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Donald R. Frey — BUCS Fund Accounting

From the Oct. 2007 Review of NFP
Accounting Systems

Donald R. Frey and Company, Inc. has been designing nonprofit software for
small to midsize nonprofit organizations and government entities for more than
30 years. With the release of version 10.1, BUCS continues its tradition of
timely enhancements to its fund accounting software.

BUCS’s main screen contains a drop-down menu bar at the top of the screen.
The toolbar below provides access to frequently used software functions such
as GL, Chart of Accounts, Vendor Maintenance, Invoice Maintenance, Budget Planning
and Posting Analysis.

The rest of the screen is divided into three parts: The Favorites Pane, a customized
list of frequently used functions; The Navigation Pane, which controls what
is displayed in the Task Pane; and the Task Pane, the main area of the screen
that displays various shortcuts to the functions found within each particular
module. The Systems Controls feature allows you to set system preferences for
GL, AP, AR, Bank Account, Fee Receipts, and Fixed Asset modules. Data-entry
screens could be a little more user friendly, but they are generally easy to
navigate once a user is accustomed to the layout. For increased data flexibility,
the Data Dictionary provides a gateway for ODBC applications to access BUCS

BUCS’s modular structure allows for the purchase of the modules needed
immediately, with the ability to add additional modules at a later date. Available
modules include the GL (required), AP, AR, Cash Receipts, Advanced Allocations,
ACH Payments for AP, Positive Pay, Fixed Assets, Bank Reconciliation, Fee Receipting,
Encumbrances, Data Dictionary, Requisition Control, CC-Tracker, Budget Planning,
Combining Reports, and a Multiple User option. Available separately is the CHIPS
Payroll System, which integrates easily with BUCS Fund Accounting.

As previously noted, the modular structure makes the product extremely scalable,
with the ability to add additional modules onto the core product when needed.
For larger organizations, or unexpected growth, the MS SQL Server Database can
be purchased, which will easily handle the needs of an enterprise-level organization.

BUCS’s latest release contains numerous system enhancements designed to
improve system speed and efficiency. This includes multiple changes to the journal
entry screen, the addition of follow-up alerts, a new checking account summary
report, a more advanced search capability, improved invoice processing, an improved
requisition control module, and a more complete fixed assets module.

The program’s account structure uses up to 29 alphanumeric characters
in any fashion. BUCS can handle unlimited funds and can easily track grants
and other projects. The Advanced Allocations module allows for the distribution
of funds to multiple organizations, and the Encumbrance Processing module tracks
reserved funds for future expenses. The Chart Editor allows new accounts to
be set up quickly. An excellent budget planning function tracks revenue and
expense accounts and allows users to revise budgets and edit budget amounts
by account range. The Fund Control feature keeps track of all funds recorded
in the system, and the Fund Wizard assists with generating a new fund using
pre-formatted templates.

REPORTING – 4.5 Stars
Several new reporting options are available in Release 10.1, including the new
Journal Entry Transaction Report, the CC Transaction Report and the Checking
Account Summary Report. Reports can also be designed using Crystal Reports,
Excel, Word or Access, and can be easily exported to those same third-party
applications if desired. All reports can be published on the Internet or e-mailed
to recipients. Historical reports can be reprinted if necessary, and the Report
Scheduler lets users choose the reports to be printed as well as the frequency
(daily, weekly, monthly) at which to process them. Using the Combining Reports
modules, BUCS will also produce government-required reports such as GASB Statement
34 and FASB 117.

BUCS offers users a variety of system support options, including toll-free telephone
and fax support and 24-hour e-mail support. BUCS also provides all users with
a newsletter. Annual software upgrades are available, and the vendor offers
an annual user’s conference. All software improvements and upgrades are
provided free of charge for those with support contracts. Software training
options include training at the vendor’s headquarters, onsite training
by appointment and Internet-based training. Data conversion assistance is also
available if needed. A solid Help function is found throughout, and an updated
user manual is provided to all users with each new product release.

Experience counts, and Donald R. Frey has plenty. BUCS is a consistently solid
program that gets better every year. Modules start at $1,000 each for a single-user.
BUCS continues to be an excellent software choice for small to midsize nonprofit
organizations that are looking for reliable software that continues to improve
with time.

2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars