When you are in charge of a charitable organization, you need nonprofit accounting software that can handle income sources like contributions from donors, government grants, investments, and fundraising events, and produce reports that make submitting your IRS 990 Form and other tax reports easier.
The vast majority of nonprofit organizations have a single staff member and less than $25,000 in the bank. They also operate under slightly different accounting rules than other small businesses. It is often best to use software designed for nonprofits.
Software packages range from free to tens of thousands of dollars. How do you choose which one is best for you? Read on to learn more.
Simplicity in Nonprofit Accounting Software
When it is a one-person show, it is easy to get overwhelmed with financial and administrative work. Often, the only answer to get it all done are the right kind of tools. Depending on the size and age of the organization, you may be spending hours in Excel doing even simple tasks for your annual filing.
Consider all of the work to track donations, invoices, and payroll. Now think about generating reports or filling out the IRS Form 990. Do you find yourself switching between multiple systems and doing duplicate work?
If you are looking for the right finance solution for your nonprofit, you want something intuitive that you can set up on your own. You want it to cover all of your needs without duplicate work and most of all, you want it to be inexpensive.
What Tasks Do You Need Done?
Your organization needs to manage incoming and outgoing payments, budgeting and reports with a project-based approach. General accounting software does not generally have automated processing for typical nonprofit reports or functions.
The right tools for nonprofits include a means to accept donations, plan and report for specific grants, and transparently communicate finances to stakeholders.
The right platform allows an organization to manage their finances in one place, automate recurring tasks, reduce the chance of errors and duplication, and save hours of work weekly.
Seven Nonprofit Accounting Software Options
Each option has a unique set of features The options are listed in no particular order. Before you decide, ask yourself these questions to decide which is the right software for you:
- What kind of support is there? How easy is it to learn?
- How quick is the setup?
- Does it have the specialized features you need?
- Does it integrate with your payment or payroll system (if needed)
- Is the system secure?
Ready to choose a software solution to fit your organization budget and size? Then let’s look.
The granddaddy of fund accounting software is Blackbaud. They have a large range of nonprofit solutions built for medium to large size organizations. Their program, Financial NXT, allows reporting by project, grant, department, or any characteristic.
It allows unlimited pro forma reports to gauge the financial impacts of budget changes. Financial Edge NXT is best suited to nonprofits with large and complex accounting needs. It integrates with the other Blackbaud suite of products and includes tools for data security and regulatory compliance.
QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit (Desktop)
Bestseller QuickBooks is the best-known off the shelf accounting software solution. It is easy to use and set up. The QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit version allows users to manage grants, donors, and programs.
QuickBooks integrates with many other programs, so a talented administrator can build reports and processes that suit your organization. Keep in mind, that even though ease of use is one of its highlights, it is not a program for bookkeeping novices.
Wild Apricot + QuickBooks (Cloud)
Wild Apricot is a membership management package for small and medium-sized organizations. It automates typical club administration tasks like email, membership reminders, events, and payments. Wild Apricot integrates with QuickBooks Online, which handles the invoices, accounts receivables, bank statement reconciliation, accounts payable, and cash flow.
This solution is excellent for administrators who do not have a great deal of process knowledge.
Zoho Books + Nonprofit Add-Ons
Zoho Books cloud-based software has features important to small businesses. You can manage expenses, track inventory, create invoices and generate reports. It has great portability. You can access the dashboard from most mobile devices.
Zoho offers two nonprofit modules: Donor Management and Volunteer Portal. These add-ons are free and allow the creation of a donor database. You can also send event notifications to volunteers.
The Nonprofit Plus Acumatica finance suite to offers a range of functions. Nonprofit Plus helps you with bookkeeping, managing your board, volunteers, donors, grants and budgets.
Nonprofit Plus offers additional services and support to existing charities. This includes software development, project management and consulting.
Breeze + FreshBooks (Cloud)
Breeze is a web-based church management software package. If you need to store data on members, communicate online, schedule events and track donations, Breeze is an easy to set up solution.
Data from donations and contributions can then be imported directly to your FreshBooks accounting software, with all the small business features like invoicing, reports and accounts payable available this platform.
If security is a concern, FUND E-Z has sophisticated data control and fraud prevention built in. The software allows easy sorting of large volumes of data as well as export. User rights are granted by function, hiding sensitive data as required.
The software allows for multiple simultaneous projects and large volumes of data. System support is not an issue. the company has been in business for more than 20 years.
Small nonprofits will love the streamlined Aplos interface. It’s no-frills approach specialized church and nonprofit accounting needs includes customizable donations pages, fund accounting, reporting and budgeting. The Standard plan also bundles in tracking for donations and special gifts.
The Advanced plan adds more functionality with fundraising and reports for Form 990.
A Bonus Option
This list of software options is based on the assumption that you are working alone. A final option is a hybrid solution. Why not take advantage of modern software packages merged with an experienced bookkeeper or CFO to offer guidance?
Making the best decisions to guide your nonprofit requires good information, and getting good information requires great data. The right combination of nonprofit accounting software and process is all you need.
Contact us today to talk about the right solution for your nonprofit.