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2016 Review of Serenic Navigator Nonprofit Accounting


Best Fit: Serenic Navigator from Serenic Software is a nonprofit accounting product best suited for mid-sized to large nonprofit organizations, NGO’s and government entities.

Product Strengths

  • Excellent budgeting capability
  • Integrates with Microsoft Office 365
  • Product is available for on premise and online/cloud deployment
  • Offers optional grant and donor management modules

Potential Limitations

  • Significant training may be needed
  • Cost can be prohibitive to nonprofits with a tight budget

Available in on premise, through an on-line subscription, of via Microsoft Cloud, Serenic Navigator is a completely integrated system, that offers excellent financial management functionality along with a solid selection of add-on solutions designed to improve nonprofit management capabilities.

Available with three deployment options, (on premise, hosted, and via the Cloud) Serenic Navigator is powered my Microsoft Dynamics, and now offers complete integration with Microsoft Office 365. All product installation is handled by Serenic personnel, whether it’s an on premise version, or accessible online. Extremely powerful, there can be a fairly steep learning curve with Serenic Navigator, so training is definitely recommended.

Similar in appearance to Microsoft Office products, those familiar with the navigation ribbon should be comfortable navigating the product. Serenic Navigator makes good use of role centers, which can be of significant importance to larger nonprofits with more diverse employee roles than a smaller nonprofit may present with. Available features found in a user’s particular role center are listed in a vertical menu bar to the left of the screen. Larger navigation icons are found on the main part of the screen that allows users to quickly access the features and functions they frequently use. The Role Center interface is fully customizable, so users can create an interface that works for them.

Serenic Navigator Suite includes a good selection of product features including Advanced Allocations, BudgetVision Basic, Core Financials – which includes GL, AP, AR, Fixed Assets, Multi-Currency, Multi-Language, Purchase Order, Purchase Requisitions, and Workflow with Approvals.

There are also good selections of integrated options available that can add additional functionality to the base system, and are part of Serenic’s Extended Pack. These options include AwardVision, which is an integrated grant management solution. BudgetVision is a great feature for organizations that have more complex budget needs. Deposits and Loans is an add-on designed to manage revolving loan funds. And the HCM add-on offers both human resource and payroll functionality. Modules can be added at any time, so users can start with the Serenic Suite and add functionality at any time thereafter.

Serenic Navigator’s Core Financials offers GL, AP, AR, and Cash Management capability. The product offers excellent account flexibility, with users able to utilize up to 110 alphanumeric characters and up to dimensions. Serenic Navigator also offers additional dimensions that users can setup to track additional detail and create sub-ledgers when necessary. Serenic can easily handle multiple transaction types including Flexible payment processing options, individual sales and use tax values, application of customer discounts, automatic bill payment, recurring journal entries, and reversing entries.

Serenic BudgetVision offers users excellent budgeting capabilities, including the ability to manage multiple budgets using the Decentralized Budgeting Process. Users can also create multiple versions of a single budget to view varying budget scenarios. All budget revisions can be tracked in the system, and for international organizations, multiple currencies can be utilized when creating a new budget. Users can also create budgets using specific units of measure if needed.

DonorVision handles all donor management tasks from initial conversation to tracking donation, pledge, campaign and appeal activity. For organizations handling multiple grants, the AwardVision module handles all grant related activities from initial proposal to final report. Multiple budget revisions can also be tracked, with users able to post estimated award totals in the system immediately, and adjust as needed. All grant funds can be tracked independently, with separate budgets, and across fiscal years if desired. Automatic fund balancing ensures that all funds remain in balance.

Serenic contains excellent audit trail functionality, with all transactions, additions, edits, and deletions tracked. Invoices can be paid electronically, and Serenic accepts electronic payments as well. Those opting for Cloud or subscription versions of the product also enjoy easy remote system access.

The Reporting and Business Intelligence module offers a series of tools designed for managers. Jet Reports offers two add-on tools; Jet Essentials and Jet Enterprise offers business intelligence reports that can provide managers with advanced analytics, monitor key performance indicators, set specific goals and monitor progress towards those goals, and monitor indicators across program and fund. Each Serenic Navigator user has a defined Role Center, with access provided for all system functionality within that particular role.

This format provides users with the ability to customize their user interface and eliminate the clutter that unwanted or unnecessary features and functions can pose. Serenic’s Extended Pack offers the Calculations and Assumptions function that allows users to explore various “what-if’ scenarios. Multiple budgets can be created for each fund, and users can easily define and then monitor spending levels in Serenic. The AR module in the Core Financials tracks customer balances, and fundraising tasks can be relegated to DonorVision for easy tracking and management of all donated funds.

Serenic Navigator offers an excellent selection of standard system reports, including nonprofit specific reports such as Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Functional Expenses. Reports such as FASB 117 and IRS 990 forms are easily created, with users able to customize all reports as needed.  

All reports contain drill-down capability, and the system also integrates with Jet Reports to offer more advanced reporting and analytic capability. All reports can be exported to Excel, PowerPoint, Word, as well as exported as an HTML file or saved as a PDF. System report data can be easily refreshed using the Ad-Hoc reporting functionality, and reports can also be emailed to recipients directly if necessary.

All Serenic Navigator modules and add-ons integrate seamlessly. Serenic also offers integration with Microsoft Office applications as well as Microsoft Office 365 and One Note. Serenic Navigator clients can access Role Centers using three options: Windows Client, which offers the traditional ribbon style navigation; Web Client, which allows users to access Serenic using a web browser, and SharePoint Client, for easy sharing of data. Accountants can also access Serenic using one of these three methods with a standard login and password.    

Serenic Navigator contains solid Help functionality throughout, and the website offers a variety of resources including videos, case studies, fact sheets, and downloads. A variety of support plans are available for purchase. The support portal allows users to submit support requests, as well as follow up and existing issues. The Serenic Forum allows clients to ask and answer questions and share ideas. Serenic offers both online and classroom training.

Well suited for larger nonprofits that require extensive budgeting capability, base pricing for Serenic Navigator starts at $16,000, which includes licensing for three users. Subscription pricing is $1,200 per month for three users.

2016 Overall Rating: 5 Stars