19 Effective Nonprofit Accounting Software Tools

Website & Technology June 27, 2022

Kate Hawkes

By Kate Hawkes

Nonprofit accounting can get complicated, especially for organizations using outdated systems. If you don’t have the right financial planning tools and strategies, you may find yourself making errors or taking hours to perform even simple, routine tasks. 

Tracking payments in multiple areas, creating reports from scratch, and constantly switching between different systems to manage donations, invoices, and payroll can eat up your time and energy quickly. 

If this is the situation you find yourself in, don’t despair. There are plenty of software accounting solutions tailored to nonprofits that can suit your organization’s unique needs and reduce the time required to track finances. 

To help start your search, we’ve rounded up the most popular options to create this list. We’ve also highlighted the major benefits of each and provided advice on the kind of nonprofit they might suit best.

Whether you’re creating a new nonprofit, hoping to revamp your financial system, or simply looking to simplify certain tasks such as filing your Form 990, this guide is for you.

What is Nonprofit Accounting Software?

Nonprofit accounting software helps organizations manage financial administrative work, such as incoming and outgoing payments, budgeting, and reports. Unlike general accounting software that focuses on the amount of profit made, these programs are designed to handle project-focused accounting.

Many also include tools for:

  • Accepting donations

  • Planning and reporting for specific grants

  • Presenting figures in a transparent way to donors and board members

These platforms allow organizations to manage many elements of their finances in one place. They even help automate some recurring tasks, reducing the chance of errors and duplication and saving valuable hours each week.

Top Nonprofit Accounting Software

This guide brings together the top accounting software solutions that many nonprofits use, listed in alphabetical order. There are options for organizations of all sizes and budgets and each has a unique set of features. Take a few minutes to read through and see which might suit your nonprofit best.

Before you decide, ask these questions to decide which is the right software for you:

  1. Is the system easy to learn? Is there support available?

  2. How quickly do you need the software to be set up?

  3. What specialized features will you need? These features might include a platform to file your Form 990-N or the ability to create custom reports. 

  4. Do you need integration with other systems?

  5. How secure is the system?

Once you’ve created your shortlist, sign up for the demos and free trials they offer. Also, get in touch with the companies to find out more details, as well as any deals they might have on pricing. 

If you’re unfamiliar with accounting terms and lingo, we’ve also included a glossary of some of the finance and software terms that come up frequently in this list. To view it, just scroll down to the bottom of this page or follow this link.

With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be ready to choose a software solution that will help you set up quicker, more accurate finance procedures. This can free you up to focus on your nonprofit’s mission.

1. WildApricot + QuickBooks

  • Great for: Nonprofits looking for an all-in-one cloud-based solution

  • Cost: QuickBooks starts at $22/month. WildApricot starts at $48/month.

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free 30-day trial

  • Demo: Register for a trial and you’ll receive links to videos and webinars that show WildApricot in action.

WildApricot is a complete membership management software solution for small and medium-sized nonprofits. Over 3,800 nonprofits save up to 20 hours each week by automating admin tasks such as email communications, membership renewals, event registrations, and online payments. WildApricot integrates with QuickBooks, a robust accounting software that handles invoices, receipts, bank reconciliation, bill payments, and expense tracking, so you can seamlessly manage your nonprofit’s finances.

2. File990

  • Great for: Nonprofits of any size with single or multiple chapters

  • Cost: $49.99/filing for 990-N; $69.99/filing for 990-EZ

  • Demo: Register here to schedule a demonstration

  • Trial: N/A

File990 makes filing your nonprofit’s taxes easier with their comprehensive filing software. Users answer a few simple questions and File990 does the rest. As an authorized e-filer with the IRS, File990 will submit your tax returns quickly and securely. Whether you're filing a form 990n or 990ez, this solution can help you file easily. For larger organizations, File990 helps you stay organized with their enterprise option by providing real-time updates when your individual chapters have filed and even sends out reminders as tax season is approaching so you don’t miss deadlines.

3. Aplos

  • Great for: Small nonprofits and churches looking for an easy-to-use platform

  • Cost: Starts from $39.50/month

  • Demo: Register here to watch a free demo

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free trial

Aplos is an online solution for small to medium-sized nonprofits and churches that prides itself on being straightforward to use. All plans include customizable donation pages, fund accounting, and reporting, but the Core plan also includes recurring transactions, custom tags for filtered reports, and more. Lastly, the Advanced plan adds to this with income and expense allocations, fixed asset tracking, multi-location management, and more.

4. Fund EZ

  • Great for: Larger nonprofits looking for a secure system

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Request a demo here

  • Trial: 30-day free trial

Fund EZ is a fund accounting software solution that enables you to create and track budgets for multiple projects and funding sources. Fund EZ is ideal for large nonprofits and organizations with complex accounting needs. The interface makes large volumes of data easy to sort, filter and export, and you can grant user rights by function, hiding sensitive data as required. Automatic backups, crash protection, and audit features that track data modifications keep your data secure and keep you in control.

5. QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit

  • Great for: Nonprofits that already use QuickBooks

  • Cost: QuickBooks starts from $22/month. Desktop premier has a one-time fee of $549.99. 

  • Trial: N/A

  • Demo: N/A

QuickBooks is one of the best-known accounting software solutions, and the Desktop Premier package adds industry-specific features, allowing existing QuickBooks Premier nonprofit users to also manage grants, donors, and programs. You can create custom reports for each fund or project, accept donations and stay IRS-compliant. QuickBooks integrates with many other programs, so you can build a customized solution that suits your organization. Keep in mind that because it is a locally installed software, it does not allow for the flexibility of accessing it anywhere that a cloud-based system offers.

6. Argenta Software

  • Great for: Nonprofits and political organizations

  • Cost: Starts at $150/month

  • Demo: Visit this page to watch a free demo

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free 14-day trial

Argenta by Devscape focuses on integrating and automating daily tasks, saving you time to spend on the things that really matter. There are even built-in checklists and project management tools to help you keep on top of everything, and real-time campaign analytics that let you track your successes as you go. Donations, expenses, and invoices can be added to the fund accounting system with the touch of a button, and the cloud-based system ensures your data is accessible whenever and wherever you need it.

7. Blackbaud

  • Great for: Large nonprofits with multiple departments

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Request a demo here

  • Trial: N/A

Blackbaud has a large range of nonprofit solutions, including their accounting software, Financial Edge NXT. Their Nonprofit General Ledger structure enables reporting by project, grant, department, or any characteristic that suits your organization, and you can also create multiple “what if” budget scenarios to measure the impact of potential change. Financial Edge NXT is suited to larger nonprofits with complex accounting needs. It’s designed to work with other Blackbaud products such as Raiser’s Edge and offers control tools to ensure compliance and prevent fraud.

8. Breeze + QuickBooks

  • Great for: Churches and church-based nonprofits

  • Cost: QuickBooks starts at $22/month and Breeze is a single price of $67/month

  • Demo: Start an instant demo here

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free 30 day trial of QuickBooks

Breeze is a web-based church management software option. With Breeze, you can store and search data on members, communicate with groups, schedule events, and track donations. The data from donations and contributions can then be imported directly to your Quickbooks account, with all the usual features on this platform. Breeze makes the software really straightforward to join: they have one price, with full access and support included, and they will even import all your data for you at no extra cost.

9. Denali

  • Great for: Nonprofits looking to strengthen internal security

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Register here to schedule a demo

  • Trial: 60-day free trial available

Denali Fund is designed for small to medium-sized nonprofits with multiple funds and can either be an on-premises or a cloud-based accounting solution. Their fund accounting software emphasizes security — their uncompromising internal controls allow nonprofits to maintain oversight of staff and define role-based access for each user. Denali allows for both unlimited and restricted funds and gives you the ability to create custom reports.

10. Accufund

  • Great for: Nonprofits and government agencies

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Sign up for a live demo here

  • Trial: N/A

AccuFund is geared specifically towards nonprofits and government agencies and has industry experts available to help support users. The software is available as either an on-premise or cloud-based solution, and there is a range of add-on modules including payroll and grants management, making this a fairly flexible solution. Core features include accounts payable, budgeting, bank reconciliation, cash receipts, and a financial report writer.

11. Aptean

  • Great for: Nonprofits looking for a business-like approach to finances

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Register here to schedule a demo

  • Trial: N/A

Aptean focuses on requirements specific to nonprofits, including being able to handle international projects and currencies, donor rosters, and varying reporting periods. You can export reports to MS Office applications with just a few clicks, making them easily shareable with board members. Aptean gives access to general ledger, accounts payable, and payroll applications, and has the fund accounting features frequently requested by nonprofit organizations.

12. MIP Fund Accounting

  • Great for: Growing nonprofits looking for a solution to grow with them

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Register here to schedule a demo

  • Trial: N/A

MIP Fund Accounting software is scalable, customizable, and has offerings for both small and large organizations. It offers both on-premise and cloud-based options and even has a mobile app to enable access on the go. Standard features include a general ledger, accounts payable, and budgeting functions, and optional extras include payroll, human resources, and multi-currency functionality. With 25 modules you can choose from, MIP lets you build a solution that suits your nonprofit.

13. Nonprofit Plus

  • Great for: Large nonprofits looking for extra services

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Request a demo here

  • Trial: N/A

Nonprofit Plus uses the Acumatica finance suite to offer a range of functions. In addition to fund accounting, you can also manage your board, volunteers, donors, grants, and budgets. Nonprofit Plus works with a range of industries and offers additional services including software development, project management, and consulting. This is a comprehensive solution, designed for enterprise-level nonprofits.

