Accounting software market trends
What Is Nonprofit Accounting Software?
Nonprofit organizations, associations, churches and faith-based ministriesface different challenges than their for-profit counterparts. Among thesechallenges are a nonprofit’s accounting needs. Rather than managing sales andrevenue, nonprofits have to manage donor contributions, fundraising events,grants, investment income, membership fees etc. In addition, with limitedfunds for administrative tasks and strict reporting requirements, such as FAS116 and 117, nonprofit organizations can save time and money, while reducingthe likelihood of reporting errors, by implementing a nonprofit accountingsystem.
Common Features of Nonprofit Accounting Software
Nonprofit accounting solutions aim to help organizations manage their financesin both an accurate and transparent manner. These solutions should includeaccounting features that are specific to nonprofits and enable them to: * Manage funds and donations: Nonprofits receive funds and donations from numerous sources (individuals, organizations and websites) and locations. They have to meticulously keep track of their earnings and expenses, as they may be subjected to federal audits. Any inconsistencies in their reports can subject them to reputation damage, fines or even legal action. * Integrate online donations with primary fund pool: Donations from different countries via websites or payment portals, such as PayPal, need to be reflected in the nonprofit’s main fund pool and not as a separate account. * Filter reports by varying transaction codes: Different transactions need to be assigned different codes for clarity and efficient fund management. Adding filters to expense and earnings reports will help users easily view these different transactions and provide clarity into how funds are used. * Generate reports in multiple formats: Nonprofits need to be able to create and present reports in a variety of different formats, such as Excel files or PDFs. This is because most volunteers are not proficient in accounting and thus need to view reports in familiar, easy-to-use formats. * Convert donations in multiple currencies: Donations or funds received in different currencies need to be integrated with the nonprofit’s primary account and converted automatically.
Benefits of Accounting Software for Nonprofits
Nonprofit accounting solutions provide organizations of all sizes the toolsthey need to manage income and expenses efficiently. As nonprofits are subjectto federal audits, it’s important to accurately record all of anorganization’s financial details. Therefore, these systems track anorganization’s donations, grants, expenses, assets and transactions. Theirfocus in on maintaining a healthy balance between receiving donations andspending funds on welfare activities.Similar to nonprofit accounting software, nonprofit financial software(sometimes called fund accounting software), helps achieve fiscaltransparency, ensure federal reporting standards are met, maximizes donordollars and minimizes unnecessary expenses.Accounts in Blackbaud Financial EdgeThese features work together so a nonprofit organization can make the most oftheir assets, maintain fiscal visibility, nourish their reputation and acquirelasting trust from supporters.
What is accounting software?
Accounting software is an electronic version of an accountant’s general ledgerthat also keeps your books accurate, organized, and searchable. Revenues,expenses, assets, and liabilities are digitally recorded and tracked tomaintain a complete picture of your business’s financial health. Thistechnology can take various forms and offer a myriad of features based on theneeds of a particular business or industry. However, most accounting systemsshare similar features and functionality. The best accounting software assistsbusinesses with processes such as payroll, accounts payable, and accountsreceivable.* * *
Key features of accounting software
Back to table of contents ↑No matter your industry or business model, the top accounting solutions offerthe following standard features or functionality.
Types of businesses that use accounting software
Back to table of contents ↑Accounting software is available in nearly as many shapes and sizes as thereare company types. These are the main types of businesses that use accountingtools to manage their financial accounts. * Commercial accounting: The most common type, commercial accounting software is used by both individuals and for-profit businesses to manage transactions, equity, etc. Commercial accounting software is often best-of-breed software designed for SMBs, mid-size businesses, and large companies that don’t deal with complicated regulatory or tax requirements. * Nonprofit accounting: Nonprofit software is tailored for the specific needs of not-for-profit organizations. Sometimes called “fund accounting software,” it helps manage grants, tax-exempt transactions, and the stringent reporting requirements most nonprofit organizations face. * Enterprise accounting: The majority of enterprise accounting solutions are designed for entities doing business internationally, which means they need to manage regulatory and tax compliance with widely varying requirements. Frequently, enterprise accounting software is deployed as an ERP. Theoretically, an enterprise-level accounting solution could be required for a nonprofit organization.These three types of accounting software are used across the following majorbusiness types. When comparing accounting tools for your business, look for anaccounting system that fits your particular needs, the complexity of financialrecords, and feature requirements.
Accounting software market trends
Back to table of contents ↑The accounting software market is crowded and diverse and grows more so eachday. While the market has long been dominated by on-premise server-basedsolutions from Peachtree, SAP, QuickBooks, and other large softwaredevelopment firms, newer companies with industry-specific features andfunctions are bringing new products to market on a seemingly monthly basis.These new, agile accounting systems use user-friendly interfaces that mimicmainstream consumer apps and software, provide easy access to automation andAI-driven features, and encourage small business adoption with low monthlysubscriptions. This has greatly affected the overall accounting software andconsulting market: feature-rich legacy systems tend to look bulkier and harderto implement, small businesses question the price of legacy systems, andaccountants who use the newest accounting tools can pivot from standard day today accounting tasks to the more valuable financial strategy consulting.
