At Enkel, there are many great reasons why we recommend QuickBooks Online (QBO) for our nonprofit clients. Not only is QBO the leading cloud accounting software, but parent company Intuit purposely built QuickBooks for nonprofits and other small to medium-sized businesses.
The history of QuickBooks makes a major difference. The service has existed since 1983, meaning it has decades of evolution and new features meant to advance the needs of NPOs. Recent updates to QuickBooks Online include features beyond tracking income and expenses, including flexible account mapping, employee document management, more flexible pay types, and more. This consistent evolution of features means that QuickBooks is a platform constantly adjusting to better fit the needs of businesses like yours.
As an outsourced bookkeeping provider, we see more and more nonprofit organizations relying on remote team members and volunteers who require ready access to key information. QuickBooks is available as an on-premise accounting tool. However, the cloud-based version allows NPOs to collaborate more effectively and our team to manage their books properly.
Here are the top 4 reasons why we recommend QuickBooks Online for nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofit accounting is unique
Nonprofit organizations that use fund accounting must track their accounts and expenses by program and fund. As such, NPOs must be able to show precisely which expenses came from what funds, thus proving the proper use of governmental or donor income.
Not only do its class functions make revenue and expense allocation easy, but QBO also:
- Allows you to run income statements by program or fund
- Automatically assigns overhead costs to the appropriate fundraising or administrative expense categories
- Offers a project management feature that makes grant financial management a breeze
- Generates reports that enable you to easily show fund income and expenditures
- Manage potential tax implications for income and expenditures within each specific fund
For example, by uploading your grant budget to QBO and setting it up as a new project, you can track associated revenue and expenses separately. QuickBooks also lets you pull budget variance reports to identify grant income and spending discrepancies.
Integrated apps and AI improve efficiency and accuracy
As the leader in cloud accounting software, QuickBooks Online accommodates hundreds of efficiency-driven, third-party app integrations. At Enkel, we regularly help NPO clients take advantage of such apps – including those geared toward managing donor data.
Many nonprofit organizations rely on QBO-integrated platforms like Keela or DonorPerfect, for example, to:
- Receive donations and engage with contributors
- Sync donation transactions directly with their accounting software
- Simplify the reconciliation process
The app-assisted workflows we’ve developed at Enkel allow us to move your bookkeeping transactions from invoice to payment without the need to duplicate data entry. By minimizing opportunities for error, accuracy is greatly improved.
App integration is not enough these days, and accounting programs must also ensure that they use Artificial Intelligence when appropriate. QuickBooks recently unveiled its AI-powered assistant. This program is designed to personalize and run reports, guide your goals, and connect you with humans when technology is inadequate. As such, QuickBooks continues to evolve in a way that ensures users have everything they need to get the most out of their accounting features.
Reporting and budgeting capabilities provide versatility and flexibility
Because NPOs tend to have different reporting requirements for stakeholders (be they grant funders, taxing authorities, or your board, for example), QBO’s customizable reporting is a major benefit.
QuickBooks lets us tailor client reports to meet individual preferences or reporting requirements - including regular reports like:
- Balance sheets (or your statement of financial position)
- Cash flow statements
- Accounts receivable and payable listings
- Tax statements
As mentioned earlier, using QuickBooks Online for nonprofit organizations also provides class functionality that supports the creation of program-specific income statements (or your statement of operations).
By entering your budget into QBO month-by-month, you can easily pull and examine budgeted vs. actual results to determine where you can expect to land for the year based on actual results to a point and budgeted data beyond that. Furthermore, the deeply customizable nature of these reports ensures that you can get the information you need and then customize the various data points and features by who is seeing these reports. In other words, you can use QBO's reporting system to create different reports for staff, donors, taxing authorities, and more.
Bank data access streamlines month-end
One of the biggest hurdles to turning around financial statements promptly at month's end is the availability of bank data.
As the leading player with Canadian banking integrations, Intuit allows most users to seamlessly sync bank account feed and statement data with their accounting system. These updates can be run daily, ensuring you have the most accurate information about your finances. In other words, The days of delays between needing the data to generate reports and having that information at your fingertips are long gone.
Not only will that save you time in terms of closing out each month more efficiently - and getting the monthly reports you need, faster - QuickBooks Online can streamline every aspect of your NPO bookkeeping, whether you need to:
- Capture and organize receipts
- Send out invoices and accept payments or donations
- Track sales and sales tax
- Confirm expenses by donor or revenue source
- Ensure that different staff members have different access levels to your accounting
Ready to learn more?
Contact us today and learn how our experienced NPO accounting pros regularly use QuickBooks Online to improve bookkeeping efficiency, transparency, and accountability for nonprofit organizations.
How We Select and Evaluate Our Software Recommendations
We thoroughly research and test the apps we include in our regular workflow for client bookkeeping services. After researching the app itself and deciding on our criteria for evaluating the software, we tested and evaluated the app, noting its strengths and weaknesses. We then work with the app for at least a few weeks before deciding whether to recommend it to our readers. We use the software as it was designed for its intended tasks. Enkel receives no consideration or compensation from software publishers for featuring their software in our blogarticles. For a detailed walk-through of how we select and evaluate software, please see the details of our process here.