14. Araize FastFund Online

  • Great for: All sizes of nonprofits and small governmental agencies 

  • Cost: Starts from $42 a month for FastFund Accounting 

  • Demo: Register here for a demo

  • Trial: Sign up here for a  free trial

FastFund Online is the only cloud solution that seamlessly integrates nonprofit accounting, fundraising, and payroll in one system.  Designed by CPAs, FastFund Accounting features true fund accounting and functional accounting, allowing you to report on funds, programs, grants, and projects. FastFund is an affordable, modular system that allows you to quickly get up and running and includes free support from a staff of CPAs and accountants that understand the unique fiscal challenges of nonprofits.

15. Sage Intacct

  • Great for: Nonprofits that use Salesforce

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Register here to watch a demo

  • Trial: Sign up here for a 30-day free trial

Sage Intacct has an open API structure, meaning that it allows the accounting system to integrate with other business applications like your CRM or payroll, including Salesforce. As well as a general ledger and accounts payable, Sage also has purchasing, cash management, and a reporting dashboard as core features, and you can add additional modules such as contract billing and project accounting to customize the platform.

16. Sparkrock 365

  • Great for: School boards, nonprofits, and human service organizations

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: Schedule a demo here

  • Trial: N/A

Sparkrock is made for large nonprofits with a generous budget seeking fund and grants accounting, alongside accounts payable, accounts receivable, and budgeting. Additionally, it has products that provide workforce management and K-12 school board management, so it’s particularly well placed to work for schools. Because it’s built on the Microsoft platform, it works seamlessly with Skype and Office 365 applications. Sparkrock stands out with their support: as well as unlimited access to the support desk, they host a user conference, offer a selection of training videos, and have a team of expert consultants standing by.

17. AccountEdge Pro

  • Great for: Desktop accounting

  • Cost: $399 one-time fee (currently discounted to $349)

  • Demo: N/A

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free 30-day trial

AccountEdge Pro is a desktop accounting solution for small businesses, with an optional cloud app for more flexible access. It allows you to manage banking, credit card and expense accounts, and set up recurring transactions that include a reminder to record them. It has a comprehensive payroll system with a setup assistant that walks you through getting started, and an option to add on a payroll tax module for an additional fee. 

AccountEdge will also send a free copy of the software to your accountant to make sure you’re on the same page.

18. Workday Adaptive Planning

  • Great for: Financial planning and forecasting

  • Cost: Contact for a quote

  • Demo: View a quick demo here

  • Trial: N/A

Workday Adaptive Planning is an analytics and financial planning software that can help your nonprofit with budgeting, planning, and forecasting. Self-service reporting allows you to include multiple dimensions and the interactive dashboards make it easy to track KPIs. Accurately plan revenues and expenses, model different scenarios, and incorporate contingency planning to help allocate resources and budget for your nonprofit’s future.

19. Zoho Books + Nonprofit Add-Ons

  • Great for: Easy access to your dashboard

  • Cost: Starts from $120/year plus free nonprofit add-ons

  • Demo: Explore the demo account here

  • Trial: Sign up here for a free 14-day trial

Zoho Books is online accounting software for small businesses, with features that manage expenses, track inventory, create invoices and generate reports. It’s cloud-based, and you can access the dashboard from your iOS, Android, or Windows device. Zoho isn’t specifically for nonprofits, but it does offer two nonprofit modules: Donor Management and Volunteer Portal. These free add-ons allow you to keep a database of donors, and send notifications to volunteers when you create events near them.

Glossary of Accounting Terms

This is just a quick guide to terms used in this list — you can find a more complete glossary on the NYSSCPA or Accounting Coach websites.

Accounts payable — The money your nonprofit owes other organizations.

Account receivable — The money that other organizations owe your nonprofit.

Bank reconciliation — A statement that identifies the differences between the balance shown on your bank statement and the balance shown in your records.

Cloud-based software — Software or services available via the Internet.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) — Technology used to manage interactions with customers.

Dashboards — A financial reporting tool that shows summaries of key data trends.

Forecasting — Projecting future trends based on past data.

Form 990 — A form that the Internal Revenue Service of the United States requires tax-exempt organizations to complete.

Fund accounting — A system of accounting that tracks finances according to a particular project or purpose.

General ledger — The master set of accounting records for your nonprofit.

Grants management — The tasks required to handle the financial, reporting, and program requirements of a grant according to the satisfaction of the body funding the grant.

Inbound cash flow — Money that your nonprofit receives through transactions.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) — Measurable factors used to track success.

Locally installed software — Software that can only be used on specific computers that have had the program installed.

On-premises software — Same as above.

Restricted funds — Money that can only be used in a specified way.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, this roundup has helped you start building your accounting software shortlist — there’s something here to suit every nonprofit. You’ll be filing your Form 990, reviewing custom-built reports, and managing all financial considerations more conveniently in no time. Good luck with your search!

Related Resources:

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Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

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