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The Twilight of Fundware: Finding a Modern Fund Accounting Platform

Posted by Zobrio on February 6, 2015

Let’s face it: Fundware is old. For more than 27 years, Fundware has helped eliminate financial management pressures. More than 4,000 organizations have relied on it to track, manage and report on grants, funds, programs, projects and much more. While it has been updated over time, it’s beginning to show its age.

THE BENEFITS OF UPGRADING FROM FUNDWARE

There is no shortage of more modern fund accounting platforms – Abila MIP and Blackbaud Financial Edge, most notably – that can benefit your organization. And the benefits of upgrading from Fundware can be quite persuasive:

  • End The Increases In Maintenance Costs: Older software requires more maintenance. In fact, the cost required maintaining Fundware increased by 33 percent in the past 2 years alone. The total cost of ownership for Fundware is on an upward spiral.
  • Improved Security: You wouldn’t dream of deploying Windows XP to power a critical component of your organization. So, why rely on an increasingly dated piece of technology to power your fund accounting?
  • Increased Productivity: Modern fund accounting platforms like Abila MIP and Financial Edge offer an array of powerful modules and enhancements that can dramatically improve your productivity in reporting and management, while delivering greater intelligence to ensure your organization runs at peak efficiency.

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

IT BEGINS WITH YOUR NEEDS
Investing time and money in a new fund accounting system is critical to the future of your organization. It’s important to understand not only the changes that prompted the search, but also the needs that must be met. Consider the following:

  • Do you maintain your budgets in the accounting system?
  • Do you need to track restrictions by revenue sources?
  • Would internal access controls help reduce data entry errors and improve the reliability of your accounting data?
  • Do you spend time manually reconciling your balances to meet reporting requirements?
  • Does your staff spend an excessive amount of time putting together special reports for management because it doesn’t have the requisite data in an accessible manner?
  • Are you spending large amounts of time trying to generate financial statements in Excel?
  • What types and frequency of reports are needed?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Prioritize your needs to build a clear picture of your critical “must haves” throughout the purchasing process.

HARDWARE COMPATIBILITY
The most sophisticated fund accounting system is useless when it is powered by archaic hardware. When evaluating new fund accounting systems, consider the hardware you currently have in place. While this can certainly be upgraded as part of the process, it adds complexity to the migration that is beyond the skill set of many IT departments. In that case, consider exploring cloud-hosted fund accounting options provided by many solutions. This may add recurring costs, but typically reducing the total operating costs in the long-term.

EASE OF MIGRATION
Regardless of the solution you choose, you should not have to start over. Transitioning from Fundware to a modern fund accounting solution should not be an issue and certainly should not be done manually. Both Abila MIP and Blackbaud Financial Edge enable users to keep their existing accounts in place, migrating them to the new platform while mitigating interruptions.

Regardless, before buying new fund accounting software, ask the sales team detailed questions about migrating from Fundware, including what can move over and the time required.

BRAND DOES MATTER
Reputation matters. While there is no shortage of fund account solutions, not all of them are reputable. We recommend against taking chances with a fledgling newcomer, or a custom-build fund account solution. Most powerful fund accounting solutions require ongoing support and maintenance. With a custom-built solution, you’ll find your organization locked into one provider, without the ability to easily move to a different support provider if needed.

We recommend sticking with brands that have a reputation for delivering powerful, flexible fund accounting solutions – Abila MIP and Blackbaud Financial Edge.

CONSIDER THE SIZE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION
This seems obvious, but it’s important. The larger your organization – in terms of funding sources, programs, revenue or number of employees – the more likely you need a powerful, sophisticated fund accounting solution. The best option is a scalable solution that fits your organization today while accommodating growth and change that comes tomorrow.

GETTING STARTED

Fundware is reaching the end of its life. It’s time to look for a new solution. Selecting the best fund accounting platform for your organization is not a simple undertaking – it takes time and effort. But when done correctly, the new platform should deliver rewards. Armed with timely, complete and accurate information, your organization can make better decisions and gain critical intelligence.

Need help determining the right fund accounting software for your organization? Contact Zobrio today to get started.

 

 

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