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2013 Review of QuickBooks Premier – Nonprofit Edition

Intuit Inc. — QuickBooks Premier – Nonprofit Edition

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

Best Fit: QuickBooks has always been designed with the small business owner in mind, and their industry specific versions are no exception, making this a great fit for the smaller nonprofit that does not require complicated or extensive system capabilities. Solid accounting and good reporting makes this a great option for nonprofits with a limited budget.


  • Easily affordable and easily installed
  • Numerous tutorials and getting started guides available
  • Solid reporting capabilities
  • Addition of nonprofit specific vocabulary
  • Great selection of apps and add-ons available

Potential Limitations

  • Limited true fund accounting capability
  • Limited donor management capability

A perpetual favorite among small business owners, QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit edition offers small nonprofits the same affordable financial software along with industry specific accounting functionality for small nonprofits.


QuickBooks installation remains quick and error free, making this program a true breeze to install, which is always important for the small business owner that has limited staff and most likely no IT help. Getting started guides help new users with everything from starting a new company to setting up multi-user access.

Immediately after installation, users have the option to choose the edition they desire. The user interface is customizable, with users able to set up the interface to suit their needs, so user input screens can have as much or as little data on them as users like. The standard interface contains navigational areas that are divided into QuickBooks categories.

A new Navigation Panel makes it easy to access frequently used functions. Users can also add reports and other shortcuts to the navigation panel if desired. Users can choose the express start option, which asks basic questions, and provides the ability to go back and add additional data at a later time.

It only takes about 1-2 minutes to create a new company file. Data entry screens are easily navigated and offer several function tabs that allow users to create a copy, memorize the transaction, and attach files. QuickBooks Premier is a complete financial software product that offers GL, AP, AR, and Payroll functionality, as well as Online Banking, Snapshots, the Document Center, and Reports.

Intuit also offers a long list of add-on options that further the functionality of QuickBooks Premier, including a Credit Card option, for easy credit card processing using QuickBooks, and the ability to manage any additional apps. The latest version of QuickBooks can accommodate up to 30 users, giving smaller businesses more flexibility, as the software can grow as they do


QuickBooks installs a default chart of accounts once users choose the industry specific version they wish to use. The United Way chart of accounts is also available for use in the nonprofit version as well. Classes take the place of actual fund accounting, where users can set up various classes that can be utilized much the same way as funds are in other nonprofit software products. A big improvement is the use of nonprofit specific vocabulary throughout the product.

QuickBooks users can easily process multiple transaction types, and the addition of new navigation ribbon which features new function buttons in the transaction entry screens allows users to easily set up recurring invoices or bills, copy an invoice, or split an invoice. QuickBooks users can enter a separate budget for each account, with expenses for separate funds or grants handled by classes, where a separate budget can be set up for each class. Donor detail is handled through the customer center, and a separate area allows users to enter donations as received. Users can choose to enter specific customer types in order to track donations.

Like funds, grants can be set up in the Classes function with related income and expenses tracked accordingly. QuickBooks offers solid audit trail functionality, with the ability to run the audit management report to monitor all system activity. QuickBooks offers excellent e-features including electronic bill payment and acceptance, the ability to email invoices and statements, and the ability to access the system directly, using the hosting service, ideal for accountants.


QuickBooks Snapshots offers users customizable dashboard reports that highlight company, payment, and customer data, with users able to quickly choose the criteria they desire. Ideal for nonprofits, the customer snapshot offers a look at organization activity, including AR, recent donations, and donor history. QuickBooks offers user-level password protection, with management able to assign system users to a specific group or level.

The QuickBooks customer center tracks all organization activity including donations, pledges, and other donor related income. Thank you letters or balance due invoices can be automatically processed in the customer center, and campaigns and annual appeal letters can easily be processed using Microsoft Word, which easily integrates with QuickBooks. An optional document management service allows users to store documents in a central location.


QuickBooks offers users an excellent selection of standard reports, including Budget vs. Actual by Donors/Grants, Donors/Grants Report, Budget vs. Actual by Programs/Projects, and the Programs/Projects Report. All standard reports can be customized and saved for future access, and reports can be memorized for quick future access. Required reports such as Statement of Financial Income and Expense, Statement of Financial Position, and Statement of Functional Expenses (990) can also be processed.

While report processing can sometimes be tedious, QuickBooks Report Center makes it easy to find the right report for the right situation. Conveniently, all reports can be viewed on screen, printed, emailed, exported to Excel, or saved as a PDF.


QuickBooks Premier easily integrates with Microsoft Word, Access, and Excel. Reports can be memorized, printed, emailed or exported to Excel directly from the print screen. There is a very long list of third-party add-on applications that will integrate with QuickBooks products, including Donor Perfect, for nonprofits who wish to more actively manage their donor database. QuickBooks also offers synchronization with Microsoft Outlook, and integration with webmail services such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail. The Accountant’s Copy function allows users to easy send data files directly to their accountant, saving time and money.


QuickBooks help function is easily accessible from any screen, and offers in-depth help. Instructional tutorials, training manuals, and quick setup guides help system users quickly have the system up and running. Users are notified upon system sign in if any system updates are available and have the option to download immediately, or at their convenience. and offers numerous support options suitable from everyone from the novice to the experienced user. While some support is directed overseas, all escalated cases and payroll support is handled in the U.S.


QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit is currently available for $399.95 for a single user, with difference pricing options available for those with multiple users. QuickBooks continues to find ways to improve their existing product, and the 2013 version of QuickBooks Premier is no exception, making it an excellent choice for the small and growing nonprofit organization.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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