2011 Review of Sage North America — Sage Fund Accounting

Sage North America - Sage Fund Accounting
800-811-0961
www.sagefundaccounting.com

 

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

Best Fit
Sage Fund Accounting (formerly Sage MIP Fund Accounting) is optimally designed for mid-sized nonprofit organizations and government entities that require flexibility as well as detailed budgeting and grants management capabilities.

Strengths

  • Extensive list of modules
  • Contains fundraising & grant management add-on options
  • Excellent budgeting capability
  • Available as an on-premise or hosted product
  • Available in single-user & multi-user editions

Potential Limitations

  • Cost may be prohibitive for small organizations
  • Initial setup can be time-consuming if not well-planned to help ensure long-term success

 

Sage Fund Accounting is a financial software product designed specifically for nonprofit organizations and government entities. Formerly known as Sage MIP Fund Accounting, Sage Fund Accounting is modular and extremely scalable and flexible. The addition of a single-user system, and its availability in a hosted environment, opens the market significantly and makes it attractive to smaller nonprofits, as well.

Basic System Functions - 4.75 Stars

Sage Fund Accounting can be installed on a desktop or laptop computer, or users may prefer to access the product in a hosted environment for added flexibility. The user interface is easily navigated, with a drop-down menu bar at the top of the screen that allows access to system functions. The in-product workflow navigation provides module access, and the main screen contains a workflow diagram that contains all of the related functions found within each system module. Users can customize data-entry screens to display frequently used functions and reports for easy access. Data-entry screens are uncluttered and easily navigated, with the requisite lookup options included. Entry screens also contain numerous function tabs, where additional information can be easily entered.

Sage Fund Accounting offers more than 25 modules that can be easily added as needed. Core modules included in the single-user version include System Manager, GL, AP, AR Reporting, Budget, Bank Reconciliation, Data Import/Export and Forms Designer. Additional modules available include the following: AR, Advanced Security, Allocation Management, Data Consolidation, Direct Deposit, Electronic Funds Transfer, Electronic Requisitions, Employee Web Services, Encumbrances, Fixed Assets, GASB, Grant Management, HR Management, Inventory Control, Multicurrency, Payroll, Purchase Order, Sales Order, Scheduler, and Visual Analyzer. This product is extremely scalable and offers a high level of flexibility.

Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capabilities - 5 Stars

Sage Fund Accounting utilizes a table-driven chart of accounts, allowing users to easily create account structures with which they are most comfortable. Sage Fund Accounting also allows for an unlimited number of account segments. The system can handle a wide variety of transaction types including memorized transactions, recurring transactions and automatic reversals, as well as general journal entries such as cash receipts and standard budget entries. The Budget module allows for creation of budgets for all grants, programs or accounts, with budgets for multiple fiscal years and cross-year reporting. Encumbrances can also be added to the budget reserve. Users can choose to view the original budget while entering revisions for easy comparison. Sage Fund Accounting allows for an unlimited number of budgets, and drill-down capability allows users to view originating documents for each budget item. Budget can also be set up by account segment.

The optional Sage Fundraising module provides a complete donor management system, where users can track donations, manage donor information, and handle annual appeals and other gifts received. The optional Sage Grant Management module provides easy tracking of all grants, including submissions, pre-award information and grant close-out information. Users can easily track activity for each individual grant, including invoices, incoming payments and program credits. Sage Fund Accounting contains an automatic fund balancing mechanism, so even multi-year funds will be in balance. The system also offers an excellent audit trail that allows managers to track all system use and transaction entry by user.

Sage Fund Accounting contains an excellent selection of e-features, including the ability to pay invoices electronically, a browser-based employee portal and the ability to process electronic requisitions. Users can choose to email recipients invoices and statements, and remote connectivity using the hosted version of the product provides system access from anywhere.

Management Features - 5 Stars

The system offers a good selection of dashboards that provide up-to-date monitoring of financial data. Like the budgets, Sage Fund Accounting dashboards contain excellent drill-down capability that allows users to easily monitor program and fund activity. The Visual Analyzer module tracks essential items such as cash flow controls and monitors budgeted amounts. Custom-created budgets provide users with excellent forecasting tools, and what-if scenarios can be easily created and examined for potential outcomes. An optional warning system will alert users when an expense entered will create an over-budget scenario.

The Advanced Security module provides even greater system security levels, including the ability to set individual and group-level security options, as well as setting field-level encryption for the highest level of database security.

The AR module tracks all pending payments and will create custom invoices and statements for donors and pledges. The Sage Fundraising module, mentioned earlier, can assist with coordinating fundraising campaigns, tracking pledges and donations, and maintaining a solid list of current and potential donors. Users can attach related documents such as check copies or program budgets directly to the master file, creating a central location for all related files.

Financial Statements & Reporting - 5 Stars

The selection of system reports is solid, with all reports easily customizable. Users can also easily create new reports, including FASB reports such as Statement of Activities and Statement of Financial Position. The GASB module allows users to easily produce GASB reports. Other nonprofit-specific reports include Fund Balance Sheet, Program Performance and Budget Analysis. Grant reporting options include the ability to track each grant-specific budget and performance, as well as to-date grant distributions and allocations. Excel spreadsheet data can be imported using the Data Import/Export module. Reports can also be exported to Word, Excel, PDF or HTML files.

Integration & Import/Export - 5 Stars

Sage Fund Accounting allows users to export system information in a variety of formats including PDF, HTML, Word and Excel, as well as CSV format. Users are able to pick and choose modules while being assured of complete integration. Those using the hosted version of Sage Fund Accounting can simply add their accountant as a user to allow for easy, yet secure, Windows Authenticated access to data files and other functions.

Help/Support - 5 Stars

An excellent Help function is available throughout the system. User guides are available to view or download as a PDF. On the Sage website, users will find an excellent knowledgebase as well as an option to download all system updates at their convenience. The vendor also offers a wide variety of training options, including web, onsite and classroom training. A variety of product support plans are also available that offer both product maintenance and unlimited toll-free telephone support.

Summary & Pricing

The single-user version of Sage Fund Accounting is available for $2,995. Individual module pricing starts at $895 per module. Grant Management and Fundraising Management modules are available for additional fees. Suitable for just about any size nonprofit or government organization, Sage Fund Accounting is a scalable, flexible system that no organization should outgrow.

2011 Overall Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

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