From the Nov. 2009 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Programs.
With QuickBooks’ dedicated focus on small businesses, it’s no secret that it has quickly become the product of choice for small business owners. When Intuit began adding industry-specific versions and opening up the product through its SDK, it spread to even more markets. QuickBooks Accounting Premier Nonprofit Edition 2009 successfully combines the ease of QuickBooks with industry-specific functionality that will suit smaller nonprofit organizations very well.
EASE OF USE/FLEXIBILITY-
Upon installation, users will choose the Nonprofit Edition of QuickBooks. The Easy Step Interview feature guides users through a series of relevant screens ranging from company information to fiscal year to organization type. The QuickBooks user interface is easily navigated, with functions segregated into related centers. Each center displays a workflow diagram where system functions can be accessed, or the drop-down menu at the top of the screen can be utilized. The Nonprofit selection displayed on the toolbar offers access to all nonprofit-specific activities.
While QuickBooks continues to add updated functions in each product release, the program has retained its easy navigation, with several options available to customize the user interface to suit any business or organization. Organizations that are outgrowing QuickBooks Premier can easily migrate to QuickBooks Enterprise, which offers a more robust financial solution and increased user capability.
QuickBooks Accounting Premier Nonprofit Edition 2009 contains GL, AP, AR, Inventory, Time Tracking, Audit Trail, Purchase Orders, and Customizable Reports. A Nonprofit option is available that provides access to nonprofit-specific features and functions. Organizations can track valuable customer/donor information, accept credit cards and customize forms for a more professional appearance. And as previously noted, the product line offers scalability through it Enterprise edition.
QuickBooks Accounting Premier Nonprofit Edition 2009 contains several system enhancements, including the ability to run reports while in multi-user mode and the multi-user chat. The Company Snapshot offers a real-time view of an organization, including money owed, bills to pay, and necessary tasks to be completed. The new Online Banking feature allows users to easily download transactions from any bank account, making it easier than ever to maintain real-time cash availability.
The addition of Accountants Tools makes it easy to work directly with an accountant. The Client Data Review in the Accountant Edition (which can be used with the Nonprofit Edition) allows the accountant to assist with finding and correcting data errors, and importing client data is now easier than ever. Nonprofit-specific features include options to set up a budget, enter donations, enter pledges, and the ability to send follow-up letters to donors. Letter templates can be customized as needed. From the nonprofit selection, users can also make deposits, enter and pay bills, and write checks. When setting up an industry-specific edition of QuickBooks, the system swaps out all common names with nonprofit related names, so donation receipt forms will actually say ‘donation’ at the top of the form. Also of use to many users will be the multi-currency feature.
QuickBooks works with a variety of add-ons and third-party applications, including
the Remote Access feature, which starts at $3.95 per month.
QuickBooks also offers a free three-page website, with 12 months of free hosting. More than 2,000 web templates are available from which to choose, along with 100+ sample sites for various industries.
QuickBooks Accounting Premier Nonprofit Edition offers an excellent selection of reports. Report types can be reviewed in the Report Center prior to printing, including a brief explanation of the report and its purpose. QuickBooks produces several nonprofit reports, including Form 990. Other reports available include Biggest Donors/Grants, Donors Contribution Summary, Budget vs. Actual by Programs, and the Statement of Financial Income and Expense.
An excellent audit trail report is available that details all transactions entered and edited in QuickBooks along with user information. Reports can be customized to reflect organizational needs and grouped together for easy future access. Reports can also be saved as PDF files for easy distribution, as well as exported to Word or Excel, or emailed to recipients directly from the report interface.
A traditionally friendly user interface has helped QuickBooks retain its popularity through the years. A comprehensive Help file is included with the product, and the Easy Step Interview process makes it easy to set up an organization. The Learning Center offers brief (less than 10 minutes) online tutorials that provide an overview of QuickBooks along with various product features. Thirty days of free product support is included with the purchase of QuickBooks, with numerous support packages available thereafter.
Intuit QuickBooks Accounting Premier Nonprofit Edition 2009 is currently priced at $399.95 for a single-user system. With the flexibility that QuickBooks continues to provide small business owners and small organizations, it would be an excellent choice for the smaller nonprofit organization.
2009 OVERALL RATING: