As nonprofits expand, they often experience some growing pains. One of the most prevalent growing pains is ensuring your technology keeps up with your organization’s needs. Specifically, nonprofit finance professionals are concerned about accounting software.
According to our research, 59 percent of nonprofit finance professionals are considering purchasing new software within the next year and a half. That means you’re not alone in your search for the best accounting software for nonprofits!
Accounting software for nonprofits is specifically designed to handle the variety of funding requirements, complex budgets, custom reports, and internal operations records that organizations use in their day-to-day tasks.
This nonprofit accounting software comparison guide is designed to help nonprofits like yours choose a solution that will best fit your organization’s needs. We’ve reviewed the top 6 providers for you to consider in your research for the best software, including:
- MIP Fund Accounting
- Financial Edge by Blackbaud
- Fund EZ Fund Accounting
- FinancialForce Accounting
Are you ready to learn more about what these software providers have to offer? Let’s jump in!
#1 Best Accounting Software: MIP Accounting
True Fund Accounting Software Overview
MIP Accounting offers true fund accounting software that is completely customizable and built to grow with your organization.
The customized module system comes with a core set of accounting features that allow your nonprofit to meet new challenges as the organization continues to grow.
MIP Accounting ensures that your organization has all the tools you need to make better-informed financial decisions, manage finances through tracking and reporting features, and ensure the productivity of your nonprofit’s mission.
Pros of MIP Accounting
MIP Accounting offers a comprehensive true fund accounting solution with capabilities such as a general ledger, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, budgeting, accounts receivable reporting, data imports and exports, and a forms designer.
In addition to these standard features, this accounting software also offers:
- A human resource module so that your nonprofit can track employee information, enroll employees for benefits, and complete payroll within the same software solution.
- Robust analytical tools to help your nonprofit find, track, and report the key accounting metrics that are most important to the board, funders, and your organization.
- Audit-prepared reports with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) reporting built into the software. These reports help you meet requirements for fraud deterrence and alerting.
MIP Accounting offers software that far surpasses nonprofit industry standards of safety. With the all-inclusive cloud-based suite, you won’t need to worry about hardware, patch, or upgrade cycles.
Additional Thoughts on MIP Accounting
MIP Fund Accounting can take more time and effort to set up than other solutions. This is due to the highly customized nature of the software. However, its template solutions tend to be faster and easier to configure.
In case you’re not technically savvy, MIP Accounting also has experts who can walk you through the implementation and customization phases and beyond.
Although the customization of MIP Accounting may take additional time upfront, it ultimately saves you time as your nonprofit grows. This scalable solution provides a higher-quality experience than other cookie-cutter software.
With expert advice available throughout your life-long relationship with MIP Accounting, you’ll never have a question that can’t be answered swiftly and accurately. It’s no wonder this fund accounting software for nonprofits is listed as #1 choice from some of the most trusted names in the nonprofit software world.
#2 Best Accounting Software: Financial Edge by Blackbaud
Nonprofit Accounting Software Overview
Financial Edge by Blackbaud is designed to help your nonprofit manage restrictions, grants, donations, and allocations in a single accounting software solution. This accounting software was designed with nonprofits in mind so that you can spend less time on accounting and more time on your organization’s mission.
The personalized intuitive dashboards help nonprofits focus on the important metrics for the organization. Plus, graphical displays make these metrics more user-friendly. When you dive deeper, you can create detailed sub-accounts for grants and projects using Financial Edge. The reporting functions also come with over 100 customizable options.
Pros of Financial Edge by Blackbaud
Financial Edge has several features that make it an above-average accounting software for nonprofits. These features include:
- Future budgeting. With Financial Edge, you can budget as far into the future as you want to make budgetary plans and comparisons across years.
- Automatic warnings. This software will warn your organization if you’re conducting a transaction that will put your organization over budget for the month, quarter, or year, depending on how you budget.
- Custom allocation pools. You can pool programs, grants, and accounts based on the allocation purpose. Then you can manage allocations by previewing detailed journal entry reports before posting these allocations to the general ledger.
Blackbaud offers a variety of products that are custom-built for nonprofit organizations. All these accounting software solutions fully integrate, making it easy to streamline information from your nonprofit’s fundraising software to the CRM and accounting software.
