By linking financial types (income categories) with their corresponding income, asset, and expense accounts in your chart of accounts during your system configuration, CiviCRM handles the accounting connection for all contributions on the back end while letting your development director deal primarly with who gave the gift, and how and why they gave it.
For example, while the development director may care that a $100 gift came from a certain donor in response to a certain mailing, the accountant also wants to know that the $100 contribution was deposited into the bank (asset) account, and that there was $3.21 credit card fee (expense account) associated with it. Because you set up the mapping income categories to the financial accounts during system configuration, the development director sees the gift as he or she normally would (as a $100 credit card gift), but in the batch export Civi produces the corresponding transactions to show the income, asset, and expense accounts.
Don't want to use the accounting integration? No problem. All the normal CiviCRM funtions will work just fine, and the accounting integration will sit unused in the background.
CiviCRM YouTube Channel:
"Getting our gifts into both our CRM and our accounting system has always involved entering the data twice. But now with CiviCRM, we enter the gifts once in the format and language that our development director is familiar with, and export the gift history in the format that our accountant needs to import it into QuickBooks. It allows us to use each system for what it was designed to do, and saves us time and money."