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2016 Review of Cougar Mountain Denali + FUND Nonprofit Accounting


From the 2016 Reviews of Nonprofit Accounting Systems.

Best Fit: Denali FUND Nonprofit Software, from Cougar Mountain Software is a modular system well-suited for small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations, particularly those handling multiple funds.

Product Strengths

  • User friendly interface
  • Integration with third party donor management software
  • Available in three versions
  • Modular structure allows users to add modules at any time
  • Good support and training options available

Potential Weaknesses

  • Uses batch system for processing transactions

Started in 1982, Cougar Mountain Software has been consistently providing small to mid-sized businesses with affordable, scalable products. Cougar Mountain’s Denali FUND Accounting continues that tradition, offering small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations with an easily navigated, easy to use software solution that is also affordably priced.  


One of my favorite things about Denali FUND is its user interface. Like all Cougar Mountain products, it uses a color-coded system that allows users to quickly and easily identify each module in the product. Users can easy toggle between modules by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the screen, so there’s no need to close a module to look up something in another.

Denali’s user interface is completely customizable, with users able to modify each individual module; displaying only the features and functionality they need. A standard drop-down menu bar at the top of the screen allows users to quickly access module functions. The product still utilizes a batch system, which can come in handy if reviews or edits are frequently needed on data entered into the system. Excellent lookup functionality is found throughout the product. Denali FUND nonprofit Accounting is available in three versions: Basecamp, Ascent, and Summit. The base product offers GL, Bank Reconciliation, and Controller modules.

Ascent offers those modules along with AP, Crystal Reports, and two hours of training and support, along with the Software Assurance Plan, which is also included in the Basecamp version. Summit includes all of those modules and features, along with AR, Purchase Order, and Payroll modules. There are also a long list of add-on modules available, including Budget Management, Gift Cards, Merchant Services, and Multi-Location Inventory. Denali FUND also integrates with Donor Express for easy donor management. Users can choose the modules they need at the time of purchase, and can add additional modules at any time.


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting offers flexible account structure, with six segments and up to 50 characters available. Though transactions are posted using the batch system, users can opt to post multiple batches at any time. Multiple transaction types can be easily entered into the system, including the ability to set up recurring transactions in the system. Standard transactions such as journal entries, client billings, bill payment, and the ability to produce business related tax forms such as W-2’s and 1099’s.

Denali’s Budget Management tool allows users to import or export budget details to or from Excel as needed. Users can create multiple budgets based on fund, year, or fiscal period. The included Budget Grid makes it easy to manage multiple budget detail simultaneously, with users able to enter information such as estimates and actuals as needed, with users able to manage budgets for up to five fiscal years. Complete integration with Donor Express allows users to easily manage donor details such as donor history, individual campaigns, pledges, and donation totals.

While there is not a separate grant management module, Denali’s structure allows users to easily enter grants as a separate fund, which enables users to create a budget and manage income and expenses for each grant as needed. The Due To/From function ensures funds will always remain in balance because it generates balancing journal entries when you post across funds. Denali allows users to utilize a 5-year fiscal calendar. Denali also offers excellent audit trail functionality, providing users with Red Flag reports where items such as missing check numbers, or GL changes are flagged for review.

The product does not allow any activity to be deleted or hidden, and all system transactions are tracked with user ID and batch number provided. Invoices can be paid electronically in Denali, and the system can accept electronic payments as well. Though not as seamless as a cloud based system, the product does allow some connectivity remotely using the Single Point Server function.


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting offers users both Sales and Financial Dashboards, which display related data in real time. Custom graphs and charts are available, and users and customize dashboard display to show the information they need. The Budget Grid, mentioned above, makes it easy for users to quickly create multiple budget scenarios or make changes as needed. Users can retain the original budget to serve as a reference tool. The Controller module allows managers to set up system access for all system users, with each user assigned to a group. An excellent AR module tracks all accounts receivable balances, allowing users to monitor past due accounts and apply late fees or finance charges if desired. For those wishing to track donor data, Denali FUND seamlessly integrates with Donor Express.


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting includes an excellent selection of standard reports, with over 120 available. All reports can be easily customized as needed, and the availability of Crystal Reports offers users even greater customization capability. Users can easily process all nonprofit specific reports including Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Financial Position, and Statement of Activities. Reports are processed in each module, with reports easily produced for each fund, project or grant currently being managed. All Denali FUND reports can be exported to Excel or Crystal Reports as needed.


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting is a modular system, with all modules completely integrated, making it easy to add additional modules at any time. Users can choose from three versions of the product, but can also add additional modules to their system, regardless of the version originally purchased. Excellent import and export capability is found throughout the product, with users able to easily import and export budget details, customer, and vendor data. Along with their long selection of add-on modules, Denali also integrates with other third-party applications, and outside users such as accountants can access the system remotely using the Single Point Server function.  


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting contains excellent ‘help’ capability throughout. The Cougar Mountain Resource Center offers users access to a variety of tools including various demo videos and webinars, a list of classes available, and a variety of whitepapers. Training is available at Cougar Mountain’s headquarters, onsite, online, and via telephone. A variety of support plans are available for purchase, including basic support starting at $378.00 for two hours of support. Priority support is also available, which offers a faster response rate. The Software Assurance Plan incorporates 20 hours of online or telephone support with access to all software updates throughout the year.


Denali FUND Nonprofit Accounting is an excellent fit for small to mid-sized nonprofits that currently manage multiple funds and programs. Pricing for Denali’s FUND Accounting Suite is just under $5,000, or 409 per month for the first year ($229 per month thereafter), and includes GL, AP, AR, Bank Reconciliation, Purchase Order, Payroll, and Crystal Reports modules. Other modules are available at additional cost.  

2016 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars