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2017 Review of Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Nonprofit Accounting Software

2017 Rating: 5 Stars

Financial Edge NXT from Blackbaud is best suited for mid-sized nonprofit organizations as well as government entities and NGO’s. Financial Edge is a 100 percent cloud-based application that can also be used from a smart phone or tablet.

Financial Edge NXT offers a completely custom account structure, so users can create the chart of accounts that best suits their needs. Users can use the default structure or add additional segments as desired, with the ability to adjust segment length if desired. The default chart of accounts requires the use of two segments, but can handle up to ten segments in total, with a total length of 30 characters.

Financial Edge handles a variety of transaction types, including all GL related activity including journal entries, AP and AR management, project, and grant and endowment management, consolidation management. Users can also create recurring invoices, process credit memos, create invoices, post charges, payments, and donations, and process purchase orders.

Financial Edge NXT offers a standard Budget Management module, along with Advanced Budget Management. Users can create current year budgets, as well as budgets for any fiscal year. Users can also create multi-year future budgets, and users can easily lock created budgets to avoid any changes. Budgets can be created using multiple methods, including regular data entry, equal distribution across budget periods, or distributing budget totals by percentage. Users can also easily copy budgets from one year to another, making edits as needed. The Advanced Budget Management module offers additional budgeting capabilities such as the ability to create cross-fiscal year budgets. The product also offers the ability to create what-if scenarios when data is entered, to see how any transaction can affect the budget.

Donation tracking can be handled through Blackbaud’s Raisers Edge donor management module. Available separately from Financial Edge NXT, Raisers Edge integrates with Financial Edge, allowing nonprofits to easily manage all donor activities including donations, campaigns, gift and pledge tracking, and even wealth screen activities.

Financial Edge NXT offers Project, Grant and Endowment Management, allowing users to easily track all grant or project related activity at a separate level. Users can also create budgets at the program level, and can easily access fund balances for each project or grant. The application also contains self-balancing fund capability to ensure that all funds remain balanced. An Allocation Management module handles both direct and indirect allocations as well as reallocations.

Financial Edge NXT offers multi-level security, with administrators able to assign system access by group or by individual, with security access assigned to individual projects, accounts and even reports.

Financial Edge NXT offers users excellent reporting capabilities, with a variety of report templates included in the product. All reports are customizable, and the product offers additional reporting tools such as pivot reports, dashboards, and the visual chart organizer. Financial Edge NXT also offers excellent financial reporting, with the ability to create consolidated reports that cross a variety of funds. Users can opt to use Crystal Reports to create from-scratch custom reports if desired. Financial Edge NXT also creates nonprofit specific reports including FASB 117 and GASB 34. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel and Word or saved as a PDF.

Financial Edge NXT offers an extensive selection of completely integrated modules which include GL, Project, Grant & Endowment Management, Budget Management, Reports, Allocation Management, Consolidation Management, Fixed Assets, Advanced Budget Management, F9 Reporting, AP, AR, Accounting Queue, WebInvoicing and Web Purchasing, Accounting Forms, Payroll, Point of Sale, Cash Management, Cash Receipts, and Purchase Orders. Application Programming Interface (API) capability is available in Financial Edge NXT as well, boosting the product’s capability to integrate with a variety of third-party applications. In addition, integration with other Blackbaud applications extends system functionality considerably.

The Blackbaud Support website offers a variety of support tools including access to the Blackbaud Knowledgebase, How-To Documentation, the Blackbaud Community, which is a user’s forum, and FAQ’s. Users can also download any software upgrades from the Blackbaud website, as well as manage any current subscriptions. The Contact Us option provides users with a quick way to access product support, along with chat or tweet support options. A toll-free number is available to access support during regular business hours. A variety of tutorials are available for users to access, and both eLearning and onsite training options are available, as are on-demand videos and online classes

Financial Edge NXT from Blackbaud is optimally designed for mid-sized nonprofit organizations and government entities. A scalable, completely integrated product, integration with a variety of Blackbaud tools and applications increased program functionality considerably. Those interested in Financial Edge NXT should request a product demo and follow-up with Blackbaud to obtain a custom quote for their organization.

2017 Rating: 5 Stars

Article originally published by CPA Practice Advisor on July 20, 2017