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Non-profit needs program to monitor finances
Old 02-13-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
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Non-profit needs program to monitor finances

My wife has been asked to get a program (Quicken?) to manage the finances of their little non-profit org. Needs are simple: Idenitfy members dues paid/not paid. Identfy income for different programs offered each year to members that require fees. Expenses incurred. Account balances. etc. I guess a simple spreadsheet would be fine, but when the next "treasurer" is assigned, the group wants something that can be understood and managed by someone who is not necessarily tech savvy.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, jpjr
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:57 PM   #2
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Quickbooks is the small business standard and is well understood by most tax preparers and CPAs. There may be better solutions out there but I always pointed out to my SCORE mentoring clients that they do not really want to pay CPA rates for someone to figure out unfamiliar software.

Quickbooks is not specifically oriented towards nonprofits but I used it for a dozen years for our 401c(7) flying club, billing about $350K annually. One nice thing was that I could prepare and email monthly statements for about 85 members in under ten minutes.

There are various flavors of certified QB consultants around. It would probably be good to get one of them to help set up the chart of accounts. I'm sure there is a lookup tool on the QB web site.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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Sounds like a simple spreadsheet would be adequate. If you use the spreadsheet that is part of Google Drive, it would be free.

Create a new Google account for this position, and it would be easily transferred to the next person in the job.

Or, you may want to go with something fancier, such as Quicken.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Clark View Post
... Or, you may want to go with something fancier, such as Quicken.
I have used both Quicken and Quickbooks for a couple of decades at least. Quicken is a fine personal finance manager, but it has none of the tools needed to create and track invoices, to create statements, or to track sales & profits by product line. QB is a fine business accounting program though it lacks almost all of what Quicken provides for monitoring investments.

Either can be tortured into becoming what it is not, but why? Just get the tool for the job to be done.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
I have used both Quicken and Quickbooks for a couple of decades at least. Quicken is a fine personal finance manager, but it has none of the tools needed to create and track invoices, to create statements, or to track sales & profits by product line. QB is a fine business accounting program though it lacks almost all of what Quicken provides for monitoring investments.

Either can be tortured into becoming what it is not, but why? Just get the tool for the job to be done.
I've never used either one.

From the information in the original post, I would build a spreadsheet. Seems like a spreadsheet would be appropriate and adequate, and I would use a free tool I'm already familiar with.

Of course, free is good, but free usually has a price.

I'm sure there are many tools that would work. Pick one you are already familiar with, if possible, to minimize the learning curve.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:00 PM   #6
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I guess to me it depends on how many members and programs that there are. If you're talking about relatively low numbers then a spreadsheet may be sufficient.... for larger numbers then Quickbooks has a lot of flexibility.... members can be defined as customers and programs as products.

I'm treasurer of a small social club of about 225 members with less than $50k of gross receipts annually. I use GnuCash, a free accounting program to keep track of our bank accounts, income and expenses.... our secretary keeps track of who has paid their dues and what programs they have made contributions to on a spreadsheet and gives me a summary of same periodically when I make deposits for same. I just use his subtotals and don't track dues or contributions by member since he already does it.

I import a trial balance from GnuCash into LibreCalc and do reports to our Board. It works ok. The prior Treasurer used an Excel spreadsheet instead of GnuCash. I could have used Quicken since I own Quicken but I decided to use GnuCash to try it out since my Quicken sunsets in April 2020 and if we end up with a new Treasuerer s/he can just download GnuCash and continue with the files that I maintain.

I have used QuickBooks with another non-profit that I work with and prefer QuickBooks.... but GnuCash is free and it is good enough for our modest needs.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:11 PM   #7
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I once worked with a non-profit, most folks think of non-profits as shoestring type groups, which might be why all the talk of free options.

The non-profit I worked with had an executive making over $100K per year, to meet with the volunteer board, shake hands, attend functions, etc...

They could afford whatever quicken costs to have a standard software that can be used by the next person to help out.

OP - So consider if this non-profit is too poor to pay for anything or not.
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Thanks for the input
Old 02-15-2020, 08:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input

Thank you all for your thoughts. Most likely we will do something with Quickbooks which appears to meet all our needs.

jpjr
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