I work for a charity that has got registered in the UK recently. We want to install an accounting software that is customised to the needs of a charity. Does anything like this exist? Would you know of any suppliers whom I could contact for the same?
From our experience of working with many charities, primarily helping them choose and implement their fundraising/membership systems, most of the time the finance systems are standard finance systems such as Great Plains or Access Accounts.
I think the need for specific non-profit sector functionality is really related to the CRM systems that charities use. There are, however, a number of good re-sellers of systems such as Access accounts who understand the charity sector and can make sure the system is set up to reflect the needs of the sector and your organisation. Please feel free to email me and I’ll put you in touch with some of these organisations that we know.
If you are new and small, the systems Keith mentions may be more than you need.
Go to VolResource for discussion and supplier list at
NCVO looks at the question with supplier list at
We use Sage 100, a popular package which works well but isn’t perfect for charity accounting.
Tools for Self Reliance
Heretical and possibly controversial viewpoint from me:
As a relatively small charity ourselves, we do not have any bespoke accounting software. I keep it all on an Access database and dump data from queries and tables to Excel as required.
This is of course more unwieldy than a bespoke package. But with the smallish number of transactions involved, not unduly so.
As you are a new organisation, and therefore presumably reasonably uncomplicated in terms of numbers of transactions, I would strongly recommend ‘holding out’ for a little while and running a semi-manual system – via Excel or Access. The limitations of this may help you to define what functions you will be needing from a software package. There is nothing worse than transferring everything to a system that ends up not working for you.
Since I’m not with them any more, I can’t say how the roll-out is going, but Citizens Advice are recommending Quick Books to Bureaux – apparently it’s much easier to set up for SORP, project funding, restricted/unrestricted etc.
It’s also much more user-friendly than SAGE.
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