Additional Thoughts on Financial Edge by Blackbaud
While the pros of Financial Edge by Blackbaud make it an attractive choice, keep in mind that this nonprofit accounting software is best for larger organizations with sufficient budgets and team capacity to take on such a complex platform. Generally, large nonprofits enjoy the benefits of working within the Blackbaud platform by investing in several of the products, which integrate with one another.
If your nonprofit already has access to Blackbaud’s other solutions, Financial Edge could be a good fit for your organization. With integrated accounting software solutions, your organization can save time and energy with an automated transfer of information, resulting in more efficient processes.
#3 Best Accounting Software: Fund EZ Accounting
Accounting Software Overview
Fund EZ is comprehensive accounting software for nonprofits that prides itself on simple navigation and accessibility. Their simple interface and easy-to-use menus facilitate your nonprofit’s processes in finding the most relevant information at the best time.
With Fund EZ, you can sort, filter, export, email, and print data as necessary for different reports. Plus, your nonprofit can control who sees information within the software. You can grant user rights by group or department. This segmented security makes it easy to restrict access to sensitive information.
Pros of Fund EZ
Fund EZ makes it easy to construct segments within the software that reflect your nonprofit’s programs, projects, funding streams, and departments. From there, it’s easy to create plans and record expenditures based on the segment. In this nonprofit accounting software you can:
- Budget by segment and track variances and unexpended amounts
- Create and print financial reports customized by segment and even across fiscal years
- Consolidate segments in summary or columnar formatting
- Compare actual expenditures vs. budgets for segments, groups of segments, or entire nonprofits
Tracking group members, segments, and supporter relations in accounting software helps nonprofits make targeted financial decisions based on the specific needs of various groups.
The automatic updates to the software solution also enable your nonprofit to focus more on fundraising and financial decisions rather than the software itself.
Additional Thoughts on Fund EZ
The simplicity of Fund EZ makes it easy to learn without an extensive accounting background. However, users could find the lack of flexibility within the software frustrating.
While the starting price of this software is competitive with comparable accounting software solutions, mid-sized nonprofits will quickly need to invest in Fund EZ Pro in order to obtain the features they need.
The simplicity of Fund EZ makes it a convenient solution for smaller nonprofit organizations that don’t have a full-time finance professional because it’s easy to learn and has plenty of templates to fit your organization’s needs.
If you’re considering investing in Fund EZ, research it to make sure your nonprofit will succeed with the features included in the basic solution, and then be sure you’ll be able to afford to grow into the Pro version as necessary.
#4 Best Accounting Software: Xero for Nonprofits
Nonprofit Accounting Software Overview
Xero for Nonprofits is an inexpensive accounting software solution that can help kickstart the process for small nonprofits. The mobile app makes it stand out in the crowd because your nonprofit can access financial information from any device.
This accounting software also facilitates the process for your nonprofit to send invoices, reconcile transactions, and manage bills.
Xero for Nonprofits Pros
Xero is a well-established accounting software solution with many connections that make it a valuable resource for nonprofit organizations. Xero integrates with 500+ tools, which can streamline and facilitate nonprofit operations.
Integrations worth pointing out are with PayPal and Stripe. These ensure that Xero supports payment services for supporters who want to donate online.
The 6-month trial period of this software enables your nonprofit to try it out to ensure it will meet all of your organization’s needs before you make the final purchase.
Additional Thoughts on Xero for Nonprofits
Because this accounting software was originally designed for small businesses and not nonprofits, the platform is less specialized and comprehensive than larger solutions that were designed specifically for nonprofit organizations.
Therefore, Xero is best used by smaller nonprofits that have less complex accounting systems. While there is a scalable solution available, even the highest-level solution will be easily outgrown by more established nonprofits.
Xero is a wonderful solution for small nonprofits that might be in a pinch when it comes to financing their software solutions. Small nonprofits who plan to remain around their current size for a while should consider Xero for their software needs. However, growing organizations could quickly outgrow Xero. The multitude of integrations they have with other organizations may eliminate some of the growing pains, though.
Before investing, make a prediction plan as to your nonprofit’s growing pains. Check out Xero’s main features, scaled features, and integration partners to make sure you’ll have access to the important functions your organization needs in the future.
