Recomendation for Charities Accounting Software

I am looking for personal recomendations for Charity Accounting Software

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Hi,

I volunteer for a charity that has recently started out. They have Free Agent free with their banking but this is not really suitable for charities accounting (Fund management, Gift Aid etc.) so while this will help in the short term, we are looking at alternative paid software.

NatWest recomended Paxton but they are quite expensive. Sage I have used before and know and I have briefly looked at Xero, Freshbooks and the like.

I would be very glad if anyone has any experience of using any software specifically for charities accounting (and SORP!) and could give me some feedback?

thanks!

 

Replies (9)

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John Toon
By John Toon
27th Sep 2022 12:15

You don't mention the size or complexity of the charity you volunteer for so really difficult to make an appropriate recommendation. You make reference to Gift Aid and fund accounting but is this critical or a nice to have?

Your choices are essentially using a legacy provider like Sage or Paxton who have some specialist charity features or go to a cloud product like Xero or QBO (avoid the others) coupled with charity specific apps/reporting. Even these may not be appropriate and you may need to consider something like iPlicit or Access...

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Replying to johnt27:
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By [email protected]
27th Sep 2022 12:28

Hi, I have literally just started so trying to figure that all out. There are already restricted funds in place and the charity has grown rapidly since setting up less than a year ago so I think I would have to "future proof" as much as possible.

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By Paul Crowley
27th Sep 2022 13:07

Rule number 1
Talk to whoever does the actual accounts and independent examination.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
John Toon
By John Toon
27th Sep 2022 13:35

I think rule number 1 should be talk to an expert. That's definitely not the bank, and probably not who prepares the accounts/IE/audit unless they can prove their credentials on software/systems advisory...

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Replying to johnt27:
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By [email protected]
27th Sep 2022 19:17

yes I agree - hence looking for personal recomendations. I am fine making decisions as to software, I prefer doing it based on experience, even if not my own. ;-)

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By Peter Anderson
27th Sep 2022 13:57

I've used Xero for a couple of charities, mainly because I'm used to it. Liberty Accounts looks good but I've only done the free trial.

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Replying to Peter Anderson:
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By [email protected]
27th Sep 2022 19:18

thank you for that feedback. In your opinion, does Xero easily cope with restricted and non-restricted funds and gift aid?
I know Sage does, having used it for that purpose, but I do not have Xero experience.

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Replying to [email protected]:
John Toon
By John Toon
28th Sep 2022 10:35

Xero will handle fund accounting using tracking categories (cost centres). That may or may not be similar to your Sage experience as their charity add on provides fund accounting capability for an additional cost (assuming it was Sage 50) if you don't go down the cost centre route.

As for Gift Aid you'd need a 3rd party app to manage this with Xero. There are a few available which also double up as donor management systems. Having said that since COVID many charities have moved to collecting donations via contactless and many of the charity specific providers in the market also cover the GA claims.

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By legerman
28th Sep 2022 16:11

When I was looking some while ago I came across BTC, who do a stand alone charity software. I don't have any first hand experience as it was overkill for the charity I was dealing with, but it looked a decent product, and I thought the price was reasonable.

https://www.btcsoftware.co.uk/products/charity-accounts-software/

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