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softwarereview-1501_thumbCYMA Not-For-Profit Accounting Software CYMA Not-For-Profit Accounting Software is geared for mid-level organizations that have a variety of accounting and human resources activities to conduct. It is a modular system that allows for organizations to choose ala carte the pieces that are relevant to their particular needs.
This means that as the organization grows and accounting needs expand, additional modules can be added to the existing system. Since the product was last reviewed on NP Tech News, several upgrades have been made, with the most significant being human resources capabilities and improved ability to track grant funds. Organizations that are looking to bring their payroll process in-house can benefit from adding that module to the overall system.

In Use

CYMA Not-For-Profit Accounting Software has been designed for mid-level organizations that conduct their accounting procedures in-house. It is best used by someone who has a solid understanding of accounting practices and understands what the organization’s needs are. That’s not so say that there is no support for those learning the system, as there is. CYMA is quick to note that they provide phone-based support that includes assistance evaluating the organization’s needs and determining the appropriate configuration based on those specific needs.

The system is not a one-size-fits-all approach, rather the modular set up means that they can work with you to choose which modules will benefit the organization and bypass those that are not relevant. The areas covered include:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Recievable
  • After the Fact
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • CYMA Alerts
  • General Ledger
  • Grant Tracking (integrates with General Ledger)
  • HRexPRess (TM)
  • Inventory Control
  • Job Costing
  • Payroll
  • Employee Self-Service
  • Purchase Order
  • Sales Order
  • System Manager

While versions are available for businesses, as well, the not-for-profit incarnation integrates aspects that are focused on the nonprofit sector. For example, statements of financial accounting that are specific to nonprofits (such as FASB 117 reporting) have been considered and developed within the software.

Technology Employed

This software is generally used in a server desktop configuration. While hosting is available, approximately 95% of those using the system have chosen to take the software in-house. It is recommended that the best target organizations for this product are those that have an on-staff IT specialist. If and when the organization determines that additional modules should be added, they can do so themselves using installation CDs or can seek assistance from CYMA. The modules simply “plug in” to the existing software on the organization’s server. There is also an interface that allows for “employee self service.” For example, with the payroll portal, HR can collect hours or distribute pay stubs online or through the organization’s intranet.

Ease of Use

Again, it is recommended that participating organization have an IT person on staff to install and maintain the system. That said, CYMA works to make the process as clear as possible. Their maintenance program (required) includes a variety of product guides and training opportunities. The software itself also includes a number of tutorials to assist with installation and operations. Additionally, they provide live phone support and feel they are a stand-out in the industry because of their commitment to answering the phone and working with customers immediately.

Navigation within the system itself is relatively easy. It employs the use of both tabs (for navigating to specific areas) and drop-down menus (for drilling down into the functionality). Entry screens can be customized, and the ability to add links to frequently-used portions of the system simplify and speed the process further. Reports tend to be straight-forward and easy to generate with Crystal Reports or F9 Financial Reporter. Data can be transferred from various other programs, including Microsoft Excel and donor management systems like Donor Express.

The system requires Windows XP or higher, and utilizes a Pervasive SQL database.

Recap

The system seems to be well-integrated for quite a variety of needs that come up in the nonprofit sector. The ability to start with your core needs and then expand as needed can offer a cost-effective method for getting started and maintaining the appropriate level as the organization grows. It is aimed at mid-level organizations, although some reviewers feel that its modular approach makes it an attractive choice for both smaller and larger nonprofits, as well.

Advantages

  • Good scalability so an organization can start small and build on as needed
  • Responsive customer service and support
Disadvantages
  • Requires fairly extensive accounting knowledge so may not be appropriate for smaller organizations
  • Complex enough to recommend an on-staff IT professional
My Opinion From the research I’ve done and the information gained from talking directly with the company, this product seems like something that offers a lot of benefits to nonprofit organizations. The fact that CYMA has a 30-year history also helps because it is unlikely that the company is going away, as well as providing them with a lot of experience in working with customers. With a 30-day free trial available, there is a great opportunity to take the software for a test drive to determine if it has the right functionality for a given organization. Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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