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The not-for-profit sector is a bellwether of the economy. When consumer confidence is improving and the economy expanding, as it was through the second quarter of this year, donations increase and NFPs fare better. And that seemed to be the case, as Blackbaud and others showed donations tracking 10 percent or more above levels at the same time last year.

But NFPs also lead when the economy turns sluggish, as it has in this third quarter of 2011. What this portends for the winter months is anyone's guess, but it is a safe bet that NFPs are going to need strong accounting and accountability. That's where software and systems for NFP accounting become critical.

A review of these systems for 2011 shows that the trends follow what is happening in other segments of the accounting software industry - the move to better communication tools, enhanced ERP tools and management dashboards, and the move to cloud-based SaaS services.

Here's our roundup of the top nine NFP Accounting software solutions:

AccuFund for Non-Profits, Version 4.02

Needham, Mass.
(877) 872-2228
(781) 453-0460 fax
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Price: Core system starts at $2,995 (single user), $6,495 (three users); $895 each additional user. Online application begins at $390 per month.

AccuFund for Non-Profits
AccuFund, a scalable fund accounting suite, features a core accounting system of eight functions that can be substantially augmented and customized through a series of a dozen modular applications. In 2010, the company introduced an online SaaS version of the solution as well.

The core modules are the general ledger, accounts payable, cash receipts, bank reconciliation, financial reporting, budget reporting, user security, and a report and forms designer. Modules expand this core system with capabilities for accounts receivable, purchasing and inventory, electronic requisitions, payroll, human resources, employee time entry, allocation management, client accounting, budget development, grants management, fixed assets, loan management and online requisitions.

Its account classification capabilities allow the development of reports for multiple purposes, including FASB 117, GASB 34, 990 formats and state required reports, from the same financial database. An additional template for completion of the Form 990 is scheduled for release in 2011. Other notable features are the report generation capabilities and the ability to easily import and export data to other programs and to spreadsheets.

Version 3.09 features enhancements to many core modules, email distribution for financial and other reports, and the addition of new modules for Client Invoicing and fully integrated Loan Management. Other enhancements include a new Employee Portal, improvements to the Representative Payee module for social services organizations, and a new management Dashboard system scheduled for release on September 15.

Denali Fund+Accounting 3.1
Cougar Mountain Software
Boise, Idaho
(800) 388-3038
(800) 375-4539 fax
Pricing: Starting at $595.

Denali Fund+Accounting
Denali Fund+Accounting is one of the first major products to be delivered following the significant re-branding and redesign of the Cougar Mountain Software lines this year. A fast and flexible fund accounting system built on SQL technology, it includes General Ledger, Bank Reconciliation, Purchase Order, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable modules with nonprofit-specific functions.

Other modules and options include budget management, fixed assets, inventory control, payroll, purchase orders, merchant services, multi-location inventory, an integrated eCommerce solution and conversion of documents to PDF format.

The General Ledger system enables accountants to copy charts of accounts from one fund to another, manage budgets and budget estimates for one or more accounts, export fund budgets for reporting purposes, adjust account segments, set up user-defined classifications for specialized reporting, and print FASB reports that include the statement of activities, statement of cash flow and statement of financial position.

Also introduced this year is a new donor tracking capability through DonorExpress, a third-party solution that integrates with Denali Fund+Accounting through the Universal Bridge feature. Transactions completed in DonorExpress are imported into the Accounts Receivable module, giving nonprofit organizations the tools to manage donor lists, track the status of fundraising efforts and craft reports to management.


Cyma IV Not-For-Profit Edition Version 12.5
Cyma Systems
Tempe, Ariz.
(800) 292-2962
(480) 303-2969 fax
Price: Starts at $645 per module; typical installations begin at about $1,945 for three modules. Grant Tracking, $395.

Cyma Not-For-Profit Edition
Cyma Not-For-Profit Edition (NFP) Fund Accounting Software, a FASB 117-based fund accounting system developed specifically for nonprofit accounting, provides the full range of accounting and nonprofit modules, including the capabilities to track funds, track grants and generate the federal and state reports.

A modular, configurable accounting system, the NFP Edition includes modules for the general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliation, grant tracking, after-the-fact, job costing, Human Resources, employee self-service, inventory control, payroll, sales order and purchase order. In addition, there is the Cyma Alerts module, which offers five pre-configured alerts and the ability to create others, and Cyma Business Insights, a module to help in payroll financial reporting.

Specially designed mid-sized non-profits but scalable to virtually any, the package allows multiple net asset accounts and automatic inter-fund offset entries, providing the ability to track funds separately and to balance each fund within itself. Other features include interfaces with both Crystal Reports and the F9 Financial reporter, as well as integration with DonorExpress for management of donor lists and fundraising.

