Whether you’re looking for accounting software because your organization has outgrown its current software, or because you’re finally ready to leave Excel spreadsheets behind, it can be a complicated and long process. But it doesn’t have to be!
There are a lot of ways you can simplify the process while still doing your research. Below, we’ll share tips and tricks to help you choose accounting software for your nonprofit organization. While you’re at it, check out these 3 mistakes people make when choosing their nonprofit bookkeeping software!
3 Tips for Choosing Your NPO Bookkeeping Software
Create a List of Your Must-Have Features
Your first step in choosing new nonprofit accounting software is making a list of things you need in a program, including the price range you need to stay in. Once complete, this list can serve as a litmus test for all the solutions you end up considering. If a program doesn’t meet the must-haves on your list, then it shouldn’t be a contender anymore.
This doesn’t mean the list is the be all end all of your research, but it can help make sure you keep the most important features you need top of mind. Once you start talking to representatives and consultants, it can be really easy to get blinded by the bells and whistles of software that doesn’t really fit your needs.
Keep your list handy, make copies, and make sure everyone involved in the software choosing process knows what you’re looking for.
Check Review Sites
Software is a major investment. Not only can it be costly for your organization, but it takes time and energy to set the system up, train your staff, and ensure it complements your existing processes.
One of the first things you should do after you’ve made a shortlist of potential choices is visit several software review sites to read how other people feel about their fund accounting solution. Popular software review sites include:
These reviews from real people that use the software give you insight into the user friendliness of the program, cost (as compared to other similar solutions), industries that use the solution, and so much more.
Each review site has their own unique advantages so it’s worth checking the reviews on each site for every option you’re considering. Having as much information as possible is key to making the right decision for your team.
Like we said before, fund accounting solutions aren’t cheap. And if you’re going to spend the money on a new system (to ultimately better your organization and give you more time and resources) then asking questions is an absolute must!
As you’re talking to consultants about their software, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might think they’re small or trivial, but you need to make sure the software will work the way your organization needs it to.
Examples of questions to ask:
- How many users can I have? Does it cost extra to additional users?
- Are training, set-up, and/or installation included in the cost of the software? If not, how much extra will that cost?
- What kind of support do you offer? Phone, chat, email? Is there an online knowledgebase I can reference?
- Will I have a dedicated account manager I can call if I need something?
- Do you offer training for new accountants? Or refresher training to keep our staff up-to-date?
- How can I find out about new features or modules?
No questions is too small or silly. Get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
Let Capital Business Solutions Help You Implement New Accounting Software
Picking bookkeeping software is no easy task. At Capital Business Solutions, we provide a variety of nonprofit accounting software solutions, along with in-person training, ongoing training for new employees, and a dedicated account manager. Learn more about which program would be best for your needs and schedule a demo by calling us at (888) 249-6008.