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How to Change Your Nonprofit’s Accounting Software

How To Change Your Nonprofit’s Accounting Software

If your nonprofit is in the midst of shopping for new accounting software, here are a few tips to keep in mind for a pain-free switch.

Selecting the right nonprofit accounting system:

Accounting software is not one size fits all, so it is important to identify your needs ahead of time. For example, if you have outgrown your manual spreadsheets, you may be looking for something that’s a time-saver, cost effective, and simple to use. If you have been using business accounting software to manage your nonprofit’s finances, you may be ready to upgrade to a software that can accurately do fund accounting and automated tracking for contributions.

At Foundation Group, we have partnered with Aplos for accounting and donations software for our clients because we feel it provides the essential features needed by small and mid-sized nonprofits:

  • Accurately manage your finances using fund accounting
  • Quickly track donations and automatically prepare contribution statements
  • Securely accept donations online with branded donation webpages
  • Share real-time access with others, including a remote bookkeeper or an accountant for auditing, advice and preparation of annual returns
  • Affordable at only $30/mo for one user

How to easily set up your accounting software:

Once you’ve decided on a software, here are a few items you will want to have on hand to speed up the set-up process:

  • Financials: Either of these two financial reports as of 12/31 to be able to enter your starting balances and start the year fresh

Note: If you are also moving your payroll you will also need balances for your payroll withholdings

  • Accounts: To create your new chart of accounts, export your account list from your existing system or note general categories for income and expense accounts to get you started
  • Export Data: Run a report for every module in your old accounting system and export it into a hard copy to keep as a reference. You may not want to import all history into your new system if you are improving your accounting methods, but it will be important to keep the data as a reference.

Don’t wait to switch your accounting software!

The start of the year is by far the easiest time of year to move your accounting software, so take a few hours to look around and try out a few different systems to find a good fit for your nonprofit. We encourage you to try Aplos using their 15-day free trial. We think you will see why it is our recommended nonprofit accounting software. And remember, if you decide to subscribe to Aplos, use our code foundationgroup to receive 25% off for 6 months!

Greg McRay, EA

Greg McRay, EA

Greg McRay is the founder and CEO of The Foundation Group. He is registered with the IRS as an Enrolled Agent and specializes in 501(c)(3) and other tax exemption issues.

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