Review of MIP being used in a major cultural institution
July 29, 2016

Review of MIP being used in a major cultural institution

Andrew Gagnon, CPA | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Abila MIP Fund Accounting

MIP is used across the entire organization as the sole accounting software. The software's fund structure allows us to create departmental statement of operations reports as well as individual project reports. Project reports are used to track specific pieces of funding received from institutional giving sources and allows us to keep separate budget to actual tracking for those projects.
  • MIP allows for very detailed and customized general ledger reports. These reports can be run many different ways to accommodate the different needs of departments and staff.
  • The system allows individual user access and restrictions. Departments can be restricted to see only the activity for their departments. This allows one statement of operations report to serve the needs of most staff as they will only see information pertinent to them.
  • The system allows for the importing of information directly into the system. This feature can be used to help the system record information from other systems that won't directly speak with MIP. For example payroll entries can be downloaded from a separate payroll system in a defined format and hundreds of debits and credits can be uploaded directly to MIP saving user entry time.
  • There are a few quirks and short comings in the system that are puzzling. One of the largest is that the system does not have a password reset feature that prompts the user to reset their password if they forgot it. Most often it is easiest to delete the user's profile and create a new one which is cumbersome for the administrator.
  • Currently financial reports run from the system do not allow for you to easily "drill down" into the detailed records that make up the report. There is a drill down function included with MIP but it is not even remotely user friendly and most people default to running an Expanded General Ledger report to see the detail. There is a product that is offered called Drill Point which integrates MIP with Excel allowing this function. That being said, I think that this should be core functionality available to any user.
  • People who do not have a financial and accounting background typically do not find the system very user friendly. For a finance person the software is extremely flexible but the system does not offer core functionality to present information easily to non finance personnel. There are various products available to help with this however I think it should be core functionality. Currently a user needs to follow a path of menus to view a financial report and run the report. That user then might get information that is incorrect because someone before them added a filter to the report and then saved the query. This ends up leading to alot of questions to the finance staff which are usually easy to answer but could be eliminated if the software allowed for tailored user reports. Most non-finance users should be simply presented with a dashboard with their reports and the ability to drill down on that reports. We have found because of the complexities of the software that many non finance users are intimidated by it and are hesitant to learn how to run reports for themselves.
  • It would be nice if the system could automatically generate and keep track of journal entry numbers and then allow the user to quickly view that transaction. Currently if you know the journal entry number or the session ID you can get that information but it would be nice to have a running list with quick access instead of having to be maintained outside of the system.
  • The flexibility of the system allows us to continue to grow and manage additional institutional giving from both public and private sources. The ability to track everything separately and combined is extremely important.
MIP allows us to easily manage and report on funding from multiple sources. Each individual source can be assigned a number in an segment of the general ledger string. This allows users to directly charge those projects with specific costs. This allows for specific budget to actual reporting for each project source.

This specific project budgeting is also separate from the operational budget which can be tracked and monitored separately.
N/A - This product was in place when I was hired and we haven't had a strong need or desire to research alternatives.
MIP works well in environments that need a flexible fund accounting system to track and report various departments, funds, projects, ect. It can easily show small slices of data or entire portions of it quickly.

As a standalone product I don't feel it is well suited for an organization that needs quick and ondemand dashboard type analysis. Core functionality allows for operational reports but users must be financially knowledgeable to really digest and use that information properly.

MIP Fund Accounting Feature Ratings