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2013 Review of Cougar Mountain Software — Denali FUND

Cougar Mountain Software — Denali FUND

From the June 2013 review of non-profit accounting systems.

Best Fit: Small to mid-sized organizations would benefit the most from Denali, which offers easy system setup, the ability to handle multiple fund accounts, and an affordable price tag.


  • Great user interface
  • Extensive help function
  • Scalable, with the ability to purchase additional modules as needed
  • Reasonably priced
  • Anywhere access available

Potential Limitations

  • Data entry screens could be more intuitive

Cougar Mountain Software has been in business for over 31 years and continues its tradition of offering small to mid-sized companies an affordable financial software product. Denali, from Cougar Mountain Software is a modular financial system that offers fund accounting capability; ideal for nonprofits handling multiple funds.


I accessed Denali through AppEazy Connect; part of Applianz Technology without issue. Denali navigation is easy, particularly with the color coded module icons, which display a different background color for each module that is installed. Users can easily navigate between modules for quick access to various features.

The Options function, found on the task bar at the top allows users to define specific parameters for each module; displaying the information needed while hiding the rest. The task area of each module contains a workflow chart that provides quick access to all functions found in that module in logical sequence, or users can access features from the drop-down menu above. Denali still utilizes a batch system for processing transactions that some may find cumbersome.

Look up screens are found throughout Denali and are notated by the miniature magnifying glass, which needs to be double clicked in order to display information. Denali’s standard product includes only the GL and Bank Reconciliation modules; with other modules available at an additional cost. Modules available include AR, AP, Donor Tracking, Fixed Assets, Inventory Control, Order Entry, Payroll, Point of Sale, Budget Management, Gift Cards, Purchase Order, Integrated e-commerce, Merchant Services, and Multi-Location Inventory. Users can choose the modules they need, and purchase others as needed.


Users can utilize the Account Segment Setup function to create accounts that can utilize up to six separate segments and can use up to 50 characters. All transactions are posted using a batch system, with the option to utilize the multi-batch mode that manages multiple batches simultaneously. Denali easily handles multiple transaction types including Due to/From transactions, allocation processing, general journal entries, recurring invoices and automatic payments, order entry, and any related sales activity.

Transactions can be entered and then posted at a later date, if desired, and printing the edit reports allows users to search for errors and check for accuracy prior to posting, even though it does add processing time. The Budget Management option allows users to setup and manage all budgets. Budget data can be entered into the system, copied, imported, exported, or edited as needed.

Denali’s budget setup screen displays system account numbers where budgeted amounts can be entered. The budget grid is a handy feature, allowing users to review all current budget information and make changes and adjustments from one screen. For those needing to track and manage donor activity, Denali does integrate with Donor Express, a third party software product that easily manages all donor details. For those with multiple grants, separate funds can be created for each grant, with corresponding income and expenses recorded against that fund. Users can also set up a separate budget for each grant as needed.

The Due to/From feature ensures that all funds are balanced. Denali allows users to utilize a five year fiscal calendar, but all fund accounts must be closed at year end. Audit trail functionality is solid, with management able to track all system transactions entered with corresponding dates and user detail provided as well. Denali allows users to pay vendor invoices electronically, and can also accept and enter incoming customer/donor payments electronically as well. For those requiring access to the system via Internet, the SinglePoint Server offers access for up to twenty Denali users


Both Financial and Sales Dashboards are available in Denali, with each offering detail on revenue, expenses, cash flow and sales totals. The budget grid is a great feature for those utilizing multiple budgets, as users can enter estimates on the fly, and edit them for accuracy at a later date. The Controller function is just that; where management controls user information and system access.

All new users are set up from the Controller function, with each user assigned a unique password, then later assigned to an existing group or maintained as a single user. Denali’s AP module offers the ability to enter recurring invoices and setup automatic payments for future dates. The AR module tracks all sales data and tracking aging for better collection. Users can also process customer invoices and statements and track any customer interaction for easy follow-up.

Donor Express easily integrates with Denali and tracks all donations, pledges and gifts. Donor thank you letters, notifications, and campaigns are easily processed and donor levels can also be assigned and managed using Donor Express if desired.


There are over 120 standard reports available in Denali that can be used as is, or customized as needed. A Crystal Reports add-on is also available for those who wish to create more custom reports. FASB reports such as Statement of Activities, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Financial Position are all available in Denali. Reports can be found in each respective module, with financial reporting handled through the GL module. For those managing multiple funds, budget reports can be printed for each fund individually, or as a combined report. All Denali reports can be exported to Excel or Crystal Reports for further customization.


Denali is a modular system, with users able to purchase the modules they need and add additional modules at a later date. Budget, customer, vendor and payroll data can all be imported into Denali or exported to Excel. Easy integration with other Cougar Mountain products and third party software is also available. Accountants can easily access client data using the Denali’s SinglePoint Server option.


Denali comes with a comprehensive help function that users can access during setup or system use. Various software training options are available including classroom training at Cougar Mountain’s corporate headquarters. Telephone and online training options are available as well. The Software Assurance program offers users access to the customer service center, access to the FAQ database, training discounts, and software updates. The Software Assurance plan also offers users 20 hours of online and telephone support. All product support is handled from Cougar Mountain’s headquarters in Idaho.


Denali Fund Full Suite Accounting is available for $5,193 and includes GL, AP, AR, Bank Reconciliation, and Purchase Order, Payroll, and Crystal Reports modules. Any add-on modules are extra.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

See inside June 2013

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