Nonprofit Accounting Software

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.

MIP Fund Accounting 2019.3 Product Release

The MIP product release is ready for download!!  Please feel free to contact Abila support or us to help with upgrade and software installation.

Please be advised that future releases of MIP will no longer be supported on Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2 and SQL 2008R2.  Let us know if we can help to upgrade you to a more current copy of SQL like 2012, 2014, or 2016. This release contains quality updates, as well as several customer-driven improvements.

  • Application improvements:
    • Upgraded budget worksheet to allow saving of in-progress work at any point
    • Financial Statements – Statement of Activities – added option ‘Include Unposted Transactions’ in the report.
    • Additional filtering options to including payee, receipient, and name on Cash, Revenues, and Expense Journals which is typically used to proof 1099 information
    • Vendor activity reporting – additional report highlighting vendors with no recent activity
    • Vendor Activity – Added filter ‘Zero Activity’ to get vendors with no activity.
    • Form 1099 updates for 2019
    • Financial Statement List Report – addition of Account Type column and filter to see what account types have been assigned to report
    • Payroll – Added additional columns for more flexibility in reporting within the payroll module.
    • Added feature to Payroll, so the ACH file can be regenerated and resent as needed in case of error.  You now have option to reset direct deposit to regenerate direct deposit file.
    • Organization – Data Integrity Checks – Removed exclusive access requirement and replaced with a system lock search(disallowed when posting or closing the year is in progress).
    • Enhanced audit trail – Activities – Reconcile Cash Accounts – added logging to the Summary Organization Audit when an existing Reconciliation ID is deleted.
    • Improved Help experience – changed Help to be accessable via the web, enabling us to update documentaton between releases.
  • Quality improvements across MIP

Microsoft Support Changes
Please note the MIP v19.3 workstation installation will take up to 20 minutes or longer due to Microsoft .Net 4.8 framework installation being required so it is normal for it to remain on this screen for some time. If your machine already has .Net 4.8 installed or your IT professional installs .Net 4.8 prior to the MIP workstation installation, please disregard this message.

Windows Versions of MIP released after January 31, 2020 will no longer be supported on Windows 7 SP1.

MIP CLIENT PROMOTION

Get 20% off all  Tax Forms from MIP Checks and Forms that are 100% guaranteed to be compatible with MIP software. They can order online at abilachecks.com or by calling 1-844-857-2898. Be sure to give them discount code 19XABL59. Or, they can receive 20% off of their entire order when they add checks, envelopes, deposit tickets and more by using discount code 19XABL59.  For on premise clients, you can receive 3 months free with 15 month contract to convert or migrate to the MIP Cloud though December, 2019. You can still sign up for Xperience 2019 User Conference on November 10 to 13 in Orlando Florida by clicking here.

READY TO CHECK OUT THE NEW MIP CLOUD?

Even if you haven’t joined the group of cloud adopters, you’ve probably considered it, researched it, or discussed it with your peers. If your organization is ready for a deep dive, now is a good time to check out the newly improved MIP Cloud – request a presentation by contacting us

MIP Subscription Pricing and Contract Changes effective October 1, 2019

MIP Cloud – Multi-Tenant or Single Tenant
1-user bundle $200 per month
3-user bundle $475 per month
Add-ons (modules, users, etc.) as-is/current MIP Cloud subscription pricing
Premium technology fee $150/org/mo. for Single Tenant

SUPPORT AND TRAINING TRENDING TOPICS:

Why your Nonprofit should consider using Nonprofit Accounting Software?

Why your Nonprofit should consider using Nonprofit Accounting Software?

By Jim Simpson, CPA and director, Financial Technologies & Management

Your organization like every other nonprofit is feeling the pressure to deliver more transparency. The demand for more timely information is coming from a multitude of interested parties: board members, major donors, potential funders, and watch dog organizations.

The goal of transparency can’t be easily accomplished without sound nonprofit accounting software-financial reporting is the foundation upon which transparency is achieved.

As the number of nonprofits have proliferated, accounting software is more tailored and can help manage these complexities. But taking the time to select the right software for your nonprofit is critical.

Before your purchase, start with a software evaluation and assessment to see if you’re a good candidate for nonprofit accounting software. The software evaluation and assessment will review your current system to determine its level or utilization and functionality. It is probably a good idea to perform a software evaluation any time there is a major change within the organization either positive or negative.

Here are eight reasons Nonprofit’s should consider Nonprofit Accounting Software.

  1. Flexible report writer for board and management financial reports needs
  2. Grants Management capability
  3. Budget Management capability
  4. Cost-allocation functionality
  5. Strong audit trails including account level and other security features
  6. Integration with payroll, fundraising, accounts payable automation, and other applications
  7. Expanded capabilities as organization grows to include advanced modules and donor and donation management
  8. Various financial segment or element tracking to include funding sources, programs, projects, locations, and other essential financial information.  Funds can be setup as separate set of books that includes automate due to and due from capabilities.

Here are features and functionality of the software that can provide optimum efficiency.

