Introduction to Nonprofit Accounting

Are you new to the nonprofit world? Welcome! Working for a nonprofit organization is truly rewarding and allows you to make a noticeable difference in the world.

If you’re new to nonprofits, you are probably new to nonprofit accounting as well. If that is the case, you’ve come to the right place to learn all about the nonprofit accounting industry and how to get started!

Our nonprofit consulting experts are going over the differences between nonprofit accounting and for-profit accounting, an introduction to nonprofit accounting software, and sharing additional resources to bookmark for reference.

Intro to Nonprofit Accounting Software

Nonprofit Accounting vs For-Profit Accounting

You might think that accounting is the same in both worlds. After all, accounting is about balance statements, credits, and debits, right? Wrong! They couldn’t be more different; using different software, different terminology, and different processes.

What’s the difference between the two?

Nonprofit accounting uses the following:


Nonprofit accounting uses funds. Funds are separate entities, requiring their own balance sheet, expenses, and income. And while your funds can be in the same checking or savings account, they have to balance separately.

Nonprofit Accounting Software

To help track and balance the various funds you’re working with, it’s best to use nonprofit accounting software, also known as fund accounting software. This software is designed specifically for nonprofits and is a much better option than using traditional accounting software and trying to customize it.


All industries have their own terms and the nonprofit world is no different, especially when it comes to accounting and finance. This glossary list is a great way to get accustomed to the words you’ll use pretty regularly throughout your NPO career.

Intro to Nonprofit Accounting Software

As mentioned above, nonprofit accounting software is your go-to platform to keep your funds, grants, and other financial-related tasks straight.

Why use nonprofit-specific software?

Fund accounting is truly unique. So trying to take a regular accounting platform and make it work for your nonprofit is bound to cause more headaches than actual results.

Fund accounting software is designed with your nonprofit in mind. Not only can it help you manage funds and grants, but it can also track and report on budgets, payroll, fundraising campaigns, and more.

Who makes fund accounting software?

There are quite a few companies that design and sell nonprofit accounting software:

  • MIP
  • Blackbaud
  • Aplos
  • Intacct
  • ACS Technologies

Nonprofit Accounting Resources

The following resources can help you learn more about nonprofit accounting and fund accounting software:

  • The Capital Business Solutions blog – Our blog is full of articles on fund accounting software solutions, ways to improve donor loyalty, and more. Bookmark our blog so you can come often for the latest articles
  • The Nonprofit Times
  • Classy
  • Blackbaud’s YouTube channel – Watch tutorials, customer success stories, and conference recaps to stay up-to-date on the latest in nonprofit accounting

Learn More About Nonprofit Accounting Software & Solutions

Nonprofit accounting can take some getting used to, especially if you’ve been in the for-profit world for a long time. However, leveraging the above resources can help you adjust easily. To learn more about nonprofit accounting software and solutions, reach out to our team at Capital Business Solutions at 888-249-6008 or fill out our contact form below to get started!

We also offer training and webinars to help you learn how to use MIP and Blackbaud accounting solutions. Let us know how we can help you as you start your journey in the nonprofit world.

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