Postings are handled differently depending on whether you are using the standard or professional version of the software.
The standard version of MemberTies simply tracks a running total of dues paid. It doesn't include donations, or postings via activities or groups. You can think of every entry as being a credit (positive adjustment) to the member's account. For more accurate tracking of payments and charges, MemberTies Professional enables you to enter both debits and credits. The system of debits and credits enables you to maintain a zero balance when a member's account is paid in full (i.e., $50 dues charge balanced by a $50 dues payment).
For example, if a member had paid two payments of $50 each, the difference between the standard method and the professional method would look something like this:
Dues Payment 1: $50.00
Dues Charge 1: ($50.00)
As you can see, both versions tracked two incoming payments, but the professional version also tracked the charges. When a person was charged, their account became negative, and when the paid, the account returned to zero. (Note: If you want charges to be positive, and payments to be negative, you can change a preference to control it.)
Note: The word "Check" changes to "Cheque" if the Language preference is not US English.
Whose dues are due?
When it comes to Dues, everyone needs to know which members currently owe money. The answer to that question frequently comes down to the way you are tracking dues.
•With the standard version, there is no way to tell simply by looking at a running balance; instead, you have to maintain the End Date on the member record. MemberTies assumes that the End Date represents the date through which a person is "paid in full," and when the End Date is reached the member pays for another period and gets a new End Date set for some point in the future. So, to find out who owes money, you can simply search for everyone with an End Date in the past (because if their dues were paid, they would have a new End Date in the future).
•With the professional version, you can look at the End Date as described above, but you can also look for anyone with a negative dues balance (if you're letting debits be negative). That's because a negative balance would mean they have been charged more than they've paid. Likewise, anyone who has paid too much will have a credit (positive) balance.
Sending out Statements
To send out a statement requesting payment, you can run the Dues Account Statement report. By default it will list all postings for a given member, and finish with the balance. If you run the report with criteria like:
Dues Balance < 0
The report will only show members who have a negative (less than zero) balance. The statement can include a tear-off remittance advice that can be returned with payment.
Date Posted vs Date Recognized
All postings enable you to track both the date the entry was posted, and the date you want to "recognize" the posting. (This is also sometimes called the "effective date".) For example, if dues payments are all due on January 1st, you may want to "recognize" dues payments received in December as of January 1. So when a payment arrives on December 20th, you would enter the payment with a Date Posted for December 20th, but a Date Recognized of January 1st of the following year.
That enables you to run a report using criteria like, "Date Recognized = 1/1/2021" to get everyone who has paid their January dues, regardless of when the payment arrived.
The "Posting" Data Type
When using postings as advanced search criteria, you'll notice that while there are different sections for group, member, etc. data types, there is only one Posting data type.
By default, any field under the Posting data type applies to any sort of postings (Dues, Donations, Activity, etc). That means if you enter criteria like:
Posting Amount = 50.00
The search will find any posting where the amount is 50.00, regardless of whether it is a dues posting, an activity expense, a group dues posting, etc. If you want to limit your search to only postings of a certain type, you should also include the Posting Type Area field, so your search looks something like this:
Now the search will only find postings that are tied to a posting type that is for Dues.
Note: Many reports are already restricted to a certain type of postings. For example, the Donations by Date report is obviously focused on Donations, whereas the Dues Account Statement is focused on Dues. If you try to add the Posting Type Area in your search, you will get unpredictable results, and the query may be ignored entirely. The reports listed under Misc Reports include several generic posting reports that are not already tied to a particular Posting Type Area. These enable you to pull in posting data from across all areas of the system unless you choose to include the Posting Type Area field to limit the results.