2012 Review of Serenic Navigator
Oct. 29, 2012
Serenic Software, Inc. – Serenic Navigator
From the Nov. 2012 Review of Nonprofit Accounting Systems.
Best Fit – Serenic Navigator from Serenic Software is designed for mid to large sized nonprofit organizations, Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) and government entities. Serenic offers an integrated financial system and the availability of Navigator Online, designed for smaller nonprofits make Navigator a flexible, scalable product.
- Solid budget capability
- Extensive selection of nonprofit-related modules
- Available in two versions for added scalability
- Excellent customization capability
- Integrates with Microsoft products
- Complicated in-house installation and setup
- Cost can be prohibitive for some mid-sized nonprofits
Serenic Navigator is a powerful nonprofit product ideally suited for mid-size and larger nonprofit organizations, Serenic is powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Serenic Navigator functions as the financial arm of Navigator and offers a variety of product options that can be purchased separately. Serenic Navigator is available as a client/server product or can be accessed online through an SaaS subscription.
Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars
Serenic Navigator installation is complex and requires a services engagement with Serenic or one of Serenic’s reseller partners. Smaller uses have the option to use Navigator Online, so installation issues become irrelevant. However, some implementation assistance from Serenic or a partner is required. Serenic Navigator is built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV technology, making the product extremely customizable, but somewhat confusing to the untrained user.
Serenic Navigator uses Role Centers for system navigation; a terrific idea where each employee is provided with a customized interface that contains only the modules, features and links relevant to their position. The interface is built based on employee roles, which can easily overlap.
The real advantage to this design is that each screen is truly customized based on employee needs with functions and features displayed on the user screen in an easy to navigate format allowing for efficient system navigation without the clutter.
Serenic Navigator’s flagship financial product suite includes Advanced Allocations, Purchase Order and Purchase Requisitions, Fixed Assets, Deposits and Loans, and Core Financials, which includes GL, AP, AR, and Payroll functionality. Serenic Navigator also offers complete Financial Reporting, including an Integrated Excel Report Writer and Business Intelligence tools. The product offers complete Microsoft Office Integration, as well as Multi-Currency and Multi-Language options.
For more extensive features, the Serenic Navigator Extended Suite offers DonorVision (donor management), AwardVision (grant management), Human Resources/Payroll, and a variety of software portals. The availability of a SaaS version opens a new market for Serenic Navigator.
Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capability: 5 Stars
Serenic Navigator allows users to set up 10 dimensions or segments, and up to 110 alphanumeric characters. If this isn’t enough, users can also add an unlimited number of additional segments to be used as sub-ledger accounts. Multiple transaction types can be easily processed, including budget and commitment transactions, along with automatic reversing entries, encumbrances, and general journal transactions.
The comprehensive BudgetVision module contains just about every feature that nonprofit organizations could possibly need, including real time budget preparation, in-depth budget management and monitoring tools, and the ability to create multiple budgets simultaneously. Users can also easily set up multi-year budgets, and assign a list of approvers to a budget.
Serenic DonorVision allows development professionals to cultivate relationships with potential donors, track donations, prepare and manage multiple fundraising campaigns, and set and manage fundraising goals. AwardVision manages multiple grants from pre-award to post-award reporting.
Grant restrictions can be managed, and AwardVision provides users with central a location to track grant milestones, attach supporting documentation, and monitor expenses closely. Serenic contains automatic fund balancing for both funds and fund classes. All program and fund data is tracked and maintained separately, with the ability to assign differing fiscal years to each.
Serenic offers excellent audit trail functionality, with all system transaction recorded and stored for easy retrieval. Invoices can be paid electronically, and the Serenic portals offer easy remote access. Smaller nonprofits may want to take a look at Serenic Navigator Online, a SaaS version of Serenic Navigator that is well-suited for smaller nonprofits.
Management Features: 5 Stars
A partnership with Zap Technology allows Serenic to offer a business intelligence module that gives users the ability to create custom reports, snapshots, dashboards, key performance indicators, and scorecards. Reports contain graphical displays that provide management with the financial data they need quickly.
Serenic allows users to create what-if scenarios in the budgeting module, allowing users to create multiple versions of a single budget until the desired result is created. System security is excellent, with Serenic using a user setup card for each employee. The user role means that employees will not have access to features they will not use.
Serenic Navigator also allows for an unlimited number of budgets, with the new budget entry screen resembling an Excel spreadsheet, simplifying data entry and navigation. Budget controls allows users to track and manage expenses by creating defined spending levels against that fund/program’s particular budget. The AR module easily tracks customer detail including aged receivables, allowing users to follow up with the appropriate communication for late accounts.
Mentioned earlier, DonorVision manages all fundraising activity from initial contact to donation amount, and creates and manages fundraising campaigns as well. Users can easily save related documents to a customer, donor, vendor, or grant file, ensuring a central file location.
Financial Statements & Reporting: 5 Stars
Serenic Navigator contains an excellent selection of financial reports that are easily customized to suit the needs of the organization. Graphical displays can be included on all reports, which also include drill down capability Users can create and save report filters for further customization and filters can be saved and reused as needed.
Serenic offers nonprofit specific reporting including FASB 116 & 117 report data, as well as IRS 990 reporting capability. AwardVision provides users with excellent grant tracking and reporting capability, managing multiple funds simultaneously. All Serenic reports can be exported to a variety of formats including Microsoft Excel and Word, PowerPoint, or as an HTML file. Reports can also be viewed on screen or emailed to recipients.
Integration & Import/Export: 4.75 Stars
Because Serenic is built using Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it offers seamless integration with all Microsoft applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This same data engine allows easy integration with other third party applications, and provides easy data import and export capability. Serenic is a modular system, with users able to add additional modules at any time.
Help/Support: 5 Stars
Serenic Navigator contains excellent Help functionality, including a new Knowledge Center that includes notifications, a search function, feedback button and four types of content, including user guides, how-to articles, how-to videos and troubleshooting tips.
System users have easy access to a variety of training videos, white papers, webinars, and case studies. Product updates and releases can be accessed and downloaded from the password-protected Serenic client website as well. Both online and classroom training options are offered and Serenic offers a variety of product maintenance and support plans that can be purchased as needed.
Summary & Pricing
Serenic Navigator Business Essentials starts at $3,500 per user. Serenic Navigator Advanced Management starts at $6,500 per user, although Serenic expects a pricing change before the end of the year. DonorVision, AwardVision, and other add-on modules are available at an additional cost. Serenic Navigator Online is available for $195.00 per month, making the product available to nonprofits of all sizes.
2012 Overall Rating: 5 Stars
See inside November 2012
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