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2012 Review of Cougar Mountain Software Denali FUND+ Accounting

Cougar Mountain Software — Denali FUND + Accounting

From the Nov. 2012 Review of Nonprofit Accounting Systems.

Best Fit: Denali, from Cougar Mountain is a good fit for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations that manage multiple funds and need solid, customizable software at an affordable price.


  • Color coded modules make system navigation easy
  • Excellent training options
  • Great budgeting and reporting options
  • Scalable with modules purchased as needed
  • Web-access available

Potential Limitations

  • No document management capability

Denali, from Cougar Mountain Software is a completely integrated financial system that offers complete fund accounting for nonprofits managing multiple funds. In business for over 30 years, Cougar Mountain is a solid product with an impressive history.

Denali was accessed through Cougar Mountain’s Applianz Technology with no issues. General navigation of Denali is easy, particularly with the addition of color-coded modules. Each system module is assigned a specific background color, making it easy to navigate between multiple screens. The tasks area of the software features a flow chart where users can access the various features found in the software. Users can also opt to select features from the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Transactions are entered in batches, and all transaction entry screens contain look up options for quicker data entry. There are various screen customization options available, so users can create an interface they’re comfortable with. Denali’s standard fund accounting product includes the GL module and the Bank Reconciliation module. There are also numerous modules available that all integrate with the GL, including AP, AR, Donor Tracking, Budget Management, Fixed Assets, Inventory Control, Payroll, Point of Sale, Gift Cards, Purchase Order, Merchant Services, Multi-Location Inventory, Integrated eCommerce, and PDF Blaster. Users can purchase the modules they need and add the rest at a later date.

Denali provides users with an account structure that uses six segments and up to 50 characters. Mentioned earlier, Denali utilizes a batch system for processing transactions. Multiple transaction types can be easily entered and processed using the batch system including general journal entries, recurring entries, and due to/from entries. Transactions can also be saved in the system for future posting. While many products have eliminated the use of batch entry, it can save a lot of time by allowing users to review transactions prior to posting, eliminating correcting entries. The Budget Management option allows users to create a budget for each fund entered into Denali, and users can also choose to import existing budget information into Denali as well. The budget setup screen provides users with a list of account numbers where an estimated budget amount can be entered. Users can easily add additional accounts to the budget grid, and the grid provides a convenient place to review and edit budget information on all accounts and funds. Denali integrates with Donor Express, a third party donor management software product that manages all donor detail, and users can also track grant activity by entering each grant as a separate fund, and then managing all activity against that particular fund. Users can also set up a separate budget for each grant/fund entered into Denali. The Due to/From option ensures that all funds are balanced, particularly if organizations have the need to do interfund transfers. Denali maintains a five year fiscal calendar, but all funds must be closed separately at year end. Denali contains excellent audit trail functionality, with users able to track all system transactions entered. Batch processing adds an additional layer of transparency when processing data transactions. Users can pay invoices electronically, accept electronic payment from vendors and donors and the Single Point Server option provides convenient Internet access for up to four system users.

Denali offers users customizable Financial and Sales dashboards, where users can track organizational data such as current revenue and expenses, current cash flow, and product sales. The budget grid allows users to enter budget estimates and later edit information as needed. The Controller option is where all new users are entered. All system users are assigned a unique password and assigned a specific setting level, with users added to an existing group or as a single user with module-level security available. The AP module allows users to enter a credit limit from each vendor, and the AR module allows users easy access to aging receivable balances. Users can also process statements, calculate finance charges, and track all collection calls and contacts. Fundraising capability is found in the optional Donor Express software product, where all donations, pledges, and other gifts are recorded and tracked and thank you letters issued. Specific donors can also be targeted for annual appeals and other campaigns if desired.

Denali contains excellent reporting capability, with over 120 standard reports available for general use or customizable as desired. For more extensive customization, users can opt to use the Crystal Reports add-on component. Nonprofit required reports such as FASB reports which include the Statement of Activities, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Financial Position are also available in Denali. Financial statements are available to print in the GL, and other reports are processed in their respective modules. Budget performance reports can be printed by fund with the option to print one fund or all, and users can enter access user-defined reporting fields to print grant or fund reports individually. Denali allows users to export all system reports to Excel or Crystal Reports.

Denali has a modular structure with users able to purchase the modules they need and add additional modules as needed. Import and export options are numerous, allowing users to import or export budget information, customer and vendor detail, and payroll data. Integration with third party applications such as Donor Express make donor management easier and accountants can easily access client data using the Single Point Server option mentioned earlier.

Denali contains a comprehensive help function that will answer the majority of questions most users may have. A variety of training options are available as well, including telephone, online, and onsite training, as well as complete training at Cougar Mountain’s corporate headquarters, where all telephone support is handled as well. Denali offers the Software Assurance program, which offers users access to the customer service center, access to the FAQ database, all system updates, a discount on training, as well as 20 hours of online and telephone support, for those users electing the Premier Software Assurance package.

Denali FUND + Accounting is an excellent product designed for the small-to mid-sized nonprofit. Modules start at $595.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars


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