Technology changes contributing to the evolution of the accounting
software marketModern accounting tools use the vast amount of financial data they collect tobuild data visualizations that clarify the company’s financial state withoutresorting to spreadsheets. Many of these tools also include data analyticsthat provides insights into future strategies for improving revenue, reducingdebt, and staying on budget. * Event drivers: a new use of data analytics and artificial intelligence tools, event drivers recognize accounting opportunities within the company’s data and suggest improvements to the accounting representative. Event drivers might improve forecasting, tax savings, or revenue growth. * Collaborative accounting: collaborative accounting has been around for a while and can help many businesses find creative financial opportunities within their data. This has become even easier with the consumerization of instant messaging, remote account access, and video conferencing software that allows two or more parties to collaborate while viewing the same ledger in the cloud. * Mobile accounting and remote access: everything digital is also moving to mobile, including accounting software. Mobile accounting software allows remote, dispersed, field, and small business teams to access their financial data from smartphones, tablets, or desktop forms. And these teams don’t need to worry about security, as the cloud technology that runs these tools should provide end to end data encryption in transit and at rest. * Data security: the 2018 rollout of the EU’s GDPR data privacy rules brought data and financial security to the forefront of many companies’ minds. The best accounting software for 2018 and beyond will include encryption, database security, customizable user roles, and other security features to protect the company’s financial data and that of their customers.
Get recommendations for the best accounting software
That’s where we come in. At TechnologyAdvice, we specialize in connectingbusinesses with the technology they need to grow. Get recommendations, readreviews, and browse products for the best accounting tools for your business,all right here at TechnologyAdvice.com.If you’re ready to ramp up your research, use the Product Selection Tool atthe top of the page to get a list of custom recommendations based on yourindustry, use case, and/or desired features. * * Which Accounting software is right for your business? * Find out nowBest Nonprofit Accounting Software No matter what stage your nonprofit is in – whether you’ve just opened yourdoors with a handful of people, you’re growing quickly, or you’re anestablished, stable organization with several departments, staying on top ofyour accounting and bookkeeping is essential to your continued growth andsuccess.
Get Help Choosing The Best Nonprofit Accounting Software
Knowing how much money is coming in, where it’s coming from, where it’s going– this may not seem like too daunting of a task, especially at first. When youstart trying to manage your donations, maintain your budget, your payroll, andinvoices, plus keep accurate records for both your donors and for taxpurposes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and start making mistakes, especiallyif you’re relying on DIY spreadsheets or free fund accounting software toolsthat simply doesn’t offer what you need.That’s where a quality nonprofit accounting software solution can be a gamechanger, saving you time, reducing your stress, and most importantly,improving your accuracy and record keeping by having everything in one placeand not having to rely on multiple tools. To help you choose which software isright for your organization, we’re providing an in-depth look at some of theleading choices, including features and what type of organization may benefitthe most from each one.
Best Nonprofit Accounting Software Solutions 
The software solutions in this guide are listed alphabetically, and we tookcare to include software designed for all different types of nonprofitorganizations.
What Is Nonprofit Accounting Software?
Nonprofit accounting software is a type of nonprofit software that handles thespecific financial transaction needs found within the nonprofit industry. Asopposed to a general-purpose accounting solution, nonprofit accountingsoftware helps nonprofit organizations (NPOs) manage fund sources and furthertheir organization’s mission by properly using available funds.For NPOs, most operating expenses are entirely made up from funds, grants, anddonations. A tailor-made solution to account for funds received and allocationwithin those funds as well as grants and donations.NPOs are responsible for keeping detailed records of their donations, fundingsources, and earnings. Without meticulous recordkeeping, NPOs can be subjectto audits, fines or other legal consequences. Nonprofit accounting featuresenables NPOs to fully manage their sources of funding, ensuring every dollarand donor is accounted for and that their accounts are accurate through properbank reconciliation. This includes the management of online donations orforeign sources, which must be reported along with an NPO’s main funding.View a chart of accounts in Aplos.
Features of Nonprofit Accounting Software
Nonprofit accounting software options allow nonprofits to accurately managethe complex accounting needs for organizations of any size. Rather thandepending on a general-purpose accounting solution, organizations prefer usingnonprofit accounting software for industry-specific functions, primarily fundaccounting and the collection of donations.Here’s a breakdown of the ways these functions meet the needs of an NPO: * Fund Accounting: A self-balancing set of accounts allowing the reservation of cash and non-cash assets for specific purposes or activities. Includes fund class designations, hierarchical fund management, and encumbrance management. * Invoicing: Helps customers pay your organization for goods and services you’ve rendered them. Includes automatic payment reminders, credit card payment processing, and notifications. * Reporting: Create earning and expense reports to fully account for an organization’s funding, complete with detailed filtering options using transaction codes. Financial statements and reports can be exported in different formats, including CSVs, Microsoft Excel files, and PDFs, for use across departments. * Donation management: Track donations and pledges from donors and fundraising campaigns. Measure and anticipate inbound donations, process recurring donations with ACH or credit card payments, corporate donations, matched gifts, individual giving and any other source of contributions. * Grant management: Track an application’s status. When grants are awarded, funds can automatically be distributed to designated departments.Sage Intacct can create numerous reports.