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Charity Accounting Software

Charity Accounting software helps non-commercial organisations track grants and donations and report on how these funds are being spent. Accounting software for charities can help automate your most important processes and reduce your reliance on spreadsheets.

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An Intelligent finance platform that aligns CPM processes such as Financial Close & Consolidation, FP&A, Reporting & Analytics Learn more about OneStream
OneStream is how today’s Finance teams can go beyond just reporting on the past and Take Finance Further by steering the business to the future. It’s the only enterprise finance platform that unifies all your financial and operational data, embeds AI for better decisions and productivity, and can extend to meet the evolving needs of your business, without adding technical debt. Our vision is to be the operating system for modern Finance, unifying core financial functions and empowering the CFO to become a critical driver of business strategy, innovation, and growth. We deliver the industry’s most comprehensive cloud-based platform to modernize the Office of the CFO. Our Digital Finance Cloud uniquely unifies key financial and operational data and processes, embeds AI for faster and better planning and forecasting, and is infinitely extensible so customers can add new utility and achieve more value as their business needs evolve. Learn more about OneStream

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
The leading accounting software for small businesses. Instant access to customer, vendor and employee information.
QuickBooks Enterprise (Save Up to 40%) is an end-to-end accounting software that can grow with your business. It provides all the tools your business needs, yet is easy to use. You can organize your books, manage inventory, track sales, and even run payroll, but at the fraction of the cost. With QuickBooks Enterprise, you save thousands of dollars a year vs. comparable solutions. Powerful and flexible, it also comes in editions designed to fit your specific needs. Take a free test drive today. Learn more about QuickBooks Enterprise

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting software and app that allows you to manage your business anywhere, anytime.
QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting software and app that allows you to manage your business anywhere, anytime. Used by over 7 million customers globally, QuickBooks provides smart tools for your business, yet is easy to use. You can organise your books, manage expenses, send invoices, track inventory, and even run payroll. With QuickBooks Online, you can get organised, save time, and even get paid fast by adding payment features. Best of all, you can try it for free for 30 days. Learn more about QuickBooks Online

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
NetSuite, the world’s #1 cloud ERP, provides the visibility and control needed to make smart decisions, fast, and grow with confidence.
NetSuite is an all-in-one cloud business management software that helps more than 37,000 organisations run their business more effectively. NetSuite automates core processes and provides real-time visibility into operational and financial performance. With a single, integrated suite of applications for managing accounting, order processing, inventory management, production, supply chain, and more, NetSuite gives companies clear visibility of their data and complete control of their business. Learn more about NetSuite

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
QuickBooks is an end-to-end accounting software that can grow with your business.
With QuickBooks Online Advanced (Save 50% on the first three months), you can organize your books, complete tasks that matter faster with automated approvals and reminders, and stay on top of your cash flow. With the revenue streams dashboard, you can understand which fundraisers and donors are strongest and which need help. You can also create board-ready presentations intuitively. With 24/7 premium care, get the support you need. Learn more about QuickBooks Online Advanced

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
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Sage Intacct is a web-based, SaaS accounting and financial management software system designed for use by enterprise businesses.
Sage Intacct is a cloud-native growth accounting solution designed to effortlessly provide you with strategic insights enabling you to scale your business. Set your operations apart leveraging the power of Ai and seamless integrations allowing you to combine financial & operational data. With more time in hand, focus on accelerating growth and drive impactful decision making with key metrics. Accelerating Growth: increase revenue, win more customers, and lead a stronger growth strategy for your business.​ Competitive Advantage: Leverage our AI, automation, consolidation, integration, and real-time reporting to make faster decisions and outsmart the competition.​ Unlock Team Potential: Delight both your finance team as well as business users with deep, real-time insights and new tools that empower them to do their best work.​ Return on Investment: Pay for your software (and then some) with the savings, profits, and growth from switching to a Growth Accounting Solution. Learn more about Sage Intacct

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
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Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a simple yet powerful online accounting solution designed for small business owners.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly Sage One) is an online accounting software that gives you anytime, anywhere access to the most important small business essentials. It has features that help you manage your cashflow and send and track invoices all through the cloud or on the mobile app. See why successful business owners choose Sage | Accounting. Visit our website for a complete list of features. Compatible with Mac/PC, Apple/Android. For a limited time only, try free for 3 months. Learn more about Sage Accounting

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Designed for nonprofits, Aplos provides true fund accounting, donor management, donation tracking, reporting, and more.
Aplos is a cloud-based, all-in-one fund accounting platform and financial management suite designed for nonprofits. Save time when you streamline your finances and operations. Create a customized chart of accounts for your organization, run standard and customized reports without using extra spreadsheets, engage your community and donors with communication tools, accept giving, manage donations, and more - all in one software. Aplos is quick to set up, easy to manage, and scales as your organization grows. We want you to succeed, so you'll also have a human Support Team to help with any questions you have. Learn more about Aplos

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Streamline financial processes and demonstrate accountability with Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT's complete fund accounting system.
Financial Edge NXT delivers intuitive cloud-based fund accounting software designed specifically to meet the needs of nonprofits and government entities. It is advanced technology with powerful reporting tools to help your accounting team drive efficiency, transparency, and financial stewardship while enabling you to seamlessly manage transactions, eliminate manual processes, and securely share information instantly. Report on financial activity from any device, anywhere with 24/7 accessibility. Learn more about Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Small Business cloud based accounting software to automate payroll, client management, tax and all your accounting needs.
MYOB Business is the fast and easy way to manage your cashflow and ATO compliance requirements. Includes time saving features that automates everyday tasks, giving you great insights and making compliance easy. Manage your business anywhere on your laptop or mobile. Keep your data safe and secure in the cloud. Get real-time cashflow, invoicing and payments. Try free for 30 days today. Learn more about MYOB Business

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Small business accounting made easy. Send invoices, collect payments, track expenses, create reports & make better financial decisions.
Kashoo is a time-saving, fully customizable, easy-to-use accounting software built for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s a great alternative to complicated accounting suites that are overkill for your size of business. Create invoices in a snap, get paid securely online, and track and view your financial data on any device, anywhere, anytime, from one login. Get access to all the critical financial data you need for your business and share access easil with your accountant. Learn more about Kashoo

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Omatic transforms data into value, empowering social good organizations to affect great change in the world.
Omatic Post to G/L bridges the gap between your nonprofit¿s fundraising and program management system and your financial accounting system by ensuring that accurate information can be exported in a format that is targeted for that system (like Banner Finance, PeopleSoft, Workday, and more). By defining configurable parameters, the exported data is easily integrated with accounting software, resulting in more expedient and accurate financial reporting, and eliminating the room for error. Learn more about ImportOmatic

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Decimal is a managed accounting service that delivers Real-Time bookkeeping for Small/Medium Businesses, Startups & Non-Profits
Decimal is a managed accounting service designed for small and medium size businesses. We pair you with a dedicated bookkeeper to manage your books, allowing you to do more of what you love. The Decimal software is used to communicate with your bookkeeping team, to connect your accounts, and to view your financial information. Using our automation technology, your dedicated bookkeeping team will do the rest - ensuring your financials are up to date, payroll is delivered, and taxes are filed. Learn more about Decimal

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Modern accounting software for small businesses and accountants including time tracking, invoicing, & digital payments.
ZipBooks is modern accounting, invoicing, and time tracking software for small businesses, contractors and accountants. ZipBooks makes managing your business simpler. Get paid with credit card or Paypal easily. Powerful, easy-to-use reports, industry best practices, and smart recommendations from ZipBooks help you make even smarter decisions. Learn more about ZipBooks

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
AccountEdge is a powerful, easy-to-use, small-business accounting software for the Mac and Windows desktop.
AccountEdge is a powerful, easy-to-use, small-business accounting software for the Mac and Windows desktop. With AccountEdge, business owners can organize, process, and report on their financial information so they can focus on their business. Its feature set is built to allow users to handle every aspect of their business, including accounting, integrated payroll, sales and purchases, contact management, inventory tracking, time billing, and more. Learn more about AccountEdge

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Accounting for Parent Groups (PTA, PTO, Boosters), Service Clubs, Teams, Leagues, Foundations, HOAs, Church Groups, Nonprofit Groups
MoneyMinder is simple accounting for volunteer groups. - Banking, Bookkeeping, Registers & Reconciliation - Budgets and Custom Chart of Accounts (COA) - Manage Membership, Dues and Reminders. - Generate Financial Reports. - Documents, Statements and Templates - e-File Tax Forms - Collect via Venmo, Paypal, Square or Stripe - Connect to your Bank Account to Import Transactions No ads, transparent pricing and U.S. based support. 20 years of trust from volunteer treasurers. Learn more about MoneyMinder

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Make budgeting & reporting a breeze with our intuitive, cloud-based software.
Our cloud-based budgeting, forecasting, & reporting software enables organizations of any size to create, execute, & analyze their budget in a fraction of the time it takes to set up & maintain a spreadsheet. Martus integrates with more than 20 ERP & accounting systems. Collaborate with your entire organization for simple budgeting & reporting while giving your finance team the data they need to gain actionable insights. Make budgeting a breeze with Martus! Learn more about Martus

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Multiview ERP is a highly scalable fully-integrated suite of financials that is highly configurable to several industries.
Our vision is to End Month End. For nearly 30 years, Multiview has been proudly advancing corporate finance and back-office operations alongside our clients so they can spend more time focusing on their business. We partner with clients to break down silos and automate accounting processes. We also provide greater access to information via industry-leading dynamic reports. Join us on our vision to End Month End, and help your organization Stop Chasing Numbers. Start Using them. Learn more about Multiview ERP

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
The preferred, industry leading fund accounting solution for nonprofit organizations and government entities
MIP Fund Accounting is a configurable fund accounting solution designed to meet and handle the complex accounting needs of nonprofit financial management. MIP's integrated software solution suite provides general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, budgeting, human resource management, payroll, fixed assets, advanced security and more. MIP Fund Accounting exclusively serves the financial management accounting needs for thousands of nonprofits and government agencies nationwide. Learn more about MIP Fund Accounting

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Full Suite of Accounting, Payroll and Fund Raising and Fund Accounting applications for nonprofit organizations.
FastFund Raising is a comprehensive, easy to use donor management tool. Track personal and demographic information for constituents. Record cash, pledge and in-kind donations. Donations can be split to more than one gift designation, credit gifts to solicitors, record memorial gifts, send acknowledgment letters, print gift receipts and pledge receivable statements. FastFund Raising can be a standalone package or can be integrated with the FastFund Accounting. 90 days of free support. Learn more about FastFund Software Suite

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Your all-in-one nonprofit management platform. From books and budgets to people and programs — manage it all in MonkeyPod.
MonkeyPod is an all-in-one nonprofit management platform. CRM / donor management, nonprofit fund accounting, email marketing, online fundraising, grant management, and more — all in one simple, integrated platform. MonkeyPod supports organizations as they grow by offering unlimited data: users, CRM records, email subscribers, fundraising pages, budgets, and more — all at no additional cost. MonkeyPod integrates with industry leading tools: Eventbrite, Gusto, Checkbook, Stripe, Calendly, and Jotform. Learn more about MonkeyPod

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Denali FUND accounting software is flexible and easily accessible, making it a perfect choice for small to mid-sized non profits.
Denali FUND is specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, with features that help deter fraud while managing complex restricted and unrestricted fund accounts. Denali has a full suite of accounting modules that provide all your accounting needs. Integrates with NeonCRM to bring you enhanced donor and grant management tools, plus campaign management to help your nonprofit grow. Learn more about Denali Fund

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
AccuFund online or onsite solutions provide easier access to information, better decision-making, and greater financial control.
AccuFund is a complete financial management system, available online or onsite, offering nonprofit organizations a strong core system and a wide assortment of modules, including grants management, payroll, human resources management, budget development, loan tracking, automation workflow, and many more that allow you to expand your solution as your needs evolve. Continual product enhancements and strong customer service ensures you always get the most out of your AccuFund solution. Learn more about AccuFund Accounting Suite

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
Springly is an all-in-one software package that simplifies the day-to-day management of nonprofits.
Springly, a brand of AssoConnect, is an all-in-one nonprofit management software. It helps organizations save time on daily management with features for fundraising, accounting, website building, emailing, and more. Rated 4.7/5 stars on Google, Springly has over 30,000 happy customers. Learn more about Springly

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting
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Optimise your non-profit's accounting with award-winning software. Intelligent accounting for better decisions and streamlined process.
Non-profit accounting is made easy with AccountsIQ's specialised financial management software. This award-winning solution is tailored to meet the unique needs of non-profits, enabling integration with donor platforms and handling SORP reporting for designated, restricted, and non-restricted funds. Our cloud-based functionality automates finance processes, while bespoke reporting, faster consolidation, and in-depth analysis promote collaboration. Learn more about AccountsIQ

Features

  • Bank Reconciliation
  • For Nonprofits
  • Accounts Payable
  • Fund Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Financial Reporting

Charity Accounting Software Buyers Guide

Charity accounting software is, as the name suggests, accounting software that focuses on managing the books of charitable organisations. Charities are granted certain tax exemptions, but they also face strict scrutiny relating to accounts to ensure that everything is above board. Like many tools, the right tool for the job can save time and money, and charity accounting solutions are designed for this job specifically.

In essence, this type of accounting software provides the same core set of features that other types of accounting software providers, but with the minutia of those features designed for charities rather than commercial businesses. This focus starts with small things, such as the terminology used throughout the software, and extends to significant aspects of charity accounting, such as governmental compliance and payroll management. As with many accounting software solutions, it is often possible to connect to banks directly for reconciliation between the charity’s accounts and the actual transactions that have been made.

The benefit of this type of software to charitable organisations is one of convenience and compliance. Being designed specifically for charity accounting, this type of software is much better suited to the task, making accounting tasks less time-consuming and more efficient due to the lower likelihood of errors. It also makes meeting the requirements of the government easier since the software can ensure that the charity’s books are in full compliance with all relevant tax laws.

The most obvious comparisons to draw when it comes to other categories of software are those of alternative accounting software solutions, such as church accounting software and construction account software. Like those examples, this software provides accounting tools geared towards a specific industry or sub-category of business.

The features included in charity accounting solutions can typically be separated into core and common features, with common features differing depending on the software solution in question. Core features, on the other hand, after often considered essential for a piece of software to be considered as part of the category and should be present in all charity accounting software solutions. Below are some of the core features that a software solution should offer to be considered as part of this category:

  • The ability to track and manage accounts receivable, though not every solution will support accounts payable, every charity accounting solution should allow for the handling of funds owed to the organisation
  • Fund accounting is an integral part of running a non-profit organisation since, as the name supplies, the goal is not to make a profit. Therefore, fund accounting should be supported in all charity accounting solutions
  • The ability to perform bank reconciliation should be part of any good charity accounting solution, as this can reveal discrepancies between the books and the actual transactions
  • Financial reporting will be a fundamental feature for most solutions in this category, as non-profit organisations often have to be far more open about their accounting than commercial companies

What is Charity Accounting Software?

Charity accounting software makes the process of keeping the accounts of charitable organisations more efficient and accurate. Like other types of accounting software, charity accounting solutions provide the means to track finances, create reports, pay bills, and more. The difference between this and other types of accounting software is the fact that this software is specifically geared towards non-profit organisations. The differences can seem minor, but non-profit organisations operate differently from more typical commercial organisations.

One of the most common ways non-profit organisations operate differently is in the openness of their accounting. While commercial businesses need to be able to account for all of their expenses and income, they don’t have to be quite as public about it as charities do. Non-profit organisations must be completely open about how money is spent and—for PR purposes—often have to put this information into easily digestible presentations. For this reason, financial reporting tools are essential for this type of software.

Many charity accounting solutions boast specialist features that allow the tracking of certain non-profit-specific items, such as tracking Gift Aid contributions, which allow charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated on qualifying payments. They will also provide donor management systems that allow a charitable organisation to record different kinds of donations, sometimes even providing the facilities to take payments directly through the organisation’s website. Modern charity accounting solutions—indeed, modern accounting solutions of all kinds—are increasingly moving towards cloud-native and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, making it easier for users to access the system remotely.

What are the benefits of charity accounting software?

Most benefits of using charity accounting software are focused on making accounting more simple and efficient. For the most part, regular accounting software intended for commercial organisations would be able to meet the needs of a non-profit organisation. However, charity accounting solutions incorporate functions that are designed specifically for dealing with non-profit accounting. Below are listed some of the more specific benefits that come with the use of a charity accounting software solution:

  • Data centralisation: As most modern accounting solutions are either provided as a cloud-native service or provide a cloud-native portal, users can benefit from the centralisation of data relating to donations, donors, and any other data the organisations need to store. Having data centralised reduces the opportunity for mistakes and delays because of miscommunications or inaccurate data since everyone will be working from the same information.
  • Easily searchable donor information: Having a single source of data is not the only advantage of having centralised data. Information on donors, suppliers, and other entities containing the organisation will be working with will be easily searchable. Having this information available quickly and easily can be essential, particularly when working to bring more donors on board.
  • Dedicated non-profit features: While regular accounting software can handle most of the tasks a non-profit organisation will need, charity accounting software is designed for this purpose. As a result, there are additional features tailored toward charitable work, such as tracking Gift Aid donations and enhanced financial reporting capabilities. These additional features make the overall process of accounting for a charity organisation that little bit smoother.
  • Reduced software maintenance costs: When switching to a software as a service option reduces the cost of maintaining the accounting software because that responsibility becomes the service providers. Additionally, because the service provider’s sole business model is providing these cloud-native solutions, they can put more time and effort into maintaining and upgrading that software than a typical business could. This is especially important for charity organisations, where every penny matters.
  • Improved insight: As with many business solutions nowadays, AI and other clever algorithms to gain useful insights are increasingly common in charity accounting solutions. These insights can help in the decision-making process for several things, such as matters relating to seasonal performance and the most effective marketing strategies.
  • Integration with other systems: Modern software solutions have become adept at integrating with other systems to provide a more cohesive experience, and charity accounting software is no exception to that rule. It is often possible to link these software solutions to relevant systems, such as inventory management and marketing strategy software.

What are the features of charity accounting software?

The features of charity accounting software are focused on making accounting easier for charitable organisations. There tend to be core and common features, with core features being present in almost all charity accounting solutions. Common features, on the other hand, can vary from solution to solution. Here are some of the most common features found in charity accounting software solutions:

  • Accounts payable: Non-profit organisations still have to pay their bills, and most charity accounting solutions provide the functionality to track accounts payable. This will typically include the ability to receive notifications when bills or invoices are due, and factor money owed out into financial reports.
  • Accounts receivable: Charity organisations do not only deal in the collection of donations. They can also sell merchandise, organise fundraisers, and run physical stores in much the same a regular business does, and for this, they will need to manage money owed to them. Accounts receivable are typically part of a charity accounting solution and will allow an organisation to track money that is still owed to them.
  • Fund accounting: Fund accounting is a system primarily used by non-profit companies. It allows for the tracking of cash assigned to different purposes without the notion of profit tracking being involved since the goal of a non-profit is, of course, not about profit. Charity organisations may have several funds set up for different purposes, and fund accounting makes it considerably easier to manage everything.
  • Bank reconciliation: Bank reconciliation provides a good deal of convenience when dealing with an organisation’s accounts, but it also makes compliance easier. Charitable organisations face higher scrutiny to be open and honest with their accounts, both from the government and the public, so making compliance easier can only be a good thing. This works by connecting the software to bank accounts so that logged transactions can be checked against the actual transactions that have gone in and out of the bank accounts, making it easier to spot discrepancies.
  • Financial reporting: Running a charity comes with higher expectations in terms of visibility and openness of accounting. It’s not just the government that needs to see the accounts, but the general public also. Indeed, a lack of visibility about how money is being spent by a charity can lead to distrust and, in turn, less support and fewer donations. Part of that visibility is made possible by robust financial reporting tools, making it possible to disseminate the organisation’s accounts in an understandable way for general consumption.
  • Gift Aid tracking: Gift Aid is a government scheme that allows charitable organisations to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated on eligible payments. Charity accounting software will often have a specific feature for tracking this money, along with similar schemes and alternatives in other countries.
  • Contact management: Building relationships with repeat donors is an effective way to secure funds, and that means being able to find the details of the donor in question when it is needed. Charity accounting solutions will often include fast, simple search functionality for finding the contact details of past donors, suppliers, and other organisations the non-profit has had financial dealings with.
  • Donation management: There are many ways to donate money or raise funds. Furthermore, it can help a charity organisation know which of those ways is most effective or which methods are perhaps underperforming and would benefit from a change of direction. Donation management allows an organisation to look at amounts and trends based on donation type.

What should be considered when purchasing charity accounting software?

