Good money management is crucial for any nonprofit, regardless of sector or niche. Without the right records, any organization will have difficulty managing funds, transactions and expenses. It’s vital to ensure accountability and control stewardship of reserves.
Digital accounting software can be a major asset for any nonprofit wanting to stay on top of fund management.
These four accounting programs are some of the best out there — and any nonprofit wanting to improve its stewardship of funds may benefit from their use.
1. GiveSmart by Community Brands
GiveSmart is a fundraising platform that’s great for organizations that regularly run events or have struggled with options that don’t provide excellent support for mobile users. The tool’s features allow organizations to manage payments, event registrations and auctions, as well as facilitate one-time or recurring donations.
This tool is one of the best to have if your organization regularly manages online events and auctions. It allows nonprofits to track mobile bidding and event guest relations more easily, helping them streamline and simplify the often-complex process of running a great event.
The solution’s developers also maintain a series of online learning resources that can help you and your staff learn to use the tool effectively.
Smaller organizations that don’t need a flashy tool with advanced features or data processing may do best with a more basic program like ACCOUNTS from Software4Nonprofits. This tool offers a range of basic accounting features, including income and expense tracking, fund balance monitoring and reporting.
ACCOUNTS is also one of the cheapest available nonprofit accounting tools. The basic version costs $130. This gets you a full year’s subscription, and renewing is just $65.
Software4Nonprofits also offers a full 60-day free trial for organizations interested in the software. This gives you a good bit of time to know if it has the right feature set for your particular organization.
Xero is an all-in-one accounting program that’s built primarily for small-business owners. However, it also includes features and tools that make it a good fit for nonprofits looking for a lightweight and flexible accounting tool.
Xero includes basic accounting features. It also makes it easy to automate tasks like reporting and invoicing, helping to simplify recurring tasks, and assists with end-of-year taxes and compliance.
The platform offers three different price plans — early, growing and established. Early is the cheapest and is good for ultra-small organizations or freelancers. However, it’s somewhat restricted compared to other plans. You won’t be able to send an unlimited number of invoices and quotes and will only be able to track five bills at a time.
The growing and established plans are more expensive — starting at $16 and $31 per month, respectively — but offer more fully featured versions of the program. You’ll be able to handle an unlimited number of invoices, quotes, bills and receipts. With the established plan, you can also claim expenses and track individual projects.
What the platform doesn’t offer by default are payroll services. Instead, you’ll have to use Gusto, the payroll and HR platform, which natively integrates with Xero. The features are all there and will mostly be in the same place, but you will have to pay extra for what is, in effect, an additional service.
If you need an all-in-one solution, Xero is an excellent option. However, it’s best for small and growing nonprofits that don’t have to worry about managing several users or working with large quantities of accounting data. Larger organizations may want to turn to another accounting tool.
4. Nonprofit Accounting Suite From Nonprofit Plus
If your organization needs a more fully featured accounting platform — one with general accounting functionality and more advanced features, Nonprofit Accounting Suite is your best bet. It was developed by Nonprofit Plus and is powered by Acumatica ERP, and is aimed at larger organizations with more resources to manage.
The platform’s features include general accounting tools and accounts payable/receiving management, volunteer tracking, compliance management and bank reconciliation tools.
However, it may not be accessible to smaller organizations. Pricing starts at $675 per month and no free trial is available — although the company does offer a free product tour. Fortunately, price does not scale with users, meaning that even if you have dozens of volunteers and staff members who need access to your accounting, you won’t have to pay more to get them access.
If your organization has struggled with less enterprise-focused tools — or you need a software suite that’s guaranteed to scale as your organization grows — Nonprofit Accounting Suite may be an excellent choice.
These Fund Accounting Tools Will Help Any Nonprofit Balance the Books
Without the right accounting tools, your nonprofit can quickly run into money management issues and have difficulties with payroll, compliance and donor receipts. That’s the last thing you want to happen when you want to focus on helping others.
These are some of the best available options for nonprofits that want to improve their accounting and get a good sense of revenue and spending.
Some of these programs will need additional tools if you want to fully manage your nonprofit’s accounting in-house. However, each can help your organization manage donations, handle accounting and ensure good money management. That way, you can focus on making the world a better place.