Financial Edge NXT was fine without the 'NXT'
June 22, 2018
Financial Edge NXT was fine without the 'NXT'
Score 4 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Financial Edge NXT
Financial Edge NXT is our database for accounting. Only the Finance Department uses it. It stores all of our Vendors, Invoices, and Payment records. It processes all payments we issue, including Check Printing, EFTs, and Bank Drafts. We use it to reconcile accounts, as well as provide all financial reporting to both management and program staff at large.
- GL configuration. We like the Fund-Account setup, with Project being a separate field not directly tied to the GL string. It provides more flexibility both with data entry rules/requirements, balancing requirements, and reporting.
- Bank feed. It is good to be able to download transactions and match them to the Accounts Payable bank register.
- Visual Chart Organizer. It provides extremely flexible and customizable report formatting, whatever GL configuration you have.
- NXT still has lots of glitches or missing functionality when compared with the database view. Many pages take too long to load, or just aren't as usable as the alternative in database view.
- Functions that are not available in NXT yet. There are still quite a few processes that are not yet available in NXT, which you must do in the 'old' database view. This makes it abundantly clear that NXT is not a new platform that was launched all at once, but rather a 'mirror' option that was haphazardly released in blocks (and still is being released in blocks). This process is awkward and can be rather unsettling to new users who are likely to spend months, and perhaps even years, as they attempt to figure out which of their processes they should do in NXT and which ones they should do in the 'old' database view.
- Reports, Queries, and Exports. Users who were already accustomed to the 'old' database view for these areas are likely to find NXT's equivalent options to be clunky and may prefer to stick to the database view for these functions. Some things just require more clicks when you try to 'simplify' by putting everything into one web screenshot. There's something to be said for being able to open different windows within a program, and like many other modern web browser-based programs, NXT gets in its own way in this regard.
- Positive impact on our desire to 'modernize' (i.e. getting a system that looks and feels more contemporary than our previous accounting systems).
- Generally positive impact in our ability to streamline or simplify some of our accounting processes that took longer in our previous accounting system.
- Negative cost impact in that we pay much more for NXT than our old system. In retrospect it may not have been worth it to pay for 'NXT', and we might have just gone with the database view, as that is perfectly suitable. But admittedly I am not sure about the pricing difference.
- Operational efficiency
- Reduced annual audit cost
- Improved data accuracy
- Improved insight into your organization's performance
- Better ability to report to funders and key stakeholders
- Faster month-end process
- Automation of business processes
- Increased scalability due to cloud deployment
- Reduced IT expenditure due to cloud deployment
We have achieved most of these outcomes. It is yet to be seen whether our IT costs, annual audit costs, or reporting to key stakeholders has really improved. In some of these areas we seem to take two steps back and one step forward. But overall, I would say we met many of our biggest objectives.
We use Raiser's Edge, and we have found that integrating Raiser's Edge with Financial Edge is definitely a good investment. This has saved us considerable time in expediting data entry between the two systems.
We looked at many other solutions, and at the end of the day the biggest factor in selecting Financial Edge was that we were already using The Raiser's Edge. The appeal of having the two systems integrated was significant, and as stated in the previous question, that has been one of the biggest pluses from our switch to Financial Edge. I do believe that there are less costly options that could suit many organizations just fine; I would recommend that an organization consider its overall data flow process, and not just accounting, when making this decision. For example, if they were already using a different CRM for their fund-raising or gift receipting processes, then they may want to consider using an accounting software that is built to integrate with that CRM, if one exists. At the end of the day, that is the biggest factor with a non-profit that is as donation-reliant as we are.