Donald R. Frey & Co. — BUCS Fund Accounting
Jul. 14, 2011
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.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTION
Installation was simple, and the system provides easy access to all installed modules from a toolbar at the top of the screen. A Favorites bar displays various functions within a particular module and offers easy customization with the ability to add groups and items within each section. Data-entry screens are straightforward, with various function tabs available throughout, making it easy to perform multiple tasks from one initial data screen.
BUCS is modular in design, with the GL, AP, and Bank Reconciliation modules typically included as the core product. A long list of optional modules is available, including Advanced Allocations, ACH Payments for AP, Credit Card Tracker, Positive Pay, AR, Encumbrances, Combining Reports, Cash Receipts, Fee Receipting, Budget Planning, Fixed Assets, Data Dictionary, Requisition Control, Multiple Users, and MS SQL Database option. 5
CORE NFP/FUND ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES
BUCS allows for a free-form alphanumeric account structure that can utilize up to 29 characters. Different types of transaction can be easily posted in the GL, including regular entry, auto-reverse, batch and purge. Other optional modules provide extensive transaction processing capability. The Budget Planning module offers an excellent selection of tools designed to simplify the budget planning process. Budgets can be implemented on an account basis, including any revenue or expense account. The system also offers excellent grant and fund tracking and reporting capability, and the Advanced Allocations module allows users to pool combined overhead expenses and allocate them to various funds or grants. Users are flagged when fund accounts are out of balance. All fund activity is tracked on a period basis, allowing for easy tracking of multi-year projects. An excellent audit trail is included with transaction logs easily accessible. E-features are numerous, including ACH Payments for AP, and Positive Pay, which transmits all activity to an organization’s banking facility for check validation. The Data Dictionary makes it easy to transfer files, utilize third-party software such as Word and Excel, and email customers/donors and vendors directly. 4.25
BUCS offers colorful graphical analysis of all fund accounts. Users can choose the type of graph to display. The Budget Planning feature allows for the projection of cash flow funds or arbitrary increases or decreases in line items or categories. The system offers multi-level security options with the ability to assign access options by employee, as well as limiting system activity as needed. The Funds Availability report verifies that items are not over budget and that funds are available prior to issuing payment. Collection activity is easily handled by the Billing/AR module, which provides detailed sales history along with a complete customer database. Also available is the option to attach electronic documents to files. 4
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS & REPORTING
BUCS offers a good selection of nonprofit/fund specific reports including the Fund report and the Fund Balance report. The Report Generator allows for customization of reporting formats. Financial statements are easily produced and contain the ability to insert an organizational logo onto any report. The optional Combining Reports (GASB 34 Reports) module produces both GASB 34 and FASB 117 reports that can be easily exported to an Excel spreadsheet. Both fund and grant tracking reports are included in BUCS with each fund having its own separate account structure for easy reporting. Reports can be easily exported to Excel, Word and Crystal Reports as well as other ODBC-compliant software products. 5
The Data Dictionary module in BUCS makes it easy to transfer reports and other files to third-party applications. The optional ODBC gateway provides easy integration with other software products, and the Import/Export function makes it easy to define specific import/export data. Completely scalable, BUCS easily integrates with all of the vendor’s add-on modules. 4
BUCS offers an excellent Help system along with an online manual for reference. Product updates, when available, are displayed on the Frey & Co. website and can be downloaded at any time. PowerPoint presentations and product demos are also available on the website. Internet training and onsite training options are available. Annual support contracts are handled at Frey & Co. headquarters based in Kentucky. 5
SUMMARY & PRICING
BUCS pricing varies depending on the number of modules purchased. Modules start at $995 each for a single-user license. The core product suite includes GL, AP and Bank Reconciliation and costs $4,585. This is a solid fund accounting product with excellent management and tracking capabilities for funds and grants, and is ideal for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations and government entities.
2010 Overall Rating 4.5
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