial reports.
The Campground Master transactions data is a very simple collection if individual transaction "line items". Each record is an individual line item -- a single charge for a number of nights, a sales tax charge, a payment, a refund, an expense entry and so forth. These are tied together into something useful by the way they are linked to reservations and/or customers.
You can also use Campground Master to enter all of your campground expenses and miscellaneous income if you like, replacing the functions of a general ledger. You can generate a variety of reports for accounting purposes, such as a detailed expense report for the year or a categorized monthly income and expense report.
Each transaction has a number of fields for classifying, categorizing, calculating, and reporting purposes. The primary field is the Type, and then there is a Category, a Description (you can enter what you like), a Payment Type, the Discount Used if applicable, a Quantity, the rice Each, and Total (automatically calculated).
In addition, every transaction is stamped with the date-made, time-made and the operator who entered it (for auditing purposes), plus a separate Date and Time which is assumed to be the "Posting" date. Normally these are the same, but it's possible to alter the Date and Time fields to reflect the actual date/time of the transaction for reporting purposes.
For reservations, all transactions for the reservation are linked together so that you have a record of all charges and payments for that reservation. If it's a monthly reservation, you can add charges and payments as needed for each payment period, and print out a receipt with either a complete history or just the new transactions each time.
Transactions for reservations (and customers) are typically entered in charge/payment pairs. That is, you add "charge" transactions such as daily rate charges, discounts and taxes, then you add "payment" transactions such as deposits, payments, credits and refunds. In the end, these should all balance out to a zero balance if the account is paid in full.
For customers, all transactions are linked together for every reservation the customer has made, plus any reservations that have been entered for the customer outside a reservation. For example you can enter gift shop purchases for a customer and print a separate receipt for that purchase, and it won't show up as part of the reservation transactions. You can also get a list (and print a statement) for all of the customer's past transactions at once, for instance a summary for when they leave.
In addition, you can enter "unbound" transactions. These would include your expenses and miscellaneous income, but also any transactions that don't have customer information, such as a walk-in to buy RV supplies that you don't want to add to your customer database. If you have the P.O.S. option, then the Point of Sale function is normally used for merchandise instead of Unbound transactions, but the concept is the same.
Advance Deposits (not to be confused with Security Deposits) are tracked so that the program knows which deposits have actually been applied, rather than just deposits paid. This will primarily be noticed in that whenever a non-deposit transaction is added to a reservation after a deposit, a "Deposit Applied" transaction is automatically inserted. This won't show on receipts and doesn't affect the customer's actual balance, and is only used for reporting and balance-tracking.
There is a "Deposit Account" Quick-Report under Transaction Summary Reports for showing the current deposits account balance (and the running total at any time in the past), and also a Deposit Balance Adjustment function under Maintenance for entering manual adjustments if needed to keep it synchronized with external accounting.
Note that the balance is actually calculated on-the-fly from all transactions in the database. Thus the balance can be shown for any previous day in the database's history.
As with Deposits, the program can calculate the Accounts Receivable balance at any time. This is essentially based on the total outstanding balances (charges less payments) for all transactions. Deposits are not included until they are Applied, so unapplied advance deposits don't affect the A/R balance.
There is an "Accounts Receivable" Quick-Report under Transaction Summary Reports for showing the current balance (and the running balance at any time in the past), and also an A/R Balance Adjustment function under Maintenance for entering manual adjustments if needed to keep it synchronized with external accounting.
Note that the balance is actually calculated on-the-fly from all transactions in the database. Thus the balance can be shown for any previous day in the database's history. However this also means that any "future" charges (charges added for future reservations) will also be included in the calculation, so if you add charges (or payments) ahead of time for customers not yet arrived, be aware that this will affect your A/R balance.