Araize Inc. — FastFund Nonprofit Accounting
From the June 2013 review of non-profit accounting systems.
Best Fit: Araize Fast Fund Accounting is very well suited for small to medium sized nonprofits organizations with limited resources and personnel who desire nonprofit specific software.
- Easy to set up and navigate
- Available in two editions; Basic or Premium
- Program designed by CPA’s and Fundraising professionals
- Solid budget management capability
- Excellent fundraising module available
- Will be phasing out desktop version
- No document management function available
Araize has been providing software solutions aimed at nonprofit organizations since 1985. Their latest version of FastFund is Cloud-based, providing users with SaaS technology at an extremely affordable price.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 4.75 Stars
FastFund Nonprofit Accounting by Araize was designed by CPA’s and is available in both a Basic and Premium version. The Araize user interface is easily navigated, with users able to alternate between the accounting interface, and the Fundraising interface. At the top of the screen, a menu bar offers user options such as Dashboard, Lists, Transactions, Cost Allocations, Utilities, Reports, Administration, and a User Guide.
The interface setup is intuitive and requires little training in order to feel comfortable navigating the system. FastFund contains a Cash module which includes cash disbursements, cash receipts, deposits and check printing. An AP and AR module are also available, as is the GL, which contains the chart of accounts and budgets.
The Activities section offers Bank Reconciliation and recurring transaction setup. Add-on modules include FastFundraising, and FastFund Payroll, both integrating with the core system. Smaller organizations can start with the standard version of FastFund and expand into the premium version as needed.
CORE NFP/FUND ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES: 4.75 Stars
The premium version of FastFund Nonprofit uses a user-defined chart of accounts that offers flexibility during setup. Users can utilize up to six segments and use up to six characters in each segment, making it easy to manage multiple grants and funds. Users can pre-define each section of the account number, making it easy to identify fund or grant types by account number.
Multiple transaction types can be easily processed in FastFund, with the transactions function identifying each of the available transaction types, sorted by category. FastFund easily handles client billing, cash disbursements, deposits, recurring transactions, and pays bills. Users can easily set up new budgets and can choose to use a revised budget as a basis if desired. Budgets can be entered for each revenue and expense account, with the totals automatically distributed throughout the accounting period. You can choose to override this feature if expenses or income will be higher in a particular month or months.
Users can also create spreadsheet budgets and upload them into FastFund at any time using a .csv format. This makes it easy to manage multiple budgets for all projects, grants, or funds. Multiple budgets can be created for each year, and budgets can be locked to prevent any editing. FastFund’s fundraising module is a complete CRM system that can track donors, members, alumni, volunteers and constituents, handle campaigns and annual appeals, and even handle on-line registration.
The account structure of FastFund makes it easy to create separate accounts for each grant, with users able to create a corresponding budget and comprehensive reports for each account. A Due to/From account is automatically created in each fund that is set up in the chart of accounts for the sole purpose of automatically posting and balancing any fund entries. FastFund Accounting offers excellent audit trail functionality, with all transactions entered into the system tracked in the Audit Log with the audit log viewed as needed.
Receipts can be emailed to donors and bills can be emailed to clients directly from the Client Billing screen. The SaaS version of FastFund provides users with access from any location, and FastFund will integrate with organization websites or other third party applications to provide credit card processing, ACH payments or auto-drafts.
MANAGEMENT FEATURES: 4.25 Stars
FastFund’s Dashboard feature provides users with a list of Notifications, Upcoming Recurring Transactions, and Unposted Transactions for review. Budget forecasting is easy with FastFund’s budget format, where users can view the budget for the entire year and make changes where needed.
After the Fact cost allocations make it easy to view a budget before and after any changes or additions have been made. Budgets can be created based on previous budget totals. Budget revisions can be made to both current and prior year budgets, with the original budget maintained as well for reference. Budgets can also be created for multiple years, which is helpful for those with multi-year grants and programs. FastFund’s unique single entity names database allows you to set up an individual/organization once in the database and the information is shared across the Accounting, Fund Raising and Payroll systems.
FastFund users are given user rights and assigned to specific user group, with the permissions of that group extended to the user. Project tracking allows users to easily record and monitor both revenue and expenses for each of the projects/programs set up in FastFund. FastFund allows users to record cash receipts for all programs, grants, and general operating receivables, with users able to access the Clients section to view all outstanding balances due.
FastFund Raising is an add-on module that expertly manages all donor related activity including type of gift, whether a receipt is necessary, and if it is, will link to the receipt template. FastFund Raising also tracks campaigns and projects, while also tracking cost of outreach programs such as annual appeals.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS & REPORTS: 4.75 Stars
Built in report writer functionality makes it easy to create custom, professional reports that are ideal for any audience, with users able to choose report output based on audience, so a report for a board member can look different than a report for internal use, while containing the same data. Available nonprofit specific reports include Statement of Activities, Cash Flow Statements, Balance Sheet, as well as Income and Expense Reports.
Reports can be processed for multiple years, with all grant and fund reports consolidated for a complete financial overview. FastFund Accounting easily tracks multiple grants and projects, with income and expenses, as well as individual budgets tracked. All FastFund reports can be printed, displayed on screen, exported as a CSV file or XLSX file, or saved as a PDF.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 4.75 Stars
Names, clients and vendors can be imported into FastFund Accounting using a CSV file format. Budgets can also be imported from spreadsheet programs as needed. Users can also export budgets and other data as needed. FastFund easily integrates with all add-on modules, with two versions of the system available. SaaS capability also makes FastFund easy for accountants to access client data with the help of an assigned password.
HELP/SUPPORT: 5 Stars
FastFund Accounting contains a solid user guide that provides system users with background and detail about every function found throughout the product. Since it is a cloud based system , updates and upgrades are automatic. All users receive free upgrades and system support, with support pricing included in the monthly fee. Telephone support is available during regular business hours and all current subscribers have access to a 24-hour knowledgebase that features an online support library and frequently asked questions.
SUMMARY & PRICING
Araize FastFund Nonprofit Accounting is an excellent nonprofit specific software product ideally suited for small to mid-sized organizations. FastFund is affordably priced with the Standard version priced at $35 and the Premium version running $75 a month.
2013 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars
See inside June 2013
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