Software applications (“apps”) are like people: the more connected, the more powerful! The hosting of apps on internet servers (“cloud computing”) has opened up a rich world of connected applications that allow your transactions to flow without manual intervention.
- Invoices are downloaded, coded, and posted into the accounting system,
- Payments are suggested, submitted for approval (by a person!), and paid without printing a single cheque,
- Email campaigns are planned, executed, and followed up without having to pull together a list.
Many Canadian charities use QuickBooks as their accounting system. Here is my list of recommended apps, based on experience and knowledge of the software developers:
- Hubdoc – https://appcenter.intuit.com/hubdoc – is a Toronto based system that fetches invoices from suppliers, lets you scan / email invoice scans, and has its own cell phone app so you can take pictures of invoices and receipts as well. The advantages to charities are:
- Replacing filing cabinets with scanned images you can access from within QuickBooks at any time
- Giving volunteers an easy way to submit expenses (without losing bits of paper)
- Speeding up audits by connecting directly to the original source documents selected by the CRA or financial auditor
- Sumac – https://appcenter.intuit.com/app-b7qkiupntt – is a Toronto based fundraising package that will track donors, manage fundraising campaigns, issue receipts, and connect with your web site. What I particularly like about it is the pricing that gives small charities a break. It also has a large number of add-on packages to handle additional functions, such as:
- Grant Management,
- Course Registration, and
- Method:CRM – https://appcenter.intuit.com/method-crm – is a Toronto Customer Relationship Management developer that is much more than a CRM system. It is actually a development platform that allows end users to create their own system without programing. It also has a powerful deep synchronization with QuickBooks that allows both systems to update each other in real time. Method allows you to have the revenue generation of support available from a CRM, as well as the custom system you need for tracking clients / participants, all in one powerful system.
- Telpay – http://www.telpay.ca/
- Plooto – https://appcenter.intuit.com/plooto – Telpay (Winnipeg) and Plooto (Toronto) are both payment systems, with Telpay having lots of QuickBooks Desktop experience and Plooto working with the online version. Both offer the ability to set up and pay vendors (corporate and personal), as well as handling pre-authorized debits from bank accounts. Because many nonprofit officers are volunteers, being able to approve the payments without having to come in a physically sign the cheque is a major time saver for many charities.
There are many other apps for a variety of purposes, but these are the ones I consider for most new clients. Please leave a comment about your favourite apps!