The flexible report writer allows you to use the accounting software to meet the internal and external complex reporting requirements. Generating reports should be able to be varied to meet the board, program, and funder reporting requirements and easily modified to meet the changing program and funder needs.

The grants management capability allows you to track the financial results for each grant, and report back to the funder in the required format, using one accounting system.  Grants management helps to insure maximum reimbursement and reconciliation to claims including encumbrances.

The budget management capability allows you to manage multiple budget versions for board approved version and projections.  Easily make budget revisions and maintain budget trail to track various revisions.   Budget management allows you to distribute annual budget monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Cost-allocation functionality allows you to easily allocate transactions on a real-time basis to multiple programs and funding sources all within the system. It should allow to you to pool various cost pools like facilities and overhead and allocate these to the various program and funding sources to provide a full-cost accounting.  Allows the cost allocation basis like hours worked to be modified on a regular basis for more accurate funding source and program accounting.

Strong audit trails keep track of what users are doing within the accounting system. The system should allow you to provide your annual auditors and program monitors with the financial information they need to meet their requirements and reduce the chances of fraud. Those involved in the finance function should have segregated permissions in the accounting system to protect the organization and its staff.  Strong audit controls include the ability for management to produce the audited financial statements.  Security features including account level security and other features allow the organization to customize user access to the system.

As organizations look to be more efficient, it is important they look at software that allows them to integrate their critical functions like payroll, fundraising, human resources, accounts payable automation and other areas. Nonprofit accounting software typically has this functionality built into its various modules or it allows for third party product integration. It is typically modular based, which allows your organization to add functions and capabilities as the organization grows and needs additional tools.  Most nonprofits need to perform donation and donor management so its important that the software has this capability as well.

One of the most important reasons to look into nonprofit accounting software is the ability track financial information different ways.

For example, an organization may want to track its various funding sources to see what funds are available. It may want to track my various programs and projects to see what the programs costs are and how the organization is doing financially. It might have various locations and want to know how each location is doing. It might have donor and endowments restricted assets and wants to do a separate accounting for these donations to know what assets are left and make sure donor restrictions are met.  Each fund may need to be tracked as a separate set of books that includes automate due to and due from capabilities.

It is important, too, that staff remains efficient and effective, enabling them to focus on the long-term planning of the organization and not just keeping up with the day-to-day-accounting.

There are several purchase options that include direct purchase or subscription pricing to pay-as-you-go.

You will need to insure that you include software advisory services to include planning, implementing, and training. In some cases, you will need to also include data conversion and integration services.

Please contact us to help you determine if your organization will benefit from Nonprofit Accounting Software.  We will help you with your software evaluation and assessment project.

Are You In Need of a True Fund Accounting Solution for Your Nonprofit Organization?

Are You In Need of a True Fund Accounting Solution for Your Nonprofit Organization?

Are You In Need of a True Fund Accounting Solution for Your Nonprofit Organization? Yes, No, or I Don’t Know?

We’ve got a quick survey that you can take:

Y N Don’t know – Do I have specific restrictions that I must apply to funds?

Y N Don’t know – Can I easily measure the performance of a program or activity?

Y N Don’t know – Am I able to create reports for varying fiscal years?

Y N Don’t know – Do I have funds that need to be recorded as encumbered?

Y N Don’t know – Can I perform allocations of indirect costs by grantors?

Y N Don’t know – Can I easily tailor reports for each funding source?

Y N Don’t know – Does my current solution incorporate nonprofit-specific accounting rules?

Y N Don’t know – Can I easily manage and report on multiple budgets?

Y N Don’t know – Can I easily show how money is tracked or budgeted?

Y N Don’t know – Does my current solution integrate with other software?

Are You In Need of a True Fund Accounting Solution for Your Nonprofit Organization?

If you answered “Yes” to all these questions, congratulations! You are in very good nonprofit accounting technology shape. If you answered “No” to any of these questions, it may be time to contact FTM for a free consultation.

We invite you to download the article ’10 Reasons Why Nonprofits Need True Fund Accounting

Financial Technologies Management LLC (FTM) has been serving the accounting services and technology needs of nonprofits since 1999. Our exclusive focus on nonprofit organizations means we have the experience and proven track record to guide you to the best combination of accounting resources to provide the optimal capacity, utmost stewardship and ability to fulfill your mission.

Are You In Need of a True Fund Accounting Solution for Your Nonprofit Organization?

Need accounting help but unable to find and hire candidates with the appropriate skills? Contact FTM. Many Executive Directors have discovered that outsourcing their accounting to FTM is affordable and immediately connects them with an expert accounting team to manage activities and provide insight. Many have found that this is the perfect solution when there’s not enough budget nor need for a fully staffed in-house accounting department.

Do you have a fully staffed accounting department but need better reporting and integration with other mission-critical solutions in use within the organization? FTM works with all leading nonprofit accounting software solutions and can guide you to the solution with the perfect fit. We’ll be your resource from evaluation to selection to implementation to support and training.