QuickBooks is a common and popular tool that businesses and nonprofits alike can use for all of their accounting and bookkeeping needs. In this blog, we answer the question of how to set up QuickBooks for a nonprofit, but first we take a look at some typical questions about QuickBooks for NPOs in general.
If you work in the nonprofit sector, you are probably well aware that there is a technology gap across the industry as a whole. In fact, only 11% of nonprofits feel confident in their approach to technology. The problem is, to be successful in the modern age, digitalism and technology are practically expected to be parts of any institution’s strategic plan. It’s no different for nonprofit organizations (NPOs).
However, when it comes to choosing the right technology services for nonprofits, that’s not so straightforward. There are all sorts of ways technology can empower or hinder a nonprofit organization. In today’s digital world, a nonprofit can only act on its mission to the extent that their technology enables them. That means if your NPO is using obsolete or makeshift tools, you may be leaving a mission-oriented impact on the table. On the other hand, NPOs who have successfully adopted technology for their day-to-day needs can spend more time and energy on the stuff that really matters and let technology handle some of the behind the scenes workings.
One particular area of pain for many non-profits is accounting. Lots of institutions, especially smaller outfits, still use outdated Google or Excel spreadsheets because that’s how it has always been done. But with modern technology, there is a better way. That’s where QuickBooks comes in.
The short answer here is absolutely. Quickbooks is full of tools and features that are either designed specifically for nonprofits or that integrate seamlessly with NPOs bookkeeping and accounting needs. Unlike corporations, not-for-profit institutions need to put more emphasis on tracking money spent as opposed to income earned. That means it’s important to have an accounting software that is designed with that goal in mind.
One of the nicest features of Quickbooks is that it is relatively easy to set up an account. All you have to do is:
There is no version of free QuickBooks for nonprofits. However, there is a free trial. You can use that to identify which tools or features your NPO needs the most. Once your free trial is up, there are a few options you can pursue.
The first is looking for technology grants available to nonprofits that help offset the cost of implementing or upgrading software solutions. For more information, visit DonorBox.
Another option is to look into TechSoup, a company whose entire mission is to provide nonprofits with discounted technology and resources.
The third option is just committing to covering the low monthly price of QuickBooks, starting at anywhere from $12-25 per month and increasing incrementally, depending on which version you choose. That leads us to our next question.
So, now that we know QuickBooks is a good tool for nonprofits, and can be cost-effective, it begs the question, do they have specific versions for NPOs? The answer is yes. In particular, there are three different options.
The least expensive version of QuickBooks, this level is an online subscription and boasts a wide variety of features. These include things like basic bookkeeping, tracking, and reporting. Some downsides to this entry-level package are a 5 user limit, and the fact that it does not come with any complimentary training. That means you may need a resident QuickBook expert, or pay for training.
This intermediate-level subscription comes with all the bells and whistles as Online Plus, and includes a host of other features such as on-demand training and the capacity for more than 5 users.
This version of the software is the most expensive and is available on-desktop only. In general, Enterprise has far more capabilities than either of the online versions and is better suited for large and rapidly growing institutions. For more information on any of these offerings, check the QuickBooks comparison page.
Now to answer the big question of the day, what is the best way to set up quickbooks for a NPO. Even if you watch the tutorials or read the support guides, it can be tricky to learn the ins and outs of a comprehensive accounting software like QuickBooks. Instead, let us at Computers in Ministry do all the hard work for you. CIM can help you select the right software and get it implemented. Not only that, but we embody a true partnership approach. As an extension of your NPO family, we empower you to achieve your goals and make the most of your IT investment. Not only will we get QuickBooks set up for you, but we can optimize your entire approach to technology with our hands-on method and expertise. Making the world a better place is your mission. Improving your ability to do it is ours. Reach out today. We can’t wait to work with you.