When purchasing charity accounting software, it is essential to consider the benefits the software will provide for the organisation with. Most cloud-native solutions will likely work out more cost-effective than more traditional software solutions. However, it is worth ensuring that the features on offer and the price of the software will result in a net positive for the organisation. Especially given how important it is to reduce unnecessary spending. With that in mind, below are some of the more specific considerations a charitable organisation should have when considering purchasing a charity account software solution:

  • What are the key features of the software? In most cases, the first thing to consider when looking at new charity accounting software is the key features offered by a given solution and whether they meet the needs of the organisation in question. The features of this software can vary, and it can also be challenging to distinguish between accounting software that offers non-profit features and accounting software that is exclusively designed for non-profit use. Regardless, checking the offered features against what the organisation needs will yield positive results in most cases. This can also help reduce the cost of the software since additional features typically mean higher costs, and choosing a solution that doesn’t have certain features that the organisation doesn’t need should bring the costs down.
  • What is the cost-benefit of purchasing the software? Once the features have been checked off, the next thing to consider is the cost-benefit ratio of the potential software. This is a different calculation from the pure cost of the software, as it factors in the potential savings the software will make. For example, halving the time it takes to perform a particular task will result in lower costs in terms of time and wages. That saving can be used to offset the cost of the software itself. So, while a particular software solution may be more expensive in terms of pure cost, it can work out cheaper when any savings it will create are factored in.
  • Is the software cloud-native? In this day and age, the downsides to moving away from traditional software models to cloud-native applications—particularly for services like accounting—are so far outweighed by the positives that it makes little sense to not switch. Cloud-native applications allow users to connect from anywhere with an internet connection, which is particularly useful for charities, which often use volunteers that could be spread across the country. It also allows the organisation to benefit from centralised data, which means any changes to the system will be immediately visible to other users of the system.
  • Does the software offer integration with HMRC? It is becoming increasingly common for accounting software to integrate seamlessly with HMRC to allow companies to do things like automatically submitting tax information from within the software itself. This can be a valuable time-saving function and eliminates the possibility of mistakes being made in copying the relevant data from the accounting software to the HMRC website.
  • Will the software integrate with existing systems? Non-profit organisations will typically have to make use of many types of software in the course of business. From event organising software to inventory management. To ensure smooth operation, any potential accounting solution should work well with these other software solutions. If those other solutions are also modern cloud-native apps, there is a chance they could integrate seamlessly with the accounting solution.
  • Does the software provide robust financial reporting tools? As mentioned above, charities have higher expectations of transparency when it comes to their accounting, as not only does the government need to see where the money has gone, but the openness with the public can lead to more trust and donations. Having adequate financial reporting tools makes it much easier to export and share that information with the relevant parties.
  • Does the software have adequate access control based on permissions and authority? Charities will often have a lot of people working for them, be it as paid staff or volunteers. It can make running the organisation much smoother if all the people who need to log financial data or record payments can have direct access to the accounting software. With adequate access control, users can be assigned permissions that determine what they can access and what sort of changes they can make in the system, allowing for more users to have access to the accounting software without compromising security.
  • How does the software handle user data? From suppliers to staff members to donors, a charity accounting solution will need to handle and store a lot of user data. This is a particularly contentious issue in a time when personal data and privacy is a hot-button topics. Most software as a service solutions should have a robust data security policy in place, but it is always worth making sure any potential solution meets all relevant regulations regarding personal information and data security.

The most relevant charity accounting software trends are related to integration and artificial intelligence. As the world of business moves ever more into the cloud, integrating with other systems and services lessens and even removes various points of friction for donors. Here are some of the most relevant trends within the field of Charity accounting software:

  • Integration: Integrating with other services through APIs and partnerships will create more opportunities for charities to receive donations. This is likely to be a focus for charity accounting software developers going forward, as the easier it is to make donations, the more effective a charity can potentially be.
  • Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence has opened many doors relating to gaining insight from large sets of data. Charities—like any other business—can benefit immensely from detailed analysis of past data and trends, and so the greater insight offered by AI will likely continue to be a focus for developers.
  • Direct donor interaction: Offering ways for donors to make donations directly is an effective solution that removes any middlemen from the equation. Charity accounting software is likely to continue to make use of this while also borrowing from other crowdfunding methods, such as allowing subscription-style repeat donations and providing a dashboard for donors to manage their payments.

Sources:

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra’s directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document:

  1. Capterra (Date accessed: Tuesday, June 28th, 2022)
  2. Wikipedia - Nonprofit Organisation (Date accessed: Tuesday, June 28th, 2022)
  3. UK Government - Gift Aid (Date accessed: Tuesday, June 28th, 2022)