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2018 Review of GMS Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting


GMS Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting

Grants Management Systems


From the 2018 reviews of nonprofit accounting systems.

GMS Accounting and Financial Management / Reporting System is designed from the ground up for nonprofits and public entities that require accounting for contracts, grants, and related program activity, making it a good fit for organizations that receive funding primarily from grants or contracts. GMS is designed to be deployed on premise and has minimal hardware requirements. The product can also be installed on a virtual server if remote access is desired.

Recently updated earlier this year, GMS features an enhanced user interface designed to simplify system navigation. GMS currently utilizes a 5-digit chart of accounts system for asset, liability, equity, revenue, and organizational expenditures. The product utilizes 6-digit account numbers to track program elements such as related grant/contract activities, as well as for tracking cost centers.  

GMS easily handles multiple transaction types, with users able to easily process journal entries, cash receipts, AP checks, and document management. GMS also offers a variety of add-on modules called supplements that integrate with the core system, including AR, Direct Deposit, Fixed Assets, and Purchase Orders. A less robust version of GMS is also available for smaller organizations they may not need AP, Cost Allocation, or Payroll functionality.

GMS offers users five different types of budgets including Program Budgets, Fringe Benefit Budgets, Indirect Cost Budgets, Year-to-Date Budgets, and Year-to-Date Timesheet Budgets, ideal for tracking employee costs related to grants or contracts. An organizational budget is available as well. Users can also utilize the document management function in GMS to attach any budget-related documents directly to the budget.

With a focus on grant and contract management, GMS is not well-suited for nonprofit organizations that require donor or donation management capability. GMS offers users the ability to create a separate budget for each grant entered into the system, along with programs, projects, and contracts. There are also a variety of cost allocations that can be tracked in GMS including both general and administrative costs as well as common costs, direct costs, and indirect costs. There are also a variety of allocation supplements that can be purchased separately, including Salary, Leave and Fringe Detail, Shift Indirect Costs, Cost Allocation Locks, and Monthly Cost Center Allocations.

Multi-level security is available in GMS, with system administrators able to assign varying security levels to system users. Administrators can also opt to create user groups and assign GMS users to a specific group. Users can also assign read-only access to employees if desired.

All GMS reports are created as a PDF, making it easy to quickly share and save reports. Reporting options are good, with a wide variety of reports available including standard financial reports such as a Balance Sheet, Revenue and Expenditures by Program or Project, and a Trial Balance. There are also a variety of cost allocation reports such as Leave Rate Computation and Analysis, Fringe Benefit Rate Computation and Analysis, and Year-To-Date Cost Allocation Summary. Timesheet reports are also available including Timesheet Reporting and Labor Distribution, and Monthly Timesheet Charges by Activity or Employee. GMS also includes a Report Writer and R & E Report Designer option for report creation and customization.

GMS is a complete financial management application, with the core product including GL, Cash Receipts, General Journal, Budget Preparation, Cost Allocation, AP, Payroll, Timesheet Accounting, Financial Reporting, and Security features. Supplements – or add-ons are also available to purchase, with a variety of options available including Payroll, AR, Inventory, and additional financial reporting options.

Though the product does not offer integration with third-party applications, users can export GMS data using CSV, Microsoft Word and Excel, or Rich Text formats. Users can also export data to Crystal Reports for custom report creation.

GMS offers a client portal designed for product users, where they can access support, update company information, or purchase supplements or forms. Users can also access support via email or chat if desired. All new GMS users are required to purchase the one-year, unlimited service program along with a training package. Users can opt to renew the support option after the first year, or convert to a pay-as-you-go plan after the first year.  

GMS is well-suited for nonprofits and other organizations that need to manage multiple grants, contracts, or programs. Pricing for GMS is currently based on the number of system users, with a 1-2 user system running $3,500, with add-on modules starting at $1,200.00. 3-4 user and 5+ user systems are also available. GMS also offers an online demo, which users have to register for, but the demo is for viewing only, with no opportunity to try the system prior to purchasing.

2018 Rating – 4.5 Stars