products. Now that the .net migration is complete, we are going to immediately begin the creation of a web-based product.”
Araize plans on adding bank integration, and more integration with third-party applications through an open API to the Fastfund Online system, while Netsuite’s Carey said, “Our three-year roadmap for the nonprofit vertical focuses on three priorities: unprecedented financial transparency to allow nonprofits to easily report all required financial data to internal stakeholders, donors and statutory authorities; connecting dollars to outcomes to allow nonprofits to calculate and manage their organization based on cost per outcome in real time; and finally, transforming donor/member experiences to optimize fundraising and membership revenue.”
Not just counting beans
CRM is one popular application that a number of vendors offer. Accufund’s Scotland feels it’s very important to offer more capability than just accounting, and his company does so by both extending its offering and partnering with other industry vendors. “Accufund provides seamless integration between Salesforce and our Accufund Accounting Suite to provide a powerful, streamlined solution for nonprofits. The real-time integration offers time-saving benefits that allow nonprofit organizations to improve efficiency, reporting and overall organizational management. Beyond our Accufund Accounting Suite and our Government Accounting Suite, we are an industry leader in representative payee software. Accufund is also excited about our continued work with endowments and our newly released Endowment Management System.”
Araize is another vendor that extends its accounting application. “We feel it is extremely important to provide a total solution encompassing nonprofit accounting, donor management and payroll, which provides our users with a single solution and source for support for their critical back-office financial responsibilities,” Scarano told us. “Payroll is especially important since we provide the ability to allocate employees’ salaries and payroll taxes to multiple programs and grants, and there is seamless integration and posting of detailed payroll data from payroll to accounting.”
And Red Wing’s Hilton noted that while they do not offer CRM or donor management, they do offer payroll: “Red Wing Software offers Centerpoint Payroll, which can be seamlessly integrated with Centerpoint Fund Accounting. In addition, RVS Utility Software has a direct interface to Centerpoint Fund Accounting.”
Another vendor offering ancillary software is GMS: “We offer Revolving Loan Servicing Software. Our RLSS is a perfect fit for a lot of our client base as organizations such as planning and development councils are nonprofit organizations that service clients/companies in need. Moreover, our two products are completely integrated,” Cassady explained.
Other vendors offer even more comprehensive applications. According to Aplos, their customers, regardless of size, still need a database for their people, an email platform, a website, a reliable online donation processor, a donation tracking software, and an event registration software in addition to their bookkeeping. “We decided to bundle our software so all accounting subscriptions come with the complete nonprofit management system,” Goetz said. He also mentioned that they have added online event registration and ticket sales and a website builder this year, as well as a complete donor management system and online donation processing that is included in every subscription.
And, for nonprofits that need it, both Netsuite and Serenic offer complete ERP systems.
Here, there, and everywhere
A number of vendors we spoke with indicated that they are completely cloud-based, including Accufund, Aplos, Araize and Netsuite. Others, such as Serenic, GMS, Red Wing Software and Blackbaud, offer a variety of in-house, cloud-based access and hosting options.
Mobile access is also increasingly important to our vendors. Some, such as Araize, offer mobile access through a PC’S web browser rather than a dedicated IOS or Android app.
According to Netsuite’s Carey, “Mobile access is critical. Netsuite’s mobile app features easy expense reporting, call-logging and time-tracking in a mobile interface filled with mobile dashboard portlets and KPIS. Available for IOS and Android, the applications are designed with a mobile-first UI for key workflows, and support push notifications for time-sensitive actions.”
Accufund also embraces mobility. “In this day and age, our clients demand mobile access,” Scotland said. “Accufund has responded with a variety of mobile-access solutions. Our browser-based accounting solution, Accufund Anywhere, allows users to manage their accounting on any device. Accufund’s Soft Clock timekeeping app for tablets provides seamless integration with our Payroll System. Our mobile Work Order app allows in-the-field data entry for Accufund’s Work Order component.”
Nothing can go wrong …
Machine learning, artificial intelligence and voice assistants are hot topics in the accounting profession. Oracle Netsuite and Blackbaud are all in. “With the Oracle acquisition of Netsuite comes tremendous ability to leverage the market-leading efforts of Oracle in the machine learning and artificial intelligence space,” said Carey. “Oracle delivers a pervasive approach to AI, embedding AI into its applications, and providing an AI development environment coupled with a world-class infrastructure to run specialized workloads.”
And Blackbaud’s Blanton added, “Blackbaud’s ‘Intelligence for Good’ approach combines big data, artificial intelligence, analytics and expertise. Our accounting solutions already include descriptive and predictive analytics, as well as ‘smart’ actions like automatic bank reconciliation. Blackbaud is researching several directions to encompass ML/AI within our product portfolio, including contribution analytics, accounts payable and fraud detection.”
Some, such as Serenic, are in the process of evaluating or implementing the newest technologies. “Microsoft recently announced the connection of Business Central to the Intelligent Edge so that on-premise customers will be able to benefit from a new level of AI potential. Serenic is assessing the value of this capability for our customers and market,” said Bleiker.
Araize is another vendor in the