FIRST Robotics Team Accounting

Hello Everyone,

I am curious about the accounting software FRC teams are using. Is there something specific that is designed for robot building that would help with the BOM sheet required for competition? I’m thinking of an access database if there is nothing special that will work.

The majority of teams I’ve seen use either the template sheet for the BOM or something similar to it for most seasonal robot specific expenses.

For more general team accounting, I’ve heard of everything used from Excel to GNUCash to any number of standard accounting practices.

The important thing is to keep track of it, no matter how you do so. Be accurate, be concise, and be effective.

Larry d’, our Booster Club treasurer, uses Excel to track both the booster club account and the team account. Straight-up ledger. If we need something fancy, we have to set up filters manually.

On 2869 we used a few google sheets documents to keep track of account balances, withdrawals and orders. There are definitely better ways to do it but you cant beat google drive collaboration and it definitely did the job just fine for us.

After paying $300+/yr for Quickbooks Online for the past several years, I finally dropped it and went back to Google Sheets. It works fine. We have a process down with physical paper copies of everything as well. Not one cent in or out is unaccounted for.

It sounds more like you are looking for Inventory software, as opposed to software to track your expenses and income, is that correct? As for Inventory software I know 254 made their inventory software public a couple of years ago, and a search through the forums should return a couple of other solutions.

We use quick books for the Foundation. The BOM required for competition is a joke. Inventor has a BOM function, I imagine Solid-works has something similar. If we where good enough to fully CAD the robot, that is what we would use.

For purposes of the BOM. Any spread sheet package you are comfortable with. If you by your raw material in bulk, You have to create a price of what it actually used on the robot that make sense and is withing the rules.

We have used Xcel and Google Sheets in the past. For the last two seasons it has been Google Sheets exclusively because it allows for access across all platforms with no cost and little head ache.

Here’s a Google Sheets version of the CAW you can copy :slight_smile:

We use a lightly modified version of 254’s cheezyparts to keep track of orders (it’s worked really well for us). For the CAW, we’ve used a Google Sheet the past couple years because we’ve accidentally forgotten it at home before and wanted to make sure we could access it at the event should we forget a printout in the future.

We used excel for our CAW, but we posted it on our slack site as well as having a copy on several laptops at the regional. Our CAW spreadsheet included KoP items and a number of items under $5, so we could get a more realistic idea of the actual cost of the robot parts. Last year our CAW was about $1,100, but the actual cost of parts was just shy of $4,000. It’s a lot easier to pitch sponsorship with that $4,000 number, especially after adding in the practice robot and all the prototyping that got pulled off.