Blackbaud, Inc. - The Financial Edge
From the November 2011 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Systems
The Financial Edge is well-suited for mid-sized to large nonprofit organizations and government entities that require both top-notch reporting capability along with excellent donor and grant management.
- Excellent customization capability
- Easy integration with dozens of add-on modules
- Unlimited customized dashboards
- Solid grant tracking
- Easy integration with The Raiser’s Edge
- Flexible, scalable product
- Cost may be prohibitive for smaller organizations
- Complex data setup can be time-consuming
The Financial Edge from Blackbaud, Inc. is a robust financial software product designed for larger foundations and government entities with complex needs. Powerful, yet easy to use, The Financial Edge provides excellent fund accounting functionality along with excellent financial management.
Basic System Functions - 5 Stars
The Financial Edge can be installed on a desktop/laptop computer or accessed remotely using the hosted version of the product. The system offers an easily navigated main screen that contains a drop-down menu at the top. A series of features and quick access tabs are found to the left of the screen, which refreshes when accessing another module. Quick access links to frequently used functions and reports can be easily set up on the homepage, along with daily reminders. Workflow areas found within each module minimize data entry and system navigation time tremendously. One time-saving feature is Allocation Management, which allows users to set up allocations to post automatically against accounts or projects. AP entry has been simplified with the ability to enter multiple invoices in a spreadsheet type format that drastically cuts down on data-entry time, as well. All data-entry screens contain a Find option for easy file location.
The Financial Edge offers 28 modules that users can pick and choose from as needed, ensuring flexibility today and scalability tomorrow. Available modules include the following: GL, AR, AP, Accounting Forms, Accounting Queue, Advanced Budget Management, Advanced Security, Allocation Management, Cash Management, Cash Receipts, Consolidation Management, CounterPoint, Web Purchasing, Web Invoicing, Fixed Assets, Paper Save, Payroll, Point of Sale, Project, Grant & Endowment Management, Purchase Orders, Visual Basic for Applications, Application Programming Interface, Student Billing, School Store Manager, Electronic Funds Transfer, F9, and Integration with The Raiser’s Edge, a widely used fundraising and donor management software product.
With its modular structure, The Financial Edge is easily scalable for organizations of just about any size, with the ability to mix and match modules and add on as needed.
Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capabilities - 5 Stars
The Financial Edge offers a completely user-defined chart of account structure with the ability to create the account length and number of segments needed. The Financial Edge processes multiple transaction types, including general journal entries, automatic journal entries and automatic reversals, recurring invoices, and standard invoice and cash receipts.
Two optional budgeting modules are available. The Budget Management module allows users to budget revenue and expenses well into the future. Users can also create multiple budgets at the project level for better detailed tracking, with the option to adjust totals. The Advanced Budget Management module is designed to link payroll expenses directly to specific project budgets, with even line-item budget details easily viewed. Regular data pulled from accounts can be easily combined, as well as user-defined fields for creating a truly customized budget. Easy integration with The Raiser’s Edge provides excellent donor management capability, tracking current and potential donors as well as maintaining a solid database of donor prospects. The Raiser’s Edge also offers smooth integration with the GL module for easy tracking of donations and other monies received. The optional Project, Grant & Endowment Management module allows for tracking revenues, activities and expenses by project, grant or endowment fund. An automatic fund-balancing feature ensures that all funds are in balance at all times, with users able to balance funds by project or segment code.