Version 12.5, introduced in May, represents a major upgrade to the software that focuses on payroll, human resources and employee self-service among hundreds of other fixes and enhancements. These are built around the Human Resources module introduced as part of version 12.

The Financial Edge

Charleston, S.C.
(800) 443-9441
(843) 216-6100 fax
Price: Financial Edge for Small Offices starts at $2,995.

The Financial Edge
The Financial Edge, a comprehensive fund accounting solution aimed at mid-sized and larger non-profits, helps users meet the requirements of donors, auditors, board members and other constituents with advanced reporting and audit trails, streamlined operations and support for effective decision making.

The product consists of 28 modules, each integrated seamlessly with the general ledger module at the core. It provides more than 100 industry-standard reports for data analysis, handles complex reporting requirements that include A-110 and A-133 audits and FASB 116/117 reporting, and offers sophisticated systems for project, endowment, and grant management. An on-screen dashboard tool provides panels of summaries, lists, and graphs that efficiently compare and analyze data to give a snapshot of an organization's financial status. The application also integrates smoothly with The Raiser's Edge for donor management and tracking.

Recent enhancements include the automation of grants reimbursements, support for Windows 7, and enhanced capabilities for international EFT Transactions.

The Financial Edge represents an upward migration from the company's more basic FundWare accounting system, with additional capabilities for reporting, grant management, and special project and audit capabilities for donors, donations and public accountability. Backed by an extensive support system that includes experts on call and a strong user community, Blackbaud offers some of the most comprehensive nonprofit resources in the accounting industry.


FUND E-Z Nonprofit Accounting
FUND E-Z Development Corp.
White Plains, N.Y.
(877) 696-0900
(914) 696-0948 fax
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Price: Fund E-Z Fund Accounting, $2,995. Fund E-Z Fund Raising, $1,995.

Fund E-Z Nonprofit Accounting
The newly-updated Version 10 of Fund E-Z Nonprofit Accounting, a table-based accounting solution built on the .NET and Microsoft SQL Server platforms, utilizes Microsoft Office 2007 menu styles for easier navigation and data entry. Established in 1990, the software was created to perform fund accounting, fund raising and HIPAA billing to nonprofit and governmental organizations.

Accounting and application modules in this system include General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Client Billing with Accounts Receivable, Bank Reconciliation, Data Import/Export, Budget Management, Purchase Order, Encumbrances, Allocation Management, Advanced Segment Security, Report Writer.

Fund EZ offers a true table-driven, customizable chart of account structure with up to 10 segments and 100 characters. And its built-in report writer provides for over 100 default general ledger, fund, grants, program and cost center reports, including those used for FASB 117-compliance.

Forced business rules maintain integrity of an organization's books at any user-defined balancing segment level, a feature of interest both to the non-profit and its accountants. Also, many built-in accounting controls help to support overall accounting data integrity.

New to Version 10 are administrative features that include a new, consolidated admin tool and enhanced audit tracks; new features in virtually all of the accounting modules; new transaction features; positive pay fraud detection; enhanced HIPAA 5010 electronic billing formats; and support later this year for the F9 report writer.


QuickBooks: Premier Non-Profit Edition 2011
Mountain View, Calif.
(877) 683-3280
Price: Starts at $399.95 (single user); $999.95 (three users).

QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2011
QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2011, a version of QuickBooks pre-configured for the non-profit and government environments, comes with its own chart of accounts, templates and reports, and donor and vendor centers. It provides specific industry reporting and more than 150 sales, financial and tax reports, plus deeper, more tailored reports for non-profits.

The core of the software is QuickBooks Premier, aimed at businesses that need advanced tracking, forecasting and planning support. The Nonprofit Edition is aimed at helping organizations to demonstrate financial accountability, manage fund-raising efforts and ensure the organization's financial stability. Included are capabilities to track the balance sheet by class, create an end-of-year donor report, and create the financial portions of the Form 990.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Nonprofit is geared toward organizations that have more than three concurrent users or those with multiple inventory locations. It offers the same tools and reports as QuickBooks Premier, plus additional tools such as greater control over what users can do and see in QuickBooks, enhanced reporting, more capacity to track donors, and more custom fields to track data unique to the non-profit. It also comes with support and upgrades included for 12 months.

With its ability to demonstrate financial responsibility to boards and auditors, QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2011 provides a strong base for nonprofit accounting, bolstered by the ability to create a chart of accounts based on the Form 990 and track contributions against program budgets.

Sage Fund Accounting Version 10

Sage Software Nonprofit Solutions
Austin, Texas
(800) 811-0961
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Price: Starts at $895. For the small and start-up nonprofits, Sage Fund Accounting Single User Package starts at $2,995.

