2019 Review of Non Profit Accounting Systems

CPA Practice Advisor, Mary Girsch-Bock, April 16, 2019

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are currently more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. While the vast majority of these organizations are registered as public charities, the number also includes private foundations, chambers of commerce, and civic leagues.

While their missions may vary greatly, one thing these organizations share is the need to manage funds properly. This can include everything from applying for and managing grant funding, to tracking both donors and donations adequately. Membership driven organizations need to be able to track members, invoice members when membership fees are due, and maintain an accurate member list. Those that run programs regularly need to be able to handle event registration and keep track of everyone who has registered.

If that isn’t enough, these same organizations also have to be able to do the things that for-profit organizations do such as process journal entries, pay vendors, record payments, send out invoices, pay employees, and reconcile bank statements.

Many smaller nonprofit organizations make the mistake of thinking that regular accounting software is adequate. And while it’s possible to make it work, the more a nonprofit grows, the greater the need for a system that is designed to track the information that needs to be tracked.

Of course, finding the nonprofit software that is best for your client’s organization can take some time. If the organization has a large number of donors, they’d likely want that capability in any product that they choose. Likewise, if their organizational funding source is primarily from grants, they should be looking for a program that includes the ability to manage multiple grants.

Another issue to look at is deployment options. While some nonprofit software applications can be accessed from anywhere, others are designed to be installed on a desktop or network system. . Of course, cost can also be an issue, particularly for smaller nonprofit organizations with a limited budget.

All of these issues will need to be considered when looking for a software product that will work best for your client’s needs. And the best place to start is by taking a look at the nonprofit reviews that are included in this issue:

Abila MIP Advance

 AccuFund for Nonprofits

 Aplos Fund Accounting

 Araize Fast Fund

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT

 Cougar Mountain Denali FUND

Fund E-Z Nonprofit Accounting  

GMS Grants Management Systems

QuickBooks for Nonprofits

Serenic Navigator

Tangicloud for Nonprofits & Government

 Xero Nonprofit Accounting

The reviewed products vary widely in both cost and functionality, with some of the products best suited for smaller nonprofits that have less stringent needs, while others provide just about every feature and functionality possible.

To make it easier, we looked at specific features and functionality in each of the products listed above, including chart of accounts structure and customization, grant management capability, fundraising and donor management capability, and even whether a mobile app was available. A Features chart accompanies the reviews, allows you to quickly view which features and functionality are found in each product. We also advise readers if a free demo is available, since trying out the product can be extremely useful when in the market for a new software system. Finally, pricing considerations come into play for most nonprofit organizations, since many have a limited budget available, so we’ve made every effort to include product costs in the review.

The bottom line is that nonprofit software can help an organization work more efficiently while they continue their mission to make this world a better place. We hope that the reviews included in this issue help in some way towards finding your client’s organization the product that works best for them.

Financial Technologies & Management provides our software evaluation to help you select the best nonprofit accounting system for you.  Also, we sell and implement the industry leading solutions which include MIP Fund Accounting, MIP Advance, AccuFund,  and Araize.  I would suggest you review our article “why your Nonprofit should consider using Nonprofit Accounting Software?” to start your review.  Please contact us before you contact any software vendors for us to best serve your review of Nonprofit Accounting Systems and Software.

Part 3 FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements White Paper

Part 3 FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements White Paper

We’re pleased to make available the third and final segment of the three-part white paper series on FASB ASU 2016-14:

Click here to access FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements for Not-For-Profit Organizations White Paper Series Part 3 of 3.

This 8-page document is a project plan to help you and your organization focus on task oriented items detailed in all three phases: understanding, preparing, and implementing.

Haven’t accessed Part 1 or Part 2? No problem! Use the links below.

Part 1 – Understanding. Preparing. Implementing. FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements White Paper

Part 2 – Understanding. Preparing. Implementing. FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements White Paper

Financial Technologies Management works exclusively with nonprofits – providing affordable accounting services, software, and technology.

With the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issuing a new accounting standards update specifically for nonprofits (ASU 2016-14) to improve the current net asset classification requirements and the information presented in financial statements and notes about a nonprofit entity’s liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows, this is considered a big change.

In fact, this is the first major set of changes to nonprofit financial statement presentation standards since 1993.

Part 3 in our 3-Part White Paper Series on Understanding. Preparing. Implementing. FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements for Not-For-Profit Organizations is an active project plan to help you and your organization focus on task-oriented items detailed in all 3 phases; understanding, preparing and implementing.

Feel free to edit and alter this to make it work for your unique nonprofit environment. Not every task will apply to your nonprofit, and there will probably be tasks you will need to add. Part 3 is meant to help guide you and your team as you embark on satisfying the new FASB ASU 2016-14 reporting requirements.

If you don’t want to go it alone – the team at FTM is here to help. We’ve been serving nonprofits exclusively since 1999. We work with nonprofit to select and implement leading nonprofit accounting solutions.

We also provide accounting services, including outsourced accounting, for organizations that understand that professional attention to the organization’s financial accounting is a prerequisite for proper stewardship.

FASB White Paper Part 2 Reporting Requirements for Not-for-Profits

FASB White Paper Part 2 Reporting Requirements for Not-for-Profits

As discussed in Part 1, by simplifying the financial statements, and by enhancing disclosures (footnotes), the FASB ASU 2016-14 changes will enable not-for-profit organizations to provide a more accurate and complete financial picture. The distinction between permanent restrictions and temporary restrictions had blurred over time by changes and as a result, had become less useful on the face of financial statements.

By reducing the number of classes of net assets that must be reported on the face of financial statements, especially the statement of activities, it will help reduce complexity, increase understandability, and enable greater use of multi-period comparative financial statements that can provide donors, grantors, creditors, and other stakeholders with information useful in identifying and assessing key trends.

Part 2 of Understanding. Preparing. Implementing. FASB ASU 2016-14 Reporting Requirements for Not-For-Profit Organizations will:

1) Analyze the changes in each financial statement. Helpful Hint: We recommend printing your audit statements to make it easier to compare and take notes.

2) Review typical chart of account changes needed to facilitate the new reporting.

3) Assess the accounting that may be needed in day-to-day and/or year-to-year processes.

4) Review the footnote changes that will be required. While many auditors prepare these for their clients, it’s smart to think them through and own the process.

Download the white paper