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Accounting Software for NonprofitsAccounting software can be pretty pricey, particularly if you are looking at the more popular packages like Quicken. When every penny counts, it really makes you wonder if you could just do the accounts in a spreadsheet program and save your nonprofit a big chunk of change. There are certain advantages to specialty accounting software. For one, it`s already set up and fairly easy to plug information into. You will save quite a bit of time in most cases. Another advantage of using specialty accounting programs is that you can often set these up to connect with the bank account so much of the information gathered is completely automatic.

Accounting software also has its downsides, of course, namely the price! Also, it takes time to learn any program that you decide to use, unless you already have staff members that are familiar with it. This is more likely with a popular brand, of course.

What are your options if you choose to do your own accounting? Truthfully, you can do just about everything with a simple spreadsheet program. If you have Microsoft Office, there`s Excel, but you can also use the free spreadsheet program that comes with OpenOffice. The fact that this is a free option means it`s a good way to go for a nonprofit on a very tight budget.

The problem with a spreadsheet is that it isn`t set up for you. You`ll have to ensure that you understand everything that needs to be included in your record keeping, and that can still result in missing information. It`s best to set up a proper template before you even begin your accounting. This is something that will help keep everything uniform from month to month.

It can take some time to set up a spreadsheet program and learn the ins and outs of how to work it so you can quickly and easily keep track of the organization’s finances. It`s a lot more work in the beginning and can`t be connected to the bank account.

Which option you choose will likely be dictated by the skills available in the organization, as well as cost and time limits. Either one will work, but you`ll probably find that one or the other is better for your organization.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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