financial management

Liability and Fulfillment: Two Reports Cemeteries Need to Help Manage Pre-Need

Discover the two PlotBox finance reports you need to ensure that pre-need liabilities don't become a risk.

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| Read time: 4 mins

For cemeteries, financial liabilities come in many forms - from maintenance costs, to salaries, and operational expenses, tax, and insurance, and managing those liabilities effectively is crucial to sustaining a healthy balance sheet, remaining accountable and maintaining financial stability.

Ordinarily, we might not always consider money coming into a business as a liability - an asset surely - but within deathcare, monies received in advance of fulfillment - for burial plots, services, or merchandise, are considered a liability until these obligations are fulfilled.

For cemeteries, this can mean placing a portion of the price of a pre-need sale item to trust, and additionally recording that item cost as a liability.

Endowment care plays an important role in ensuring income will always be available for upkeep of the cemetery [1]; and where pre-need funds are reattributed, either for that purpose, or against other operational expenses, it’s imperative that they are clearly tracked and accounted for - ensuring that it is present and correct come fulfillment.

Read more about trust management.

Without the measures and processes in place to make that happen, then that liability becomes a risk.


PlotBox liability report


And that’s where the PlotBox liability report can help.

In short, with the ability to record, track and report on pre-need item sales that have been sold but not yet fulfilled - you know exactly where you are with those liabilities at all times, allowing you to manage and plan accordingly.

The report does this by providing a summarized view of fees and costs, as well as a detailed breakdown of liabilities by date, listing each of the items sold, along with information such as facility, fee type, fee category and item.

Filters then allow you to customize and export reports for review.

In recording the cost of items at time of sale and distinguishing them as a short-term or long-term liability (based on if the item is paid in full or not) it provides the fullest account of where you are vs where you’re going to be.

This provides a number of benefits: in tracking liabilities over time you can identify trends and patterns in your financials; understanding short-term liabilities gives oversight (and insight) into cash flow; an awareness of long-term helps in strategic planning; it can help to mitigate current and future financial risk; and importantly, it will help in the presentation of information for auditing purposes

But that’s not the end of the story. 


Fulfillment Report


Complimentary to the liability report is - as one might expect - the fulfillment report. 

This, in effect, provides a summary list of contract items that have been fulfilled over a set period of time.

It is complimentary in the respect that the fulfillment process is carried out when an item is moved from ‘pre-need’ to ‘at-need’ status, therefore removing the item from the liability report and being reported as a fulfillment.

Start and end dates can be selected, giving visibility over specific time periods and by entering selected criteria, a search can be carried out. Next, view a wide range of data, including facility, owner, item, value, quantity purchased, amounts fulfilled - even the counselor - to gain a truly comprehensive view of what has been fulfilled, by how much, when and by whom.

3 more quick reports to maximize your data.


Tomorrow’s need, todays prices


Another benefit is that items on the liability report can be removed from it, either at fulfillment or at “Received” status. This means that items purchased at pre-need, such as headstones, can be ordered and stored by the cemetery, enabling them to get it at today’s price - and at the point received into their storage, take it off liability.


Why is all of this important?


Simply put, using these reports in tandem helps ensure that your month-end reporting ties out. 

Comparing fulfillment to liability ensures that the number of items fulfilled has been removed from liability. Not only this, but by comparing these reports with the general ledger (GL) report, cemeteries can ensure that new pre-need items sold have hit their deferred sales GL, going to their respective revenue GL code. 

Together, this reporting power equates to peace of mind and accountability for cemeteries, aiding in both operational and financial planning while helping to fulfill obligations and commitments to customers.

Now there’s no more need for your liabilities to be…well…a liability.

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