Accounting Software

Accounting Software for Nonprofits

Nonprofit accounting software needs to be every bit as robust as for-profit accounting software. Here are a few things to think about before purchasing accounting software for a nonprofit organization.

If you think a nonprofit organization is just a small business by another name, you couldn't be more wrong.

Apart from the obvious issues of organizational mission and charitable revenue streams, nonprofits have a number of characteristics that set them apart from their for-profit cousins - and many of these differences revolve around the area of accounting.

Nonprofits generally don't rely on sales or services for the majority of their revenues. Instead, they rely on individual contributions, charitable grants and other revenue sources that have unique accounting requirements. But even more than that, nonprofit accounting systems have to be capable of giving the organization's leaders and development professionals an accurate snapshot of contributions, pledges, donor data and other essential information.

Today's nonprofit accounting software solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of the on-the-go nonprofit professional. They not only integrate with donor software applications, but also offer specialized modules that address the accounting needs of different types of nonprofit organizations. If buying nonprofit accounting software is on your to-do list, here are some solutions that are worth considering.

Blackbaud Fundware

Blackbaud is generally considered to be the leader in nonprofit software applications. Their products are used by a wide variety of nonprofits and are known for being reliable, yet flexible solutions. Fundware offers 24 modules that nonprofits can mix and match to suit their specific accounting or organizational requirements. General ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, payroll, report writers - Fundware's modules are capable of handling it all.

Peachtree for Nonprofits (Sage)

Peachtree is an established player in the business accounting software market. They now offer their popular software in a version that is designed specifically for the demands of nonprofit accounting. Predefined charts of accounts are available for multiple types of nonprofits, making it easy for users to enjoy many of the same benefits that have been familiar to business users for years.

Quickbooks Premier - Nonprofit Edition (Intuit)

Flexibility and dependability are the primary selling points of Quickbooks Premier software for nonprofits. Organizations get features that include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, audit trails and more. But they also receive full integration with Intuit's broad product base so organizations can combine their accounting system with a credit card receipt system and other enhanced services.

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We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

  • Richard Boothe posted on 1/10/2011
    Richard Boothe
    I've been elected treasurer of a nonprofit that organizes an annual retreat. 100% volunteer, so no payroll, no fundraising, no fixed assets, just lots of income/expense reports for our members. Our total budget runs about $12k per year. I have a Mac running OS 10.5.6 and a very small budget for buying software. Suggestions? Quicken Essentials?

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