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Accounting Software Packages for Nonprofits

Do you know what’s the best accounting software for a nonprofit organization? Accounting software is a software package used to record and organize all financial activities in your business. It helps you manage the budget, employees and other aspects of financial planning. But before we get into which accounting software packages are the best for nonprofits organizations, we have to know what makes an accounting software package good or even great.

Whether you are into nonprofit or nonprofit accounting, it pays to take a look at the options available. This can be as intimidating and stressful as almost any accounting problem. There are numerous of free nonprofit accounting and budget software packages. The only trick is to find the right one for your needs.

Aplos

Aplos is a comprehensive cloud-based fund accounting program for nonprofits and churches. This software has received strong customer reviews across the board from nonprofits around the world. It has a solid reputation in the nonprofit world and for good reason.

Aplos is well-organized and easy to use. Aplos offers numerous tools for managing donations and gifts, managing donors and your team, and giving you the reports you need for complete transparency. The program supports multiple organizations and offers free, unlimited phone and email support.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Numerous nonprofit-specific features
  • Excellent public reputation

Cons

  • May not be suitable for larger nonprofits

Aplos Features

Not only does Aplos get things right in terms of accounting, but it also has plenty of features to make nonprofits run more smoothly. Here is a taste of Aplos’ offerings:

  • Fund accounting
  • Chart of accounts
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Journal entries
  • Reporting
  • Manage contributions and donations
  • Customizable donations page
  • Recurring donations
  • Gifts
  • Contribution statements
  • Fixed assets or allocations
  • Tax support for 1099s and 990s

Aplos Pricing

The Aplos Suite costs $59/month, or you can purchase the software plus Text to Give for $79/month. The Aplos Suite plus Advanced Accounting starts at $159/month. A 15-day free trial is available, and new customers are eligible for discounts when signing up. You can also talk to Aplos about a personalized accounting solution with add-ons including payroll, advanced events, prepaid cards, and bookkeeping services.

Aplos is ideal for small nonprofits and churches in need of cheap nonprofit accounting software. Larger nonprofits will most likely find the software too simple for their complex requirements unless they go with the Advanced Accounting plan. The robust features, strong security, and affordable pricing make this software a good choice for nonprofits looking to manage their donations and expenses.

ACCOUNTS from Software4Nonprofits

For small organizations like churches or community organizations, we selected ACCOUNTS as the best accounting software. It’s affordable and easy to use, with all of the necessary features you need to track income and expenses and create reports.Pros

  • 60-day free trial and 30-day money back guarantee
  • The standard version costs just $130 for the first year 
  • The program can be used for the accounting of multiple organizations (up to 5) at no additional cost

Cons

  • The desktop program can only be used on Windows
  • You have to purchase a separate donation program to track donors
  • Only one user can do data entry at a time with the standard version

ACCOUNTS through Software4Nonprofits is a program offered by Cooperstock Software, a small company based in Canada. The company was founded by the treasurer of a religious finance committee because he had difficulties finding software that met his needs. He created ACCOUNTS as an alternative to the more expensive and complex accounting programs available at the time. 

ACCOUNTS is an easy-to-use platform designed specifically for small organizations and churches who need basic bookkeeping and accounting services. The program allows you to track income and expenses, track fund balances, associate accounts with lines on your IRS tax forms, and create detailed reports. 

If you’re responsible for managing the accounting for multiple organizations, such as the school PTA and your child’s sports team, you can use the software to handle the accounting for both at no additional cost. 

The standard version of ACCOUNTS is $130 for the first year. After that, it costs $65 per year. You can try ACCOUNTS for free for 60 days, and you can download the free version online. ACCOUNTS also has a 30-day guarantee if you purchase the program. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase and no longer intend to use it, the company will give you a full refund. 

Unfortunately, ACCOUNTS was designed for Microsoft Windows and the desktop version is only available for that operating system. However, there is a cloud-based, browser version called OnDemand that works on most platforms including Mac. Under the standard version, only one user can do data entry at a time. If you upgrade to the local network version—which costs $220 for the first year—up to five users can access the database at once. 

If you want to track donations and donor information, you’ll need to purchase additional software. Cooperstock Software offers another program called DONATIONS, which is free if you have 100 donors or less per year. Larger organizations will need the paid version of DONATIONS. 

ACCOUNTS has a 4.7-star rating on Capterra.

Financial Edge by Blackbaud

For large organizations that want enterprise-level accounting, Financial Edge is the clear choice. It integrates with Raiser’s Edge, a program of choice for donor and constituent management, and allows you to track expenses and budget across fiscal years.Pros

  • Cloud-based software that can be managed remotely
  • Integrates with Raiser’s Edge donor management software

Cons

  • Lack of pricing transparency on the site

Financial Edge is a product released by Blackbaud, a leading software company that caters to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities. It serves millions of users in over a hundred countries worldwide. 

