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Kintera FundWare (www.kintera.com/fundware) is an all-encompassing set of applications capable of handling the needs of not-for-profit agencies of a range of different sizes. The complete system includes 24 separate modules that can be installed as needed in order to configure the system to suite the needs of the organization.

FundWare can be installed on a single computer for use by a single operator, or can be set up to be accessed over a network or via the Internet. While Kintera doesn't advertise its pricing other than to say "FundWare's pricing is competitive," I would doubt that using a system as comprehensive as FundWare for a single user would make financial sense. It is clear from the number of modules, the depth of integration, and the completeness of the documentation that FundWare is intended for larger institutions. In fact, any organization trying to track the amount of information that FundWare handles would need more than a single employee just to handle the volume of data.

The heart of any fund accounting package is the general ledger system, and FundWare's GL is a great starting point. While many general ledger systems can be manipulated to collect and report financial information in a manner required by nonprofits, FundWare's GL includes a range of options specifically designed to accommodate fund accounting. Some of the more significant features include its ability to report over multiple accounting years and its integration with the Grants and Budgets modules.

Direct integration with the Project/Grants module means that GL accounts can include non-financial information specific to the grant. For example, start and end dates can be referenced in those accounts that pertain to each separate grant or project. This kind of non-financial information can make reports easier to understand. I particularly like the ability to drill into the detail of account activity. While this capability isn't unique to FundWare, it is well presented, easy to use, and because of the tight integration between FundWare modules, makes it easy to answer questions about where transactions came from, when, and even why they are there.

The Project/Grant module would seem to be a required module for any organization that works with more than a single source of funds. Its GL connection allows multiple ledgers to use the same account coding, making it easier to review and analyze multiple sources without having to create and track different account structures. This (and the other modules) are all cross-connected as well. So each project can benefit from the Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and other modules.

In Use
I was able to log in to the FundWare applications and maneuver around the system easily. If anything, the interface provides more ways to access its components than one would normally use. The system has a menu across the top of the main window with a list of modules down the left side that is essentially a duplicate of the top menu. Below that is a list of open windows (those screens you've used recently but haven't closed). That list is particularly handy when you use the same functions repeatedly throughout your day. It isn't limited to any particular module, so you could have a GL account, a Payroll screen, Budget report, Vendor information and several other pages available for quick access during the same session.

Another feature that makes FundWare especially friendly is the homepage function. Each module has its own homepage. The only module that appeared to be populated in my demo system was the one for GL and Project/Grant. This page allows you to set up a list of the most important accounts and show their current balances. Below the account list (titled "Dashboard") is a list of activity reminders which is essentially a to-do list that can be populated by the user and optionally include due dates. Along the right side of each home page is the list of reports available for the current module.

Not all FundWare's screens appear as the now-familiar windowed GUI screens. Many of the maintenance screens show their "green-screen" heritage. While this makes FundWare's conversion to a fully GUI environment incomplete, it's apparent that the programming efforts have been focused on those areas that are most frequently used. These stragglers are not likely to interfere with daily use.

Recap
Kintera's FundWare is a comprehensive fund accounting system with a long history, long client list, and substantial support structure. Agencies with complex funding and reporting structures would do well to look at FundWare with its extensive modules and flexible configuration options.

Advantages
Tightly integrated general ledger and Project/Grant functions
24 optional integrated modules
Flexible configuration
FASB/GASB compliant

Disadvantages
Price list is not published
Not appropriate for small organizations or single users

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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