Resources for our community of volunteer treasurers, accountants, and board members of small nonprofit organizations.

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Common Application Error Messages and How to Resolve Them

Each organization that uses the NPT application seems to have accounting practices that look different from the next org - which is great, and one of the reasons they choose to use the very flexible and simple application. However, there are times that the app just can not figure out what the user is trying to do - and it spits back an error message. We have listed some of the error messages that our users have reported, with our recommondation on how to resolve the issue:

"User must log in to access this feature."
The full message looks like this:

User must log in to access this feature.
Nonprofit Treasurer utilizes a realatively strict application security, and a user might see this message if the app does not sense activity on the page for a certain amount of time. The solution is to reload the page (or navigate to the home page) where the user is prompted to sign in again.

"duplicate key value violates unique constraint"
The full message looks like this:
ERROR:  duplicate key value violates unique constraint "transactions_check_no_key"
DETAIL:  Key (check_no)=(1234) already exists.
The short answer here is that the user is trying to add a transaction with a check number that already exists in the journal, which is not allowed in the NPT application. To resolve this, simply change (or remove) the value of the Check Number before adding the new record. A longer explanation may be interesting, however: while a unique check number is an important component in reconciling checking accounts, we have discovered that some orgs are using this place to record a short memo about that transaction. We have been working on adding a more appropriate place for transaction memos, filterable by hashtag, that do not interfere with our unique and powerful categories feature. Stay tuned...

The full message looks like this:
There is not a lot we can do with this one: some unspecified error occured, but no explanation was returned to the user. We work hard to keep you from ever seeing this error, but if you do, please DM (direct-message) us on Twitter @nptreasurer with some details of what you were trying to accomplish.