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Review: Not-For-Profit Accounting Software

2010 is not proving a good year for non-profits. From trade associations to research firms and local charities, budgets have been cut to the bone and fundraising committees are looking hard for options.

All of which makes the selection of a good accounting system even more critical. Certainly, you can run a non-profit off of virtually any accounting system. But doing it well requires a slight step up, to software actually designed to meet the needs of a not-for-profit organization. And in that category, there are eight major software vendors.


AccuFund For Non-Profits, Version 3.09

AccuFund
Needham, Mass.
(781) 433-0233
www.accufund.com
Price: Available in Standard and Professional editions. Begins at $2,995 (single user); $6,595 (three-user server). Additional modules; $1,000 to $2,500. Hosted AccuFund options begin at $389 per month.

AccuFund Version 3.09

AccuFund, a scalable fund accounting suite designed specifically for non-profits, includes a core accounting system of eight functions that can be substantially augmented and customized through a series of a dozen modular applications.

Those core products are the general ledger, accounts payable, cash receipts, bank reconciliation, financial reporting, budget reporting, user security, and a AccuFund Logoreport 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.

Version 3.09, released in January, features enhancements to many of the system’s core modules. With the AccuFund Accounting Suite Financial Report Writer and Standard Report Writer, users emailing reports directly from the system can now break out a specific page or pages in a report automatically and distribute the page(s) via email to different individuals or the appropriate manager or department.

Available in both a desktop and hosted application version, AccuFund is notable for both its flexibility and its modular design. Compliant with both Windows Vista and Windows 7, it offers a strong and scalable solution appropriate for a wide range of non-profit organizations.


CMS Professional 2010 for Fund Accounting
Cougar Mountain Software
Boise, Idaho
(800) 388-3038
www.cougarmtn.com
Price: $2,245 (single-user);$4,647 (multi-user). CMS Fund Suite, $4,887 (single-user); $7,047 (multi-user). Price includes Software Assurance.

CMS Professional 2010
The Cougar Mountain Fund suite is a modular financial management system designed for non-profits and government entities that need to balance multiple-fund ledgers or track grants with comprehensive budget comparisons.

The Suite includes modules for general ledger, AP, purchase orders, bank reconciliation and payroll, plus a Universal Bridge to transfer data into the Cougar Mountain logoaccounting program. It also offers an exceptional reporting system and an ability to handle non-profit organizations that manage multiple funds – each with their own calendars, accounting, reporting structures and financial management requirements.

CMS Professional 2010, released late last year, introduces a new product, a financial dashboard called Cougar Dtails that connects to a non-profit's general ledger data and presents it from a visual perspective to present trends and financial health. Other new features include enhanced filtering using a "contains" option and external reporting abilities to export reports to a CVS File.

At its most basic level, the system offers simple general ledger and bank reconciliation services. Step up to the full Suite, however, and this fund software offers a wealth of flexible tools that will fit the needs of almost any size or configuration of non-profit.


CYMA IV Not-For-Profit Edition, Version 11

CYMA Systems
Tempe, Ariz.
(800) 292-2962
www.cyma.com

Price: $3,800, special bundle price, $795 for 501(C)(3) organizations. Annual update pricing is 18 percent of MSRP.

CYMA IV Version 11

CYMA’s Not-For-Profit Edition (NFP) Fund Accounting Software is a FASB117-based fund accounting system developed specifically for nonprofit accounting, offering capabilities to track funds, track grants and generate the necessary reporting nonprofits require.


A modular, configurable accounting system, the NFP Edition includes general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliation, grant tracking through the General ledger, job costing, inventory control, payroll, sales order,Cyma logo and purchase order.

Version 11 of the NFP Edition, introduced last year, provides new features and benefits such as the ability to attach documents, images, locations or any file to a customer, vendor, product, job, employee or project, popup calendars in date entry fields, Bank Register added to Bank Reconciliation, After-The-Fact functionality folded into existing products, calculator added to all currency and quantity fields (accessed by pressing Ctrl-T), and more.

Specially designed for the nonprofit world, CYMA IV NFP accounting software 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 multiple checking accounts, allocation distribution, departmentalization, recurring and reversing entries, flexible budget comparisons, volume billing, encumbered invoice processing and sophisticated security.


The Financial Edge

Blackbaud
Charleston, S.C.
(800) 443-9441
www.blackbaud.com
Price: Modules begin at $2,995 each.

The Financial Edge
The Financial Edge; a comprehensive fund accounting solution designed to transform traditional accounting data into a decision support management system to assist in making strategic decisions and achieving fiscal transparency and accountability, offers a superior focus on reporting, grant, special project and audit capabilities for donors, donations and public accountability.

Blackbaud has also introduced a new package of scalable solutions for smaller non-profits. The Financial Edge for Small Offices is suitable for one to three Blackbaudusers and starts at $2,995, offering a bundle of six modules.

