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Accounting & Audit

2016 Review of Abila MIP Advance

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MIP Advance offers users the flexibility of a cloud-based system, along with strong fund management and reporting options. Pricing for MIP Advance starts at $99.00 for a single user and includes GL, AP, Bank Reconciliation, Dashboard, and Export to Excel Only modules. The Standard Version is $199.00 for a single user and includes all of the above modules as well as Budgeting, AR Reporting, Forms Designer, API, and Import/Export modules. Other variations of this model are available from Abila’s website. 

Best Fit: MIP Advance is a true fund accounting solution well suited for mid-sized nonprofits and government entities that manage multiple funds and require advanced reporting capability.

Product Strengths:

  • Available as a cloud-based product or installed on-premises
  • Product offers a mobile app that allows users to access the system using smart phones and tablets
  • Excellent selection of fundraising and donor management tools
  • Available in multiple editions

Potential Limitations:

  • Product setup time may be considerable

Sage Nonprofit Solutions was acquired by Accel-KKR; a private equity firm, in July 2013. Rebranded as Abila, MIP Advance offers nonprofits excellent reporting and fund management capability. The product also offers a long list of add-on modules that increase product functionality tremendously.

Basic System Functions: 5 Stars

MIP Advance is hosted in the cloud. An on-premise version of the product is also available that can be installed locally. For those choosing the on-premise option (Abila MIP Fund Accounting), Abila support personnel handle the entire system implementation and conversion. Those opting for the cloud version have access to the system via subscription, and also have access to a complimentary mobile app that allows remote users to access the system using a smart phone (Apple or Android) or tablet. MIP Advance offers users complete customization capability, so users can easily customize the interface to suit their needs.

A navigation pane on the main user interface screen offers easy access to all system functions. Clicking on a selection will repopulate the main screen with a related workflow diagram. Data entry screens are well organized, with good use of drop down menus and other lookup options available as needed. A series of tabs offer quick access to a variety of frequently used system functions.

MIP Advance is a modular system and offers a wide variety of system modules including GL, AP, AR, Bank Reconciliation, Dashboarding, Budgeting, Allocations, Forms Designer, Advanced Security, Payroll, Human Resources, and Electronic Requisitions. Abila offers six options that users can choose from when purchasing MIP Advance, including one-user systems in Basic, Standard, and Pro levels, and well as multi-user options for up to five users, with Silver, Gold, and Platinum options. Varying options are available in each of the modules, and it’s easy to scale up to a more comprehensive version if necessary

Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capabilities: 5 Stars

MIP Advance offers the ability to use a flexible chart of accounts with the ability to utilize unlimited segments, making it easy to users to manage multiple funds and programs. MIP Advance can easily handle multiple transaction types including cash receipts and disbursements, standard and recurring journal entries, and Bank Reconciliations. The Budget function in MIP Advance allows users to create both a primary budget and multiple budgets. Budgets can be created across fiscal years, and the budget view allows users to enter a transaction into the system and see how it affects overall budgeting. Budget controls can be established for each fund, and the Budget Worksheet wizard helps users enter budget totals quickly.

Abila offers a variety of fundraising and donor management solutions including netFORUM Enterprise, Elevate, Millennium, Fundraising 50, and Abila Fundraising Online. The Grant Management module allows users to track all grant projects, manage funds, keep track of deadlines, and monitor revenue and expenses against each grant fund. Automatic fund balancing works to make sure that all funds are balanced. Strong audit functionality is found in the product, and users can set up the system to monitor for suspicious activity and notify management accordingly.

An EFT module is available for Pro Plan users, providing easy electronic payment processing and electronic payment receipt. The mobile accounting app allows system access from anywhere via smart phone, tablet, or any desktop or laptop computer.

Management Features: 4.75 Stars

MIP Advance contains Dashboard functionality that automatically populates the main screen upon login. The Dashboard offers four Key Performance Indicators; Cash Balance, Year to Date Net Income, Outstanding Receivables, and Outstanding Payables. The Dashboard also contains a series of charts that display trends and offer a current year analysis. An advanced warning system can be set up and maintained to notify users if close to a budget overage. And the what-if scenario allows users to enter transactions to see what net effect the transactions would have on budgets. System security options are multi-level, with managers able to set security rights by employee or by group, with system level available by program, department, report, or account. The AR module tracks all system receivables and provides both AR reporting capability to track past due accounts, to AR Billing functionality, that allows users to easily bill specified amounts, emailing statements and invoices to recipients. Users also have a variety of fundraising tools to choose from, all of which integrate with MIP Advance.

Financial Statements & Reporting: 5 Stars

MIP offers excellent report functionality, and includes all nonprofit specific reports such as Statement of Cash Flows and Statement of Revenues and Expenditures. FASB and GASB reports can be easily created in the system, and all standard reports can be easily customized as needed. Report templates are also included in MIP Advance, allowing users to easily create reports from scratch. MIP grant segmentation offers grant reporting, award and grant period tracking. All reports can be displayed on screen, printed, emailed to recipients, or exported to a variety of file formats including Word, Excel, HTML, and PDF formats.

Integration & Import/Export: 5 Stars

While the Basic version of MIP Advance offers Excel only export capabilities, a Data Import/Export module is available with all other versions of the product that allows data import from a variety of applications, and can export files in a variety of formats including Word, Excel, CSC, and PDF. The new MIP Advance API allows users integration with Abila applications such as Elevate, Fundraising 50 and Fundraising Online, as well as other third-party applications. A completely integrated system, MIP Advance users can easily add additional modules as needed. A mobile app provides users, including accountants with easy remote system access using standard desktop/laptops, smart phones, or tablets.

Help/Support: 5 Stars

The Abila website offers a variety of tools for new users, including access to videos, webinars, and other training options available through Abila University. Users can access support via the Abila website, along with the product forum, and knowledgebase. Software updates and backups as well as on-demand support with trained support analysts is included in MIP Advance subscription pricing

Summary & Pricing

MIP Advance offers users the flexibility of a cloud-based system, along with strong fund management and reporting options. Pricing for MIP Advance starts at $99.00 for a single user and includes GL, AP, Bank Reconciliation, Dashboard, and Export to Excel Only modules. The Standard Version is $199.00 for a single user and includes all of the above modules as well as Budgeting, AR Reporting, Forms Designer, API, and Import/Export modules. Other variations of this model are available from Abila’s website.  

2016 Overall Rating: 5 Stars