At Enkel, there are a lot of great reasons why we recommend QuickBooks Online (QBO) to our NPO clients. For starters, not only is QBO the leading cloud accounting software, parent company Intuit purposely built QuickBooks for nonprofits and other small to medium-sized businesses.
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. And while QuickBooks is available as an on-premise accounting tool, the cloud-based version allows NPOs to collaborate more effectively – and our team to properly manage their books.
Here are the top 4 reasons why we recommend QuickBooks Online for nonprofit organizations.
1. Nonprofit accounting is unique
Nonprofit organizations that use fund accounting are required to track their accounts and expenses by program and fund.
Not only do its class functions make revenue and expense allocation easy, 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
By uploading your grant budget to QBO, for example, and then setting it up as a new project, you can separately track associated revenue and expenses. QuickBooks also lets you pull budget variance reports to identify discrepancies in grant income and spending.
2. Integrated apps 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.
3. Reporting and budgeting capabilities provide versatility
Because NPOs tend to have different reporting requirements for different stakeholders (be they grant funders 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
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).
And 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.
4. Bank data access streamlines month-end
One of the biggest hurdles to turning around financial statements in a timely manner at month-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.
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 has the capacity to 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
Contact us today and find out how our experienced NPO accounting pros regularly use QuickBooks Online for nonprofit organizations to improve bookkeeping efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
How We Select and Evaluate Our Recommended Software
We thoroughly research and test the apps we include in our regular workflow for Client bookkeeping services. After deciding on criteria for evaluating the software and then researching the app itself, we tested 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. For a detailed walk-through of how we select and evaluate software, please see the details of our process.