One of the biggest problems we encountered when we first set up our boat sharing relationship had to do with tracking expenses and reconciling member payments. As a matter of convenience, sometimes my partner gassed up the boat, sometimes I did. Sometimes he paid for cleaning, minor repairs, oil changes, or a new flashlight and sometimes I did. How were we to keep track of these minor (and some not so minor) costs associated with sharing a boat?
Initially, we sent emails back and forth with the amount we paid and tried to reconcile things on a month or semi-monthly basis. This system broke down quickly for obvious reasons. Next, we tried recording our expenses in a spreadsheet and sending that back and forth. While better, we still ended up with multiple copies of spreadsheets being sent to each other and no real way to reconcile things on an ongoing basis.
Being the founders of Nautical Monkey, we quickly saw a need for an expense tracking section of our site and set to work putting it together. With our most recent release of the Expense Tracker, we had a fairly complete tool for recording and allocating expenses as well as tracking member payments and income to the partnership.
Adding an expense
Adding a new expense is quick and easy. After clicking on the “Add Expense” button you will see a screen which allows you to quickly record who the expense was paid to, the category of the expense and who actually paid the expense.
The system automatically remembers commonly used vendors for quick entry in the future.
The system also provides an easy way to allocate an expense between members. You can allocate expenses to the person who paid the expense, based on owner or membership percentage or equal among all members notwithstanding their ownership percentage. Each members share is dynamically updated based on which option you choose.
Member Payments and Other Income
Clicking on the Add Income button allows you to quickly add member payments, late fees and other income types to the Expense Tracker.
The system allows you to run reports according to a date range you select – Monthly, yearly, or custom date ranges. For any report you run, a running reconciliation amount is listed for each member which can be used to inform each member of any amounts they owe another member/owner.
Once money has changed hands based on the report, reconciliation payments can be recorded in the system to zero out amounts owed between the members.
Navigate to www.nauticalmonkey.com to create a free account which will allow you to experiment with the Expense Tracker and the many other tools we have developed to make sharing your boat simple.