Sage Fund Accounting
Available as licensed software or in a remotely hosted environment, Sage Fund Accounting (formerly MIP) was introduced in 1982 to address the unique accounting and reporting challenges faced by nonprofit and government organizations

Built on an array of 26 modules, it is designed to help non-profits track and report on multiple funds across multiple budget periods to help managers stay within budget, track grants, demonstrate strong stewardship and comply with FASB, GASB and other reporting requirements. Key features include a flexible, built-in report writer; an interface that can be customized to fit the firm's workflow; and it is built to easily integrate with Sage Fundraising, Sage Abra Payroll, and Sage FAS Nonprofit and Sage FAS Government for fixed asset tracking. A hosting option allows access to the application and data to be accessed remotely from an SAS 70 data center.

Version 10.2.6 focuses on enhancements in Accounts Payable Credit Memos and payroll functionality. In addition, Sage Grant Management, a new web-based grant receiving product, helps nonprofit and government organizations maximize their funding potential by tracking grants and providing transparency at the organization, program, and grant level. And two modules - Sage Fund Accounting Human Resources and Sage Fund Accounting Employee Web Services - provide fully integrated HR, employee self-service (ESS), payroll, and tax compliance capabilities to small and midsized nonprofits and government agencies who use the Sage Fund Accounting nonprofit financial management software.

Serenic Navigator 2009

Serenic Corporation
Lakewood, Colo.
(877) 737-3642
(303) 980-6069 fax
Price: Business Essentials version starts at $3,500 per user; Advanced Management version starts at $6,500 per user. Serenic Navigator Online, $195 per user/per month.

Serenic Navigator
Serenic Navigator was built upon Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with enhanced functionality to meet the unique needs of non-profits, international NGOs, the public sector, and educational institutions. The core Serenic Navigator program is extended and enhanced with a suite of modules that include AwardVision, BudgetVision, DonorVision, Community Care, MinistryView, and Human Resources/Payroll, deposits and loans, and portals.

Functional areas addressed by Serenic Navigator include core financials, advanced allocations, fixed assets, inventory, purchase orders, sales orders, and purchase requisitions. Its capabilities include multilanguage and multicurrency operations, multiple reporting tools, workflow management with approvals, integration with Microsoft Office, real-time budget administration with BudgetVision, and full life-cycle grant management with AwardVision.

The focus of development for Serenic has been on extending the functionality of the core modules. BudgetVision, introduced in May of this year, is a tool for budget preparation and monitoring that replaces spreadsheets. It includes a Budget Center Portal that facilitates workflow by allowing remote staff to enter and track available funds versus budgets and forecasts via the Web.

Serenic Navigator Online, a streamlined Software as a Service (SaaS) version of Serenic's financial management system, was introduced last year. Navigator Online is designed for small- and mid-sized nonprofit and public sector organizations, enabling employees to work remotely with reduced IT and startup costs.

Traverse Not-For-Profit Version 11

Open Systems
Shakopee, Minn.
(800) 328-2276
(952) 496-2495 fax
Price: Starts at $2,100 (single user); more than 100 users, just over $100,000.

Traverse NFP
Traverse NFP offers a modular accounting system for non-profits comprised by more than 40 modules built on an open-source platform but with strong integration to Microsoft products and analytics for management decision support.

Its key features include the ability to drill down to source documents and transactions, commonly-used NFP reports that include FASB 117, grant tracking, and cross-fiscal year reporting. It offers a complete ERP system, payroll and inventory, as well as Accounts Payable. Integrated Microsoft Pivot Tables allow for differing data views for NFP audiences.

Import capabilities allow the program to easily interact with data from ADP Payroll; Raiser's Edge fundraising software; Donor Perfect; Paradigm Fundraising software; and various point of sale and software applications.

Version 11 is certified to run on Microsoft Windows 7/Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Because of this compatibility, Traverse Version 11 offers customers a flexible user interface that includes Design Studio applications to assist in adding fields to screens, changing forms and other customization. The interface also includes Interactive Views, configurable screens that allow users to sort, group and output information in customized reports. Also updated are tools to keep connected to data stored on the Internet, advanced graphic hardware acceleration, full support for multi-core processing, sophisticated management features, and flexible access to improve mobile computing.

Dave McClure

David P. McClure is a technologist and business consultant whose career has included eight years with the NASA Space Shuttle Program and assignments in marketing, environmental services, software publishing and broadband.  He founded the US Internet Industry Association, the nation's primary trade association for Internet and broadband companies.  In 2004 he was awarded a Cornerstone Award for leadership in the broadband industry.  In the same year, he was named to the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Administrative Corporation, the non-profit corporation that oversees the nation's $8 billion universal service telecommunications fund.  His areas of expertise include software management, strategic and market planning, global technology policy and technology audits.  He is the author of more than 100 white papers on business management, technology, customer service and strategic planning.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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