How to reconcile REGULAR Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) Income

This help guide article covers how to reconcile regular donations given via the Parish Giving Scheme. To find out how to reconcile one-off donations via the parish giving scheme, which has a different statement format with additional fees deducted, please switch to this separate help guide article.

Parish Giving Scheme is a scheme offered to Church of England churches that removes the work of churches having to manage Gift Aid. However, for churches that use ExpensePlus, this scheme adds no benefit and just adds additional work to manage.

Parish Giving Scheme is advertised as free of charge (except for a small fee that churches are charged for one-off gifts). This enables the true fees of PGS to be hidden from churches (as the diocese pays the fees, and the churches pay the diocese through parish share).

We think that this is wrong and that it's far better for regular donors to give via standing order directly to the church, which is actually free of any fees.

Within ExpensePlus, recurring standing order donations are auto-matched each month in a single click and Gift Aid claims can be created and submitted to HMRC in under 2 minutes, which is why many Church of England churches don't use the Parish Giving Scheme.

Within ExpensePlus there are 2 choices for how to reconcile REGULAR Parish Giving Scheme Income (you will need to pick the one that will work best for you):

  • Option 1: Reconciling grant payouts as 'Income Received' - This is the simplest option, with income from Parish Giving Scheme not split against the supporting donors. This grant income will not appear within your donation reports, and you will have no visibility of these donations within your donation reports in ExpensePlus (typically not recommended).
  • Option 2: Splitting payouts against donors automatically by uploading payout transactions - This option is typically best for most churches using PGS.

IMPORTANT: You should not reconcile one-off donation payouts (which are kept separate from regular monthly parish giving scheme payouts) via option 1, as these include fees. Click here to switch to a separate help guide article about this.

Option 1: Reconciling payouts as 'Income Received'

Reconciling Parish Giving Scheme payouts on your bank statement

When you reconcile your uploaded bank transactions, select the Parish Giving Scheme on the left-hand table of your match transactions screen, click the + button, then, in the popup that appears, select the transaction type as 'Other Income' and enter the transaction details.

IMPORTANT: Parish Giving Scheme makes two payments per statement each month - one relating to donations, the other relating to Gift Aid (but the description they use doesn't differentiate between the two). Therefore, in order to record each payout to the correct income category, we'd highly recommend that you UNTICK the 'Remember this Transaction' box each time you reconcile Parish Giving Scheme payouts so that the payout doesn't get auto-remembered (resulting in both the donations payout and Gift Aid payouts getting allocated wrongly to the same category for future payouts).

Option 2: Splitting payouts against support donors automatically by uploading payout transactions

Reconciling Parish Giving Scheme payouts appearing on your main bank account statement

When you reconcile your uploaded bank transactions, select the payout from Parish Giving Scheme on the left-hand table of your match transactions screen.

Click the + button next to the transaction, and in the popup that then appears, select the transaction type as 'Payout from Payment Processor' and then select your Parish Giving Scheme account.

Note: you will need to set up Parish Giving Scheme as a payment processor account before you can do this - click here to find out how to do this.

If you are using Parish Giving Scheme for processing both regular monthly donations as well as accepting one-off donations, then you only need to add PGS as a payment processor once (unless you wish to set up both separately).

Note: Parish Giving Scheme typically makes two separate payouts each month (rather than one). I.e., you will need to reconcile two payouts on your bank account as 'payout from payment processor' per transaction statement that you import.

Importing Parish Giving Scheme transactions

Within the bank reconciliation screen, select your Parish Giving Scheme account and click 'upload transactions'. 

Warning: You should NOT modify the file sent to you by Parish Giving Scheme (otherwise the upload will not work).

The upload process works similarly to a regular bank account, except that each line on the statement will show as two transactions within ExpensePlus: one relating to the donation income and the other to the Gift Aid income.

NOTE: Since Parish Giving Scheme transaction files do not include a date column, you will be asked to select a date when uploading your transaction file. This will be used as the donation date for all transactions within the file you upload.

Once you have reconciled the two bank transactions each month that relate to your regular PGS income AND uploaded your payout transactions, your Parish Giving Scheme account balance should return to zero (because the net total of the transactions INTO your PGS account on ExpensePlus that you've just uploaded should exactly match the two amounts paid OUT, since the payouts went from this account into your bank account).

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your Parish Giving Scheme account is not returning to zero each month - please see this separate help guide article

Reconciling Parish Giving Scheme transactions

The bank matching process works similarly to a regular bank account, with the ability to remember and quick match transactions.

This means that once you have reconciled Parish Giving Scheme transactions for the first month, you won't need to manually enter transactions for future months - but simply click the 'quick match income' button at the top of the match transactions screen.

Where transactions haven't been previously reconciled and auto-remembered:

Named Donations

The donation amount given should be reconciled using this option:

(1) select the transaction in the left-hand table of the match transactions screen;

(2) click the '+' button to the right of the transaction;

(3) select the 'Named Donation' option in the popup and enter the details.

IMPORTANT: When reconciling Parish Giving Scheme donations:

(1) You should always ensure the 'donation method' is set to 'Parish Giving Scheme'

(2) You should not record any donations as 'GASDS Donations'

(3) You should record the Gift Aid of a donation as 'income received' (not as a named donation, otherwise your donation reports will be incorrect)

NOTE: where donors give anonymously, you may wish to create a donor called 'Anonymous PGS Donations'

Income Received

The gift aid arising from a donor's donation should be reconciled using this option:

(1) select the transaction in the left-hand table of the match transactions screen

(2) click the '+' button to the right of the transaction

(3) select the 'Income Received' option in the popup and enter the details

Why is my Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) statement not uploading?

Most likely, you have modified or re-saved the Parish Giving Scheme statement you have received (which you should not do). If this is the case, we'd recommend you download the file again.

For regular PGS Statements, the file must contain ALL of the following headers (spelt exactly as stated below):

  • Transaction Donor Ref (each transaction must contain the donor's name)
  • Donation Received (each transaction must contain a donation amount for the current month)
  • Gift Aid (each transaction may contain a Gift Aid amount for the current month)

(additional columns can be present but won't be imported).

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