For large nonprofit organizations that have significant accounting needs as well as employees and a large donor-base, Financial Edge can be an excellent fit and it’s our top choice for large organizations.

Financial Edge is a cloud-based program, so you can use it from any laptop. You can use Financial Edge to create budgets, track expenses, manage cash flow, and handle the general ledger. It has expanded budgeting capabilities, so you can forecast different scenarios and budget across fiscal years. 

Financial Edge also integrates with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge, the gold-standard program for donor management and fundraising, so you can make sure your organization’s efforts are cohesive.  

The pricing for Financial Edge was not readily available on the website, but Financial Edge has a 4.2-star rating on Capterra.

Sumac by Silent Partner

For nonprofit organizations that need customizable donation tracking and donor management tools, Sumac is our top choice in our review. With affordable pricing, free training sessions, and built-in email marketing, Sumac is a powerful fundraising tool.Pros

  • Affordable pricing and different packages available
  • Staff and volunteers can access databases simultaneously from anywhere 
  • Customizable donor profiles

Cons

  • Does not include general accounting capabilities
  • Implementation services and data migration may be an additional cost
  • Additional training costs $150 per hour

Many small and midsize nonprofit organizations have excellent accounting software and keep their financials in good order, but need help when it comes to donor management and donation tracking. If you’re relying on multiple spreadsheets or outdated databases, Sumac can be an affordable upgrade that can streamline how you work with your constituents. 

Sumac was launched in 2003 and supports thousands of nonprofit professionals around the world. In 2018, Sumac became part of Silent Partner Software Inc and is offered alongside other products like PartnerHR. 

With Sumac’s fundraising program, staff can access critical data from anywhere, and they can view databases at the same time, so they always have the most up-to-date information. The program allows you to create customizable donor profiles so you can adjust fields to meet your organization’s needs. 

Within Sumac, you can see each donor’s history with your organization, including past donations and communications. You can also create reminders to follow up with key donors. 

Donation details can be converted into ledger entries and reports for your bookkeeper or accountant, and you can craft summarized annual giving reports. 

The price for Sumac ranges from $35 per month to $250 and up per month, depending on your organization’s needs and number of records. Other services, like online donation acceptance, website management, and course registration require additional fees. With your fee, you get free training. If you need additional training, you’ll have to pay $150 per hour. 

Sumac has a 4.3-star rating on Capterra

Araize FastFund Accounting

For organizations that want total remote access, Araize FastFund Accounting is our pick for the best cloud-based solution. It offers comprehensive accounting, fundraising, and payroll services and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.Pros

  • You can choose one service or bundle all three
  • Monthly training webinars and online video training included
  • Can cancel anytime

Cons

  • One-on-one training costs extra
  • May not be intuitive if you don’t have an accounting background
  • Reports not as customizable as they are on other programs

Araize has over 30 years of experience delivering software solutions to nonprofit organizations. With Araize FastFund Accounting, you can get access to a complete cloud-based system. Because FastFund Accounting runs on the cloud, you can access it from any web browser on any device, including Mac, PC, or tablets. You can get your software up and running within a day, and multiple users can use the software at once, making it an ideal cloud-based program. 

With the FastFund Accounting platform, you can handle bank reconciliations, generate accounting reports, create budgets for each department and grant, and generate all the data you need to complete the IRS Form 990. The FastFund Accounting program is available for as little as $42 per month, and there is no setup fee. Also, you don’t have to commit to a contract; you can cancel at any time. 

Araize offers two other programs you can purchase separately or bundle with the accounting program. With FastFund Fundraising, you can create detailed donor profiles, track cash, pledges, and in-kind gifts, and create customized donor receipts. When bundled with FastFund Accounting, FastFund Fundraising is available for as little as $20 per month, or $42 per month as a standalone product. 

With FastFund Payroll, you can also manage your organization’s payroll. You can pay employees through direct deposit or check, allocate money for taxes, and file quarterly payroll taxes. FastFund Payroll starts at $66 per month.  

While your fee includes monthly training webinars and online video training, one-on-one training sessions are an additional cost. 

In reviews of Araize, many people say the program is robust and powerful. However, if you’re used to pricier programs like Financial Edge, you may find that the reports aren’t as customizable. 

Araize has a 4.5-star rating on Capterra

Conclusion:

As your small business grows, you may want to consider good accounting software. Choosing the best accounting software for your business can be a daunting task, especially if you do not have prior experience with these programs.

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