#5 Best Accounting Software: Intuit QuickBooks
Nonprofit Fund Accounting Software Overview
Intuit QuickBooks is a nonprofit fund accounting software with all of the core features necessary for small to mid-sized nonprofits. Their core features cover basic accounting needs, while an add-on library expands their services.
It’s easy to connect QuickBooks accounting software to your nonprofit’s bank to sync transactions. Plus, you can connect Intuit QuickBooks to other nonprofit software solutions such as NeonCRM, DonorPath, and Kindful.
Intuit QuickBooks Pros
Intuit QuickBooks is a top fund accounting software for nonprofits that offers payroll features in addition to basic accounting solutions. It’s easy to track overhead costs directly in your accounting software with these types of features.
QuickBooks also facilitates the customization of reports for your organization. Based on the important metrics for your nonprofit, you can send reports to donors for accounting transparency, as well as organize donors into lists to strategically inform different segments of donors.
Additional Thoughts on Intuit QuickBooks
While QuickBooks has the core features necessary for a nonprofit’s fund accounting needs, it is still missing some features that other solutions offer as a part of their core services. For example, QuickBooks doesn’t offer grant or tax management features, such as an audit trail.
While these types of features may not be available in the core features of QuickBooks, you can likely find them and other features in the add-on library. Yet, purchasing these add-ons can add up over time.
QuickBooks was originally built for small businesses rather than nonprofits. While they have a nonprofit option, it’s important to recognize that its origins in the for-profit world can make the software slow to pick up and update based on emerging trends in the nonprofit world.
Intuit QuickBooks draws in small nonprofits trying to save a buck on their accounting software solution. It’s very easy to get the software up and running for nonprofits. However, keep in mind that adding features can get expensive quickly, and the platform might have difficulty keeping up with emerging needs in the nonprofit world.
However, the ease of set-up and low maintenance make Intuit QuickBooks a great entry-level accounting software for nonprofits. Keep a close eye on the add-on expenses and necessary features to ensure the software won’t slow your organization’s growth.
#6 Best Accounting Software: FinancialForce Accounting
Nonprofit Accounting Software Overview
FinancialForce Accounting is accounting software for nonprofits built on the Salesforce platform. This software solution is designed for the good of the employees. It facilitates the use of accounting for human resources (HR) representatives. It also focuses heavily on streamlining your nonprofit’s internal affairs to be as comprehensive and effective as possible.
FinancialForce’s accounting software for nonprofits facilitates communication among the staff members working at your organization. The real-time reporting features are presentable so that they can be understood universally across the team.
The provider offers multiple training opportunities, such as:
- Live Online Training
- In-Person Service
Plus, their support team is available with a 24/7 live representative.
Working within a single system for payroll management, tax management, and built-in intercompany reconciliation makes internal operations a breeze for your nonprofit.
Additional Thoughts on FinancialForce
Because FinancialForce was built on a platform designed for businesses, and not nonprofits, you can lose some of the specializations that come with working on a platform built specifically for nonprofits. Essentially, it is a business accounting software with some fund accounting functionality built-in.
FinancialForce also comes across as an HR-friendly accounting solution, yet it is less focused on the accountability of financial information to your donors.
Furthermore, if your nonprofit isn’t on the Salesforce platform, you could lose a lot of the automated information transfer that FinancialForce prides themselves on.
If your nonprofit is focusing on streamlining internal operations and overhead costs, FinancialForce may be the accounting software for you. It’s also a handy HR tool, but only if your nonprofit is already on the Salesforce platform and focusing on expanding its Salesforce ecosystem.
Make sure your research doesn’t stop here! Your organization should feel prepared and confident as it continues to grow, and you purchase new nonprofit accounting software. Check out these additional resources to continue learning how to facilitate your nonprofit’s growth!
- Nonprofit Accounting Software: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. Learn which questions to ask in order to find and invest in the right nonprofit accounting software.
- Nonprofit Fund Accounting Software: 6 Providers to Know. Looking for another referral for even more of the best accounting software for nonprofits? Check out this article.
- Finding the Best Fund Accounting Software for Your Nonprofit. Read this guide to understand which accounting software factors align with your nonprofit’s needs.