Recent enhancements to The Financial Edge have incorporated feedback from users to extend the flexibility of the system. In May of last year, Blackbaud announced the availability of WebPortal™ for The Financial Edge™, streamlining and extending accounting procedures to the web. Blackbaud also recently added F9® for The Financial Edge™, a financial reporting tool that enables users to create flexible, customized financial reports in Microsoft® Excel®.

The Financial Edge is one of the most powerful accounting and financial management solutions available to non-profits, easily scaling from a single user environment to the enterprise. Blackbaud continues to offer innovation and expertise in the NFP marketplace, and its flagship product The Financial Edge remains an attractive solution for non-profit accountability.


QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2010

Intuit
Mountain View, Calif.
(877) 683-3280
www.quickbooks.com
Price: From $319.95 (single user); $879.95 (three users).

QB Premier Non-Profit Edition

QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2010 is a version of QuickBooks that has been pre-configured for the non-profit environment with its own chart of accounts, templates and reports, and donor and vendor centers. Part of the Industry EditQuickBooks logoion of Quickbooks, it is designed to meld strong accounting and non-profit capabilities with the industry's lowest price.

The core of the software is QuickBooks Premier, aimed at businesses that need advanced tracking, forecasting and planning support. It also offers more zsophisticated inventory tools and remote access to data, though the Nonprofit Edition is also aimed at helping organizations to demonstrate financial accountability, manage fund-raising efforts and ensure the organization's financial stability.

QuickBooks: Premier Nonprofit Edition 2010 is an easy choice for small non-profits due to its low learning curve, the familiar QuickBooks interface and substantial customization capabilities. Recent additions to the software that are aimed directly at the NFP market only serve to strengthen its growing position in the small to mid-range marketplace.


Sage MIP Fund Accounting Version 10
Sage Software Nonprofit Solutions
Austin, Texas
(800) 811-0961
http://www.sagenonprofit.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Price: Starts at $2,995.

Sage MIP Version 10

Sage MIP Fund Accounting helps non-profits track and report on multiple funds across multiple budget periods to demonstrate easily audited accountability. It is designed to help managers stay within budget, track grants, demonstrate strong stewardship and comply with FASB, GASB and other reporting requirements.

Sage MIP Fund Accounting version 10.2 features a new customer feedback portal allowing customers to quickly submit ideas and feedback to Sage MIP Fund Sage logoAccounting product executives. Other version 10.2 enhancements include additional reporting options and expanded e-mail functionality and import capabilities. A new Visual Analyzer module provides a graphical, interactive approach to financial data analysis, allowing users to quickly uncover trends, monitor budgets and spending, and share key information throughout their organization.

With its array of 26 modules and an impressive list of new features in version 10.2, Sage MIP Fund Accounting remains one of the strongest contenders for solid accounting and decision support platforms in the non-profit industry.


Serenic Navigator 2009
Serenic Corp.
Lakewood, Colo.
(877) 737-3642
http://www.serenic.com
Price: Starts at $3,000 for the financial management module (single user), up to $6,000 for the full suite.


Serenic Navigator 2009
Serenic Navigator was created from Microsoft Dynamics NAV as a custom application designed to deliver enhanced accounting and financial management capabilities to non-profits, NGOs and government entities.

Included in the system are 16 financial applications that cover everything fromSerenic logo the general ledger to fixed assets, investment management and grant management. A procurement suite handles purchase orders and requisitions, including web-based procurement. Additional modules address donor management, reimbursement billing, inventory management, workflow and project management, payroll, time and expense sheets, and human resources management.

This latest version of Serenic Navigator contains an extensive array of product enhancements and system additions, including an improved user interface, the addition of features such as Extended Fields, Entity Integration, Interaction Management, and Dimension Attributes.

Tightly integrated with FASB 116, SFAS 117 and GASB 34 compliant financial reporting, Serenic Navigator offers a strong and flexible NFP accounting system build on the Microsoft Dynamics architecture. This offers not only a solid accounting platform, but extensive integration with Microsoft Office and other industry-standard software.

Traverse Not-For-Profit Version 11

Open Systems.
Shakopee, Min
(800) 328-2276
www.osas.com
Price: Starts at $1,500 per module.

Traverse NFP 11

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

The product includes FASB 117 reporting; cross-fiscal year reporting; crOpen Systems logoeation of allocation entries for Accounts Payable, General Ledger and Payroll; seamless data imports; active, inactive and discontinued accounts; due-to-due from transactions; tracking of grants; and programs/special projects across multiple fiscal years.

The new version is certified to run on Microsoft Windows 7/Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Because of this compatibility, Version 11 offers customers innovative user interface features as well as enhanced security and reliability improvements, tools to keep them 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.

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