2011 Review of Serenic Software — Serenic Navigator

Serenic Software, Inc. - Serenic Navigator
877-737-3642
www.serenic.com

From the November 2011 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Systems

Best Fit
Serenic Navigator is a powerful system optimally designed for larger nonprofit organizations that need a fully integrated financial solution that provides solid performance and system reliability. Smaller users may wish to utilize the SaaS version, Navigator Online, which was designed for small to mid-sized users.

Strengths

  • Excellent financial management capability
  • Availability of related modules for donor/grant management
  • Scalable to fit the needs of just about any size/type of nonprofit/government entity
  • SaaS version available (Navigator Online)
  • Customizable dashboards & internal sharing of data through portals
  • Strong, customizable budgeting capability
  • Solid import/export and third-party integration capability

Potential Limitations

  • Cost may be prohibitive for some smaller organizations
  • Complex product installation & setup for on-premises product

 

Serenic Navigator is a fully integrated financial management suite designed for larger nonprofit organizations, government entities and non-governmental organizations. Powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Navigator offers a flagship financial product along with Navigator Extended Suite, which provides more module options for users. The product is also available in a SaaS delivery model, Navigator Online.

Basic System Functions - 5 Stars

The on-premise installation of Serenic Navigator is complicated and should be handled by an IT professional. However, Serenic now offers Navigator Online for added flexibility. Built entirely on Microsoft Dynamics NAV technology, initial system navigation may be confusing to those who are used to a more conventional user interface, but users will soon grow to appreciate the layout of the product. Navigator makes great use of Role Centers, which provide the gateway to all system navigation. Each user can easily customize his or her individual interface. The use of Role Centers also eliminates user-overload, as each user is assigned a role and has access only to the features and functions that they need. This structure makes system training less overwhelming, as the users will only have to deal with their own specific job functions.

Serenic Navigator’s flagship financial product suite includes GL, AP, AR and Cash Management functionality, along with key system functions such as Advanced Allocations, Budgeting/Forecasting, Inventory, Sales Orders, Fixed Assets and Procurement. Also offered is a Multi-Currency-Multi-Language feature, along with Workflow Management with Approvals, Complete Financial Reporting, Integrated Excel Report Writer and Microsoft Office Integration. The Navigator Extended Suite offers the following additional nonprofit-specific modules: DonorVision (donor management), AwardVision (grant management), MinistryView, CommunityCare (consumer services and workshops), Deposits and Loans, Human Resources/Payroll, and a variety of portals, which provide easy system access to remote employees. With the addition of the SaaS version, Serenic Navigator offers more scalability than ever before.

Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capability - 5 Stars

Serenic Navigator utilizes a table-driven chart of accounts that allows for up to 10 segments when setting up system accounts. Up to 110 alphanumeric characters can be used in the account structure, as well. Users can process multiple transaction types, including recurring entries; automatic reversing entries; and budget, actual and statistical transactions. The new BudgetVision module offers a whole new level of budgeting capability, including the ability to set up multi-year budgets. Multiple budgets can be tracked and viewed over a period of several years, providing a big-picture look.

What-if scenarios can be created using the Calculations and Assumptions features. Specific departments or program managers can submit budget sub-plans, providing budget information specific to their own area. Serenic Navigator also allows for an unlimited number of budgets, with the new budget entry screen resembling an Excel spreadsheet, simplifying data entry and navigation.

Tracking donors and donations is easy. Fundraising initiatives can also be tracked with results measured to determine the level of success. AwardVision monitors multiple grants, including tracking of expenses, sub awards and any award restrictions. Serenic Navigator will automatically balance both funds and fund classes. Multiple programs and funds can be created, as well, with each utilizing a unique fiscal year. Audit trail functionality is solid, with Navigator maintaining a detailed list of all system transactions that can be easily accessed. Users can pay invoices electronically, and remote access is available through the Navigator portals. And as previously noted, new this year, Serenic also offers Navigator Online, a SaaS version designed for small to mid-sized nonprofits that may not need all of the functions found in Navigator, with the ability to scale up to the more robust version if necessary.

Management Features - 5 Stars

Serenic Navigator offers the ability to easily create custom dashboards and other financial reports that can be shared with non-accounting personnel through portals. Multiple versions of a single budget can be created and exported into Excel to share with others. All budget modifications can be tracked, with the ability to view multiple budgets for various projects and grants. Justification notes can also be added to budgets for easy review, thus explaining any changes or oddities.

System security is top-notch, with a user setup card used for each employee. After the user card is completed, each user is assigned a user group and finally a user level, which determines the level of system access the employee is granted. Users can define spending limits in the program for a fund’s appropriate budget. The AR module allows for tracking of customer/donor information, including assigned credit levels and invoice aging. DonorVision tracks related fundraising activity, including special events and annual appeals. WorkFlow with Approvals cuts down dramatically on lost documents by providing users with an easy way to track, approve and attach the necessary documents to the related file.

Financial Statements & Reporting - 5 Stars

Serenic Navigator offers an excellent selection of core financial reports that can be easily customized. SQL reporting services allows users to also create graphical displays for system reports, and drill-down capability provides quick access to originating documents. Serenic offers both FASB 116 & 117 reporting capabilities, as well as IRS 990 reporting. With AwardVision, users have excellent grant tracking and reporting capability, with the ability to track spending levels and restrictions. All Navigator reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel, Office, PowerPoint or Word, with the ability to email reports to recipients, as well.

Integration & Import/Export - 5 Stars

Serenic Navigator is a completely integrated product, with the ability to add modules as needed. The Microsoft SQL engine allows for easy integration with not only Microsoft products, but other applications, as well. This same structure also allows for easy data importing and exporting between products.

Help/Support - 5 Stars

Serenic Navigator provides a solid Help function, and users have access to all system updates and product releases. Serenic’s website offers access to a variety of videos, webinars, case studies, product fact sheets and whitepapers. Training options include classroom and online classes, as well as various self-study courses. All Serenic Navigator technical support personnel are certified in Microsoft NAV, and users can choose from a variety of product maintenance/support options.

Summary & Pricing

Serenic Navigator Business Essentials starts at $3,500 per user. Serenic Navigator Advanced Management starts at $6,500 per user. Additional modules, such as DonorVision and AwardVision are sold at an additional cost. With the availability of the SaaS version, Navigator Online, for $195 per user per month, nonprofits of all sizes will find Serenic Navigator an excellent investment.

2011 Overall Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

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