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2010 Review of Not-For-Profit Accounting Systems

Nonprofit Segment Continues To Grow & Products Rise To The Challenge

From the November 2010 Issue

The software needs of the nonprofit organization are vastly different from
those implemented by standard organizations. Many nonprofits are funded solely
by grants, which require detailed tracking and accountability for every dollar
spent. As well, those active in fundraising need a way to record donations,
provide receipts and track donors for future fundraising campaigns.

Not-For-Profit Accounting Systems:
2010 Review Sections

  • Basic System Functions
    • Installation
    • General Navigation/
    • Modules (core & add-on)
    • Scalability
  • Core NFP/Fund Acctg Features
    • Account Structure/Types
    • Multiple Transaction Types
    • Budget Management/Tracking
    • Multiple Budget Types
    • Donor Management/Tracking
    • Grant Tracking
    • Automatic Fund Balancing
    • Multiple Year-End Closings
    • Audit Trail
    • E-Features
  • Management Features
    • Dashboards (snapshots)
    • Analysis & Budgeting Scenarios
    • Security Features/User Roles
    • Spending Control Functions
    • Collections
    • Fundraising
    • Document Management
    • Capabilities
  • Financial Statements & Reporting
    • Customization Capabilities
    • Financial Statements
    • FASB/GASB Reporting
    • Endowment/Grant Reporting
    • Reporting Export Options
  • Import/Export/Integration
    • Data Transfer/Import
    • Integration w/vendor’s products
    • External Program Integration
    • Remote Accountant Access or Online Data Transfer Tool
  • Help/Support
    • Built-in Support Features
    • System Updates
    • Support website/documentation
    • Training Options
    • Live Support
  • Summary & Pricing
  • Overall Rating

As evidenced by 2009 statistics showing there were a record 16 million nonprofit
corporations in the United States, this is a continually growing segment of
the population. And as this segment continues to grow, nonprofit software products
will continue to grow, as well. In our review of nonprofit products, we took
a look at the following:

Basic System Functions
This section includes information on product installation (if applicable)
and setup, along with navigational ease. We also list the modules that are included
or available with the product, and we consider scalability, examining whether
the software can grow and expand along with an organization.

Core Not-for-Profit/Fund Accounting Capabilities
This area includes available account structure, budget management capability,
donor management and grant tracking functionality, along with automatic fund
balancing functions. We also discuss the availability of an audit trail and
any e-features, such as remote system access, data sync capability, and e-payment
and e-banking functions.

Management Features
This section considers things such as dashboards, what-if analysis,
fundraising, collections, and document management capabilities.

Financial Statements and Reporting
Along with standard reporting, we also look at financial statement
formatting options, endowment and grant reporting, and any report customization
features that are available. As well, we note report export options and whether
they handle FASB or GASB reporting.

In this area, we look at product integration with vendor-related products
as well as third-party products. We also examine data transfer and import/export
capability, along with remote or online accountant functions.

This area looks at built-in support features, availability of system
downloads, support documentation on the vendor’s website, training options
and product support options.

Summary & Pricing
Finally, we provide pricing information as well as a brief summary
of the product’s strengths, along with a note on the type of organization
for which the product is best suited.

Because nonprofits vary so widely, their needs will vary, as well. That’s
why it’s so important for your nonprofit clients to carefully investigate
the available products (visiting websites, taking test runs, etc.) before making
a purchasing decision.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

AccuFund, Inc. — AccuFund
Accounting Suite
AccuFund Accounting Suite is a software product
designed specifically for nonprofit and government entities. AccuFund
is highly suitable for mid-range nonprofit organizations that desire a
strong accounting product.
Blackbaud Inc. — The Financial Edge
The Financial Edge, from Blackbaud, Inc. is a sophisticated, easy-to-use financial product designed primarily for mid-sized to large nonprofit organizations. More than a nonprofit accounting product, The Financial Edge provides organizations with financial insight while streamlining daily activities.
Blackbaud Inc. — Fundware
Fundware from Blackbaud, Inc. is a fund accounting product designed for both nonprofit organizations and government entities. It is an excellent fit for mid-sized to larger nonprofit organizations that desire a scalable, flexible product.
Cougar Mountain Software —
CMS Professional 2011 FUND
Cougar Mountain Software (CMS) started its highly
regarded, well-established Fund Accounting software over two decades ago
and its Windows-based version, CMS Professional, over 12 years ago. The
CMS Professional 2011 system provides a full accounting suite, with industry-specific
versions like FUND. Offering a complete line of fund-related products,
CMS Professional 2011 FUND is designed for small to mid-sized nonprofit
CYMA Systems — CYMA Not-For-Profit Edition
CYMA has been offering its Fund Accounting software to nonprofit organizations for 30 years. Modular in design, this system is a good fit for small to mid-sized nonprofits that desire flexibility and scalability.

Donald R. Frey & Co. — Budgetary Control System
Donald R. Frey & Company has over 35 years of experience in the software business, currently specializing in software aimed specifically at nonprofit and government sector organizations. BUCS (BUdgetary Control System) is a fund-based accounting software product that offers real-time processing and excellent grant tracking and encumbrance monitoring and tracking. BUCS would be a good fit for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations and government entities.
Fund E-Z Development Corp. — FUND E-Z
By no means a newcomer to the world of nonprofit, FUND E-Z Development Corporation has been offering software to nonprofit organizations for more than 10 years. Recently rewritten, FUND E-Z Fund Accounting now offers client/server capability and is a good fit for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations.
Intuit Inc. — QuickBooks
Not-For-Profit 2010
QuickBooks Not-For-Profit 2010 offers a solid nonprofit
product designed for startup and smaller nonprofit organizations. Featuring
a nonprofit-specific chart of accounts and excellent reporting and tracking
capabilities, QuickBooks Not-For-Profit is an affordable choice for small
organizations with limited budgets.
Sage Peachtree — Sage Peachtree
Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2011
Along with its core financial product, Peachtree
offers several industry-specific products, including its Sage Peachtree
Premium Accounting for Nonprofits 2011, which is well-suited to small
nonprofit organizations.
Sage North America — Sage
MIP Fund Accounting
Sage MIP Fund Accounting is a financial software
product designed specifically for nonprofit organizations and government
entities. Modular in structure, the system would be an excellent fit for
mid-sized organizations that require a product that’s scalable and
Serenic Software — Serenic Navigator
Serenic Navigator is a powerful financial management
and business operations software product designed specifically for larger
nonprofit organizations, international NGOs and the public sector. Certified
for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Serenic Navigator offers a solid core product
that is easily navigated and fully integrated with a suite of extended
financial and business operations products.

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Cheque 21 System from Aqubanc, LLC is a system designed
to optimize gift and donation processing. Designed to work with multiple
nonprofit software systems such as Raiser’s Edge, DonorPerfect, Sage
Fundraising 50, PledgeMaker and others, Cheque 21 allows larger nonprofits
to easily process a large influx of donations.

2010 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Programs — Comparison Chart

See inside November 2010

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