Professional Guide to Evaluating and Selecting Not-for-Profit Accounting Systems

By ASA Research



The purpose of this report is to help you evaluate and select an appropriate not-for-profit accounting system to meet the current and anticipated future needs of your organization. ASA Research has a twentyfive year track record of publishing the most comprehensive independent reports and papers on this subject in the industry. The goals of this report are as follows:

  • To help you identify and understand the key features and functions to look for when evaluating and selecting a not-for-profit accounting system.
  • To help you understand the critical steps necessary to conducting a proper evaluation and selection.
  • To help you formulate a reasonable timeline for conducting the evaluation and selection process.
  • To help you understand the importance of selecting a trustworthy and proven reseller to assist you in implementing the system and training of your staff on the new system.
  • To help you understand the costs associated with this complete process.
  • To help point you towards those top products that are highly respected and well-proven in the industry.
  • As a conclusion to this report, we have provided a listing of selected not-for-profit solutions available today (with web site addresses), along with a table comparing the significant not-for-profit features we identified against selected leading not-for-profit solutions.

Understanding Not-For-Profit Accounting

Before you expend another moment conducting an extensive evaluation and review of prospective not-for-profit solutions, you should first take time to review the accounting and financial reporting requirements demanded of not-for-profit organizations. This section of the report provides a checklist of these unique accounting and reporting requirements, and provides detailed descriptions. To help the reader better understand the features described herein, examples of each feature and function are included using Serenic Navigator from Serenic Corporation, a top not-for-profit accounting solution.

Not-for-profit organizations can require all of the same features and functionality as traditional “for-profit” companies, and more. Many not-for-profit organizations manage inventory, operate retail stores and web stores, conduct business in foreign countries, and maintain multiple locations. For these reasons, many not-for-profit organizations need traditional accounting software solutions such as inventory management, retail point-of-sale, e-commerce, warehousing and distribution, multi-national support for multiple languages and currencies, and consolidation capabilities. To help prove this point, summarized below are types of not-for-profit organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service along with a description of common scenarios in which these organizations might need “for-profit” functionality beyond the core financial accounting solutions.

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