Non-profit organizations are indeed support systems of the society while they lead & participate in many initiatives that help us in infinite number of ways. However like any other small & medium business even Non-profit organizations face IT challenges & sometimes feel the heat of using wrong bookkeeping software. At times it even leads to losing money. This article is intended to list 5 most popular bookkeeping software from Non-profit organizations point of view
Intuit Quickbooks: If you are looking for a one stop bookkeeping software solution for your non-profit organization, Intuit Quickbooks Premier Edition has got many exciting features. It allows a remote access which is a useful feature for staff & board of directors alike. It has a separate Menu option with navigation using familiar taxonomy used by non-profit organizations. Same thing with the reports too, it has a set of standard reports specially designed and most commonly used by non-profit organizations. Please note that the premier edition is around $150 costlier than the Pro edition. However to get the same accounting & reports with Pro edition, an organization might need to higher a technology resource & may end up spending more money in longer term. If you have a tech savvy person in your organization, it might be a good idea to give it a try to Pro version & there are Books available on Amazon or even local libraries. It’s often a good idea to check money saving deals & coupons websites like dealsdolly.com before buying a retail version from a store. Find out more about Quickbooks Premier version here: http://quickbooks.intuit.com/premier/
Peachtree: Peachtree is popular accounting software by Sage. Peachtree Premium Accounting for Non-profits 2011 version is packed with user friendly features of Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting, plus you can easily handle such challenging tasks as tracking donors and grantors, mail merge for fundraising letters and receipts, and tracking encumbrances. This version also allows forms & reports specially designed to accommodate requirements of Non-profit organizations. It only saves time with standardized communication templates but also gives a 60 days money back guarantee & offers a free trial. The pricing is pretty comparable to Intuit Quickbooks.
Quicken: It’s essentially looked at as software to manage personal finances & is suitable for home based business. But this software comes very handy to small non-profit groups which are either short term or only consists of a few volunteers who want to track an account and spending etc. That’s how Quicken found its way in many Churches. You guessed it right, Quicken doesn’t have a predefined accounting workflow / menu or reports specially created for non-profits.
Microsoft Money: The argument about Microsoft Money is similar to Quicken. The software is much suited for personal finances but is pretty useful for small non-profit groups just as good as Quicken.
Microsoft Excel: This is the simplest software used by most of the non-profit organizations for managing their accounting. Its very user friendly & needs very little effort for a beginner to learn. Using simple cell based formulae one can create professional looking reports. A little effort spent on Visual Basic (VB) coding can create an automated workflows & calculation routines. Freelancer VB resources usually are available for low rates. However it sometimes might be a little too technical for a non-profit organization & distracting to their routine activities.
Other than these main stream professional software there are numerous other software available. Many of them are free and have features pretty much matching to Peachtree or Quickbooks, but might lack the customer service or help manuals. However it’s a good idea to trial them for free and see if they suit your needs.