Cougar Mountain Software — CMS FUND

From the Jan. 2009 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Programs

Cougar Mountain Software offers CMS FUND for Nonprofits as part of its CMS Professional 2009 lineup. As the vendor’s flagship product with over 25 years of experience serving small and mid-sized organizations, CMS FUND continues to expand its comprehensive account-ing system with many specialty tools for nonprofit users.

Navigation of CMS FUND is simple in a menu-driven environment. Icons offer movement be-tween modules with new options available once the modules are accessed. This keeps the data-entry screens clean and easy to navigate. Lookup options are available throughout, aiding users in data entry.

Cougar Mountain’s strength in flexibility has long been best realized in the customization options for its products. CMS FUND uses a 45-digit account number structure, allowing for six segments to track unlimited funds. User-defined fields abound with simple import/export functions. Custom programming is available from CMS to further tailor CMS FUND to an agency’s specific needs.

The base CMS FUND is designed for small to mid-sized organizations, offering GL (including fund, grant tracking and budgeting functionality) and Bank modules as a base. Budgeting and FASB 116 and 117 reports are also included with CMS FUND. For smaller organizations, this may be enough, as other optional modules can be added as needed.

Cougar Mountain offers the CMS FUND Revenue Center for fundraising, thrift store or mail order operations of an organization to fill needs with Inventory, Order Entry and AR modules. For a more complete package, the CMS FUND Suite includes full modules for AP, GL, PO, BR and Payroll.

Add-ons are also available for Aatrix Tax Forms, Advanced Bill of Materials, BarTender Label generator (Bar Coding), CMShip for FedEx and UPS, Credit Card Authorization, CRM Bridge to ACT!, CMS Total eCom (online sales), Fixed Assets, GL Report Generator, Merchant Transaction Services, PDF Blaster (mass e-mail; the Lite version is included with CMS Fund), POS Hard-ware, R&R ReportWorks Infinity, Single Point (Remote Access), and Tax Updates. Considering all options, CMS Suite is extremely adept to handle many different operations while offering the fund accounting foundation to meet an organization’s financial needs.

CMS FUND provides full account-ing for an unlimited number of funds, departments or grants, and easily handles inter-fund transfers, fund balancing, and multiple grants with varied year ends. A 36-month calendar allows for flexibility in closing and reporting. Cougar Mountain also offers consolidation for multiple organizational needs.

Allocations can be made by fixed cash or fixed percentage, allowing posting to unlimited accounts. The Purchase Order module offers options to track encumbrances and manage budgets more effectively. Paperless functionality was added this year with the ability to attach documents within the main record windows. By simply clicking on an attachment within most record screens, you can add pertinent documentation to your file. Another paperless enhancement is the PDF Blaster integration. As previously noted, PDF Blaster Lite is included, allowing users to e-mail and fax 30 invoices, statements and notices per month. The full version is available as an add-on and offers unlimited e-mail and faxing capability.

This year’s new version release is focued on ease of information retrieval and the ability to do more functions from just one screen. The latest version offers numerous new features in inventory and payroll, along with tighter security for credit card processing.

REPORTING - 4.5 Stars
CMS FUND includes all necessary GAAP financial statements as well as audit trail, operations analysis and basic budget reports. The addition of the GL Report Generator module allows customization of all standard reports, custom report creation and scheduling of recurring reports. By incorporating the R&R ReportWorks Infinity add- on, complete customization and multiple report views are available.

Specialty reporting, such as the Snapshot reports, offer quick access to management information, such as the ability to print financial data based on a period or date range in the GL module. Or for AR, a user can quickly pull a report by period that outlines the top 10 customers or the top 10 delinquent customers. The ability to reprint posting reports is also a nice addition.

Telephone Support is available from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday. Cougar Mountain also offers the online Customer Service Center, which provides efficient access to product documentation, e-learning tools, product news, updates and downloads.

Training is available at CMS locations, onsite and online. E-Learning video training options and other resources are available from their Customer Service Center. Software Assurance packages provide access to additional resources, upgrades, technical support and discounted training. CMS also offers additional packages for more computer or accounting assistance your organization may need, including installation, wellness and phone support plans.

Cougar Mountain pricing includes Software Assurance. CMS FUND is priced at $2,245 (single-user) and $4,647 (multi-user). CMS FUND Suite is available for $4,887 (single-user); $7,047 (multi-user). Add-on module pricing varies. Cougar Mountain is an exceptional value and offers excellent nonprofit functionality to small and mid-sized organizations with features often found in higher-end packages.

2009 OVERALL RATING: overall rating