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softwarereview-150For over 30 years, Grants Management Systems, Inc. (GMS) has focused on providing accounting and financial management/reporting software to non-profits. The founders of GMS worked in the nonprofit sector,  and  developed the   software specifically for non-profits to account for grants, contracts and activities.
Their goal was to provide a  software that would help nonprofits stay compliant with Federal and State guidelines while helping them manage their organizations. Today we are going to focus strictly on GMS’s  nonprofit accounting and financial management/reporting software.  

Brief Overview
The GMS Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Management/Reporting  software complies with the Financial Accounting Standards Board requirements for nonprofits and the Governmental Account Standards Board for State and Local Government (FASB 116 and 117). Furthermore, most GMS employees previously worked for nonprofits or public organizations prior to joining the GMS team. So to say that they know what they're talking about, is an understatement. The basic software  includes  General Ledger (Cash Receipts, General Journal, Monthly Processing, Budgeting, Cost Allocation, and Financial Reporting), Accounts Payable, Payroll (Time Accounting, Budgeting, Expense Reimbursements, Leave Accounting Payroll Direct Deposit and Check Writing). Packages are based on the size of the organizations and add-ons are available for those non-profits that desire to further customize the software.

GMS knows that it's difficult and often times frustrating to implement a new system. That's why they send out professionals to your office to teach you and your staff how to use the  software. In addition, in ongoing support , they have webinars and annual conferences, so you never feel like you're out of the loop.

In Use
Nonprofits and public organizations get the most use out of GMS. Through the software  employees can access all the important financial and accounting documents that are needed to run a nonprofit or public organization. For instance, no organization can properly run without payroll or general ledger. The software  comes with direct deposit, check writing, expense reimbursements, and cost allocation. And with quarterly updates available based primarily on client requests, if you do find a glitch, chances are it will be fixed.

Many nonprofits will often get into trouble because they don't realize that they're spending more money than the organization is taking in. With  the software, organizations can prepare a budget and stick to it. The software  allocates a Y-T-D Timesheet, Indirect Cost Budget, Program Budgets, and Agencywide Budget to make it easier for an organization to see how much money they have, so they can figure out how much money to spend.

Technology Employed
GMS requires certain hardware and software in order for the program to run correctly. The biggest requirement is that the computer is a PC, as it does not run on Macs. Other requirements include; Windows XP or higher, 4 GB of memory or higher, Microsoft Access version 2000 or higher, and SQL Server 2000 SP4, SQL Server 2005 SP2 or SQL 2008. Most companies already meet these requirements, but for those organizations that don't, complying with these rules should be relatively easy. 

Ease of Use, Configuration and Deployment
The GMS nonprofit accounting and financial management/reporting software is  great software for the technology illiterate. While most companies offer phone or web-based support, GMS in addition to phone and we-based support, offers in person support. They will send representatives to your company to teach you and your staff how to use the software. Although phone support is nice, having a representative next to you, guiding you through the software  is crucial. Not only will you comprehend the software  more thoroughly, it will take you less time to get acclimated to it, so you can spend more time focusing on your organization. 

Recap
Overall, the GMS Accounting and Financial Management/Reporting system  provides nonprofit and public organizations  software to manage all their accounting and finances. This program combines budget preparations, general ledger, and payroll, all in one. Organizations, can easily pull up a receipt from last year or pay their  employees with direct deposit. 

GMS comes to your company to configure the program and teaches you how to use it.  

Advantages 

• All your financial needs in one program
• In-person installation and configuration
• Phone and web-based support
• A majority of GMS employees worked in nonprofits prior to accepting their position.

Disadvantages

• In-person installation costs between $5,000 - $7,500
• Is not compatible with Mac

My Opinion
GMS has been a trusted partner of nonprofits for over 30-years. With over 30-years of experience and employees who have worked in the nonprofit sector before, they seem very in-tune with customers' needs and wants. With competition ranging from Cougar Mountain, Fund E-Z Accounting, and Quickbooks Premier – Nonprofit, they have to find a way to set themselves apart. In my opinion, GMS gives their customers more options when it comes to handling issues such as cash allocation and fringe benefits. 

It's also interesting to hear that they send employees to the nonprofit itself to install, configure, and teach staff how to use the program. This process is costly and time-consuming, but sets them apart from their competitors and ensures the nonprofit has a real grasp on the program. 

The only disadvantage I see is that GMS does not run on Apple Macs. With more and more companies choosing Apple systems, GMS may be alienating themselves. These companies are forced to go to a competitor. GMS may not see the loss of revenue now, but if they don't become Apple compatible in the foreseeable future, they may find their growth is limited. Last modified on Tuesday, 11 March 2014
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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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