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Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Software — 2005

Nonprofit organizations present a unique challenge. Not only do they require a comprehensive financial software system, but they also have unique tracking and reporting requirements that are not met in a general accounting program.

From the October 2005 Issue

Nonprofit organizations present a unique challenge. Not only do they require
a comprehensive financial software system, but they also have unique tracking
and reporting requirements that are not met in a general accounting program.
That’s why it’s important for even the smallest nonprofit organization
to look at nonprofit software. Several of the products reviewed here provide
excellent entry-level solutions with an affordable price tag. While these programs
may not contains the levels of detail found in some of the other programs, they
offer an affordable entry into the world of nonprofit software, and are excellent
products in their own right.

Many of the other products reviewed are suitable for medium to large-sized
nonprofits. These programs offer features such as grant tracking, fundraising
and fund balancing. They may be higher in cost, but they provide much more functionality
and features to nonprofits, government entities and foundations.

Stepping up from there, you’ll find that some of the products reviewed
here actually fall into the enterprise level with an extensive array of modules
and add-ons. Products at this level are suitable for larger nonprofit organizations,
hospitals, schools and larger government entities. These products can handle
anything from fund tracking, grant tracking, fund allocation, school enrollment
(including financial aid assistance), donor tracking and monitoring, and fundraising.
These products also provide retail modules, such as point of sale, credit card
processing, inventory control and excellent invoicing options. They handle multiple
transactions smoothly and enable management to better supervise the nonprofit.
They provide extensive financial reports, track spending, process grant usage
and keep track of donors — not just who gave what, but who is likely to
give again. This level of products is obviously the highest priced, but their
capabilities justify the cost.

All of these things, along with a good GL, AP, AR and Payroll module round
out what nonprofit organizations should be looking for, depending on their own
situation and current and future needs. Keep in mind as you read these reviews
and the product ratings that entry-level products
can be rated excellent right along side those products with the multiple modules.
They are designed to accomplish different things for different organizations
and, as such, cannot truly be rated against one another. Rather, they can only
be rated on what they set out to accomplish, and if they have attained that

Accufund — Accufund Accounting
The AccuFund Accounting Suite from AccuFund provides
a full suite of modules designed specifically for nonprofits and government
organizations. Billing themselves as an “innovative new company,”
AccuFund markets its products to nonprofit organizations with annual revenues
up to $100 million.
Araize, Inc. — FastFund
Nonprofit Accounting
In the software business since 1985, Araize offers
the nonprofit sector an affordable accounting solution. FastFund contains
a series of fully integrated modules, easy system navigation, excellent
product support, and even a 90-day money-back guarantee.
B2P Commerce Corp. — NonprofitBooks
Office 2005
Marketed by B2P Commerce Corp. as “the only
nonprofit software on the market to achieve next-generation integration
with QuickBooks 2004/2005, NonprofitBooks (NPB) was designed specifically
for the 200,000 plus users of QuickBooks in the nonprofit sector.
Blackbaud — The
Financial Edge
The Financial Edge, Version 7.5 is the latest product
release from Blackbaud, makers of an extensive array of software designed
specifically for the nonprofit sector. Along with its financial product,
Blackbaud also offers fundraising, marketing, educational, ticketing,
Internet and analytical software.
Cougar Mountain Software —
Cougar Mountain FUND Suite
Cougar Mountain FUND Suite Version 9 is the latest
version of Cougar Mountain’s accounting software for nonprofit organizations.
In this latest release, Cougar Mountain combines its excellent accounting
system with features designed specifically for mid to large nonprofit
CYMA Systems, Inc. — CYMA
Since 1980, CYMA has been offering its not-for-profit
software to small and midsize organizations. CYMA Not-For-Profit was developed
directly from the company’s successful financial management suite
of products, and provides nonprofits a reasonably priced software product
with a proven track record.
Donald R. Frey & Company
— Budgetary Control System (BUCS)
Donald R. Frey & Company has been in the software
market since 1974. Specializing in nonprofit software, the company has
continued to add new and innovative features to its software product over
the last 30 years…

Fund E-Z Development Corp—
FUND E-Z Fund Accounting Software
On May 31, 2005, FUND E-Z Development Corporation
released version 9 of its Fund Accounting Software. This new version,
which contains several enhancements, also comes with new, lower pricing,
making it an even more attractive option for budget-conscious small to
midsize nonprofit organizations.
Intuit, Inc. — QuickBooks:
Premier Nonprofit Edition 2005
QuickBooks continues to dominate the small business
accounting software market with its affordable, easy-to-use software.
QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2005 is an industry-specific version
of QuickBooks Premier that targets small to midsize nonprofit organizations.
Kintera Fundware — Fundware
FundWare is a fund accounting software product
designed specifically for nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
In existence since 1976, FundWare continues to shine under its new owner,
Kintera, Inc., who acquired American FundWare, Inc. (the providers of
FundWare Accounting software) from Intuit.
Open Systems, Inc. — TRAVERSE
Since 1976, Open Systems, Inc. has been providing
financial software to small and midsize businesses. Those years of experience
are reflected in TRAVERSE Not-For-Profit (NFP) Software.
Sage Software — Sage MIP
Fund Accounting
Sage MIP Fund Accounting from Sage Software has
been offering nonprofit software to organizations and nonprofits for over
20 years. Due to be released to the general public on September 1, version
7 features several product enhancements, which will be addressed later
in this review.
Sage Software — Peachtree
Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2006
Peachtree Software continues to be a staple in
the small business accounting software arena and has just recently released
its new Accounting for Nonprofits. Now owned by Sage Software, Peachtree
Accounting for Nonprofits is designed specifically for the small to midsize
nonprofit organization.
Serenic Corporation — Serenic
Serenic Navigator from Serenic Corporation is a
high-end, financial management solution powered by Microsoft Business
Solutions Navision, and designed specifically for larger nonprofit corporations
and government agencies.

Not-for-Profit Accounting Software
— Executive Summary
Time and time again we hear that what’s important
is not the cost of the software; rather, it is the cost of implementing
and building a (supporting) database with the program, with migrating a
practitioner’s accounting practice to regular and sustained use of
the write-up program.