TrustRadius
Abila in a non-profit world
https://www.trustradius.com/accountingMIP Fund Accounting (formerly Abila MIP)Unspecified8619101
Al Hesse profile photo
Updated September 22, 2016

Abila in a non-profit world

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Abila MIP Fund Accounting

Abila is used across the entire organization. As a non-profit, we have rather complex fund accounting rules that we must follow. Abila gives us that flexibility. I primarily use Abila to track expenditures and to help develop budgets.
  • The ability to create reports
  • Near real time information
  • Ease of use for the basic user (report viewer)
  • There is a 'labor distribution' report that gives details on how much time staff are charging to various funding streams; this is critical when developing future budgets and looking at resource patterns
  • The ability to customize access (permissions) to the various modules.
  • Developing a budget is not as easy to do as we were initially lead to believe
  • The cost can be challenging; we were able to justify the cost
  • Abila has allowed more staff to directly monitor their funding streams more directly. This has reduced the time required in the past for the controller to research information for the staff. Staff are able to immediately analyze expenses and the controller is freed up to tackle other tasks.
We have. Our previous software package (MS Access backend) was able to do the same [manage multiple funds from multiple sources]. The primary benefit is the comparatively easier learning curve that has allowed other staff to directly monitor their funding streams.
Prior to Abila, we used a product that interfaced with MS Access. While this product met most of our needs, it was far from being user friendly. Essentially, only the fiscal staff could truly take advantage of what the program had to offer and they would have to generate reports for other staff as needed. Abila, while more powerful, has also proofed to be easier to use. This has allowed other staff to be more proactive in monitoring their budgets.
As a non-accountant, Abila appears to meet our needs. It is much easier to use than our previous accounting package (MS Access backend). Abila allows for a great deal of flexibility when tracking multiple funding streams which is perfect for the non-profit environment that we operate in.

MIP Fund Accounting Feature Ratings

Accounts payable
Not Rated
Accounts receivable
Not Rated
Cash management
Not Rated
Bank reconciliation
Not Rated
Expense management
8
Time tracking
Not Rated
Fixed asset management
Not Rated
Multi-currency support
Not Rated
Multi-division support
Not Rated
Regulations compliance
Not Rated
Electronic tax filing
Not Rated
Self-service portal
Not Rated
Pricing
Not Rated
Order entry
Not Rated
Pay calculation
Not Rated
Benefit plan administration
Not Rated
Direct deposit files
8
Salary revision and increment management
Not Rated
Reimbursement management
Not Rated
Dashboards
Not Rated
Standard reports
8
Custom reports
8
API for custom integration
Not Rated
Plug-ins
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions
9
Single sign-on capability
9

Using Abila MIP Fund Accounting

7 - Users range from the controller, to the COO/CTO, and to staff responsible for managing funding streams (programs).
1 - The controller is a CPA and his assistant has nearly completed his bachelors.
The CTO/COO has an IT/business background with diverse experience.
The remaining staff all have bachelor and/or master degrees over a number of different fields. Staff who feel least comfortable 'working with numbers' are able to accurately analyze the reports available to them so they can make informed decisions.
  • Report writing flexibility (both in the ability to create 'new' reports and 'modify' current reports)
  • Report analysis
  • We haven't tapped into the HR module yet; not certain that we will given our small size.
We are fully invested in the product at this time. Unless Abila fails to keep up with the times, I don't see a need to migrate to another solution unless a substantial cost savings can be made.

Evaluating Abila MIP Fund Accounting and Competitors

Yes - We were using a MS Access solution. The product was meeting most of our needs; however, it was showing its age and didn't have the flexibility that we were looking for.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Vendor Reputation
Our previous solution wasn't giving us the flexibility we were looking for. It was not a user-friendly environment which meant that the fiscal staff were the only ones able to effectively use the solution. Abila changed that paradigm; we now have mid-level staff who are able to access the report module which frees up time for the fiscal staff.
Hindsight is always genius. If we were to do it over again, we would've asked for more information on how Abila creates a budget and asked for a more thorough demo of that capability.
I don't think anything would've changed though. Our previous solution was showing its age and Abila was a huge step up. I don't know that any of the other products would've have changed our minds. The budget making process while important, in the grand scheme of things, involves roughly 2-3 months of a lot of work (in and out of the system). The advantages that Abila brought to the table for the day-to-day fiscal operations was better than anything else we were seeing.

Abila MIP Fund Accounting Implementation

Having a detailed plan helps. Understanding what your data 'means' is important so it can be correctly mapped to the new solution. Having other staff in on the early training helped as well. We had a few questions that popped up that our implementer was able to address promptly which then prompted the controller to ask even more detailed questions. In the end, we ended up with a better product. Keep in mind, you won't remember to ask all of the relevant questions and you may run into 'challenges' after the fact.
  • Professional services company
Wipfli, Inc coordinated the implementation and continues to support our organization as needed.
Yes - It's been nearly five years since the decision was made; however, it was broken into at least five phases:
1. Requirements / Design
2. Data mapping (from old to new)
3. Initial training
4. Implementation
5. Follow up training
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - We're a small non-profit (11-50). We're used to change. We had two strong controllers that presided over the early years of implementation which helped immensely.
  • Learning a new system is always a challenge. However, now that more staff would be able to take advantage of the system, more questions were being asked of the controller which he had to explain in more detail.

Abila MIP Fund Accounting Support

We have always had good, quick responses.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - I'm considering the annual maintenance cost when answering this question. I do NOT have an accounting background, however, since launch, we've had 3 full time controllers and 2 temp controllers fill the accounting role here (1 deep). Over that period, I don't believe we've had to contact tech support more than 10 times and we'd typically get our issue addressed/resolved very quickly.
Yes - Yes, we had noticed a problem with the email interface. When we contacted Abila about it, they were already aware of the issue, they just hadn't gone 'public' yet.
I can't think of a time that would specifically be considered 'exceptional'. I will say that support has always been thorough and prompt. I believe the longest we had to wait for a resolution was one business day.
We have a good relationship with the VAR that actually sold the product to us. That has helped immensely since launching this product.

Using Abila MIP Fund Accounting

It does what I need it to do. Because my usage is generally confined to the reports module, I held back a bit in my rating. If I compared the report module in this package to our previous solution, I would give Abila a 10+.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Customizing reports is a straight forward process. However, like similar products, you have to understand what your data means in order to get any meaningful use out of it.
  • I'm not a fiscal staff member; so most of my time is spent reviewing or creating reports. I was fortunate and received some good training early on as we implemented Abila (SAGE).