Accounting software for a small charity

On the Institute's 'Talk Charity' community, there's a new posting from someone looking for accounting software for a small charity. This would be a useful complement to our previous threads, on Good accounting software for medium-sized charity and Accounting software for large charities.

Much of the discussion on the 'medium-sized' thread is relevant, but if anyone would like to chip in further points/suggestions for small charities, that would be great.

  • www.data-developments.co.uk have a product called Finance coordinator which seems the best around.
  • Any recommendations for a small Charity which is a Ltd Company by guarantee?
  • I set up the accounts for a small charity where I was a trustee using Quickbooks Pro. This was recommended to me at the ICAEW Charity Conference back in 2006. 

    The 2006 version that was purchased seemed to have a bug in the fixed asset register integration with general ledger, but other than that it was 100% fit for purpose. In general it has been very easy to use by the (non-Accountant) voluntary bookkeeper. The killer feature (over other software we evaluated) was the ability allocate a class to each transaction, in addition to the normal P&L / balance sheet account or sub account. This means that fund accounting is possible, and all statutory and management analyses can be produced directly from Quickbooks without going through Excel.

    The free version of quickbooks looks like it might do the job on first inspection, but most critically, the entry of class is locked out (although curiously, some of the standard reports allow you to pick that field!).

  • Another feature of QuickBooks which relates to the NFP sector is that you can (or used to be able to) create a bank account, with a number of sub-accounts. Transactions can be entered against sub-accounts, but the reconciliation can be done on the main account. This means that an NFP can show the balance of specific funds if they wish.
  • You can also use Quick Books class functionality to achieve the same objective.