8 Best Free Accounting Software for Nonprofits

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When you’re starting out fresh in the nonprofit sector, it can be hard to build the funds you need to function, especially when you’re selling an idea, not a product. As you build your organization, every incoming donation and outgoing expense has to be documented meticulously.

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Nonprofit organizations have a serious need for quality fund accounting software, unfortunately not all organizations can justify the expense.

Luckily for smaller organizations, there are many free and open source options to choose from. These are the top eight free accounting software for nonprofits!

1. GnuCash

GnuCash

GnuCash is a small-business financial accounting software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. Along with standard accounting software functions such as transactions and financial calculations, it also features a double-entry system and the ability to account for multiple currencies.

GnuCash is also consistently being developed by the GnuCash Project and offers substantial user support through bug reports and team chat. GnuCash is a fantastic option to go with for any small nonprofit.

Have you used GnuCash? Be sure to leave a review!

2. Invoice Expert Lite

Offering a litany of features, Invoice Expert Lite is the free version of the company’s full accounting software. Under the Lite edition you have access to invoicing, quoting, inventory control, custom tax settings, payment history, as well as other accounting features.

In addition to these features, Invoice Expert also offers tech support to help with any glitches or questions with the software. If you choose to upgrade your software, Invoice Expert doesn’t require you to re-download your software all over again; you can just purchase the full software for $69.95.

Have you used Invoice Expert? Be sure to leave a review!

3. TurboCASH

TurboCASH

TurboCASH is an on-premise, entry-level, open-source accounting software option made for single users and smaller networks. Features include automated billing, accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, credit card processing, etc. This software runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Being an open-source program, formal support (beyond user forums) is non-existent. However, considering the 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Sourceforge, TurboCASH is considered a reliable software option. It may not be pretty looking, but brings solid functionality to the table.

Have you used TurboCASH? Be sure to leave a review!

4. SVERDYSH

SVERDYSH

Despite being another plainly designed software tool, SVERDYSH is a functional program which offers all standard accounting features, such as invoices, account tracking, profit/loss trackers, balance sheets, and bank account tracking. SVERDYSH is unfortunately limited to Windows operating systems, however it is functional on all Windows platforms from XP and beyond.

Information of this software is limited on its own (remarkably outdated looking) website, which calls into question the amount of support that is offered with it, if any.

Have you used SVERDYSH? Be sure to leave a review!

5. BS1 General Ledger

CNet boasts BS1 General Ledger is a “high-quality business software” which offers double-entry accounting, financial transaction tracking (inbound and outbound), balance sheets, and offers detailed reports. It is a great choice for starter accounting.

Once problem noted on CNet was the lack of an Excel formatting for reports, so those who use Excel in their finances should consider that when looking at BS1 General Ledger. Davis Business Systems, which developed this software, also offers the source code for programmers to modify to their needs.

Have you used BS1 General Ledger? Be sure to leave a review!

6. VT Cash Book

VT Cash Book is a basic data entry and accounting software option without too many visual bells and whistles, but considering its lack of a price tag, it doesn’t have to look pretty. Features include “fast” data entry, multiple bank/cash account handling, bank reconciliation, VAT returns (which is useful for international organizations that deal with value added taxes), and balance sheets/ledger reports.

The list of system requirements is amazingly short, only mandating that you run Windows 2000 or later. Unfortunately this isn’t good news for Mac and Linux users.

Have you used VT Cash Book? Be sure to leave a review!

7. Adminsoft Accounts

Adminsoft_Accounts

In addition to a detailed website, Adminsoft Accounts also offers its own instructional videos on Youtube to show customers how every single function of their software works. This could count as a detailed support channel, which is a rare feature with free software.

This option offers your typical accounting software features such as invoicing, statements, and reports, but also offers HR features and payroll. It is a very well rounded software option.

This software is offered on PCs running Windows 98 to Windows 10. The vendor also lets customers know that their software is functional on Mac so long as it is run on a Windows emulator.

Have you used Adminsoft Accounts? Be sure to leave a review!

8. xTuple PostBooks

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PostBooks is a very polished and well rounded software option that encompasses accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) features. It offers your standard accounting features such as general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, and bank reconciliation, along with CRM and ERP features such as address books and vendor lists.

PostBooks has a polished and modern look, which you typically expect from a paid software option. Unfortunately this option is only free with one user and additional users requires additional purchased product keys.

Have you used xTuple PostBooks? Be sure to leave a review!

9. FrontAccounting

FrontAccounting-Screenshot-1

The beauty of open source software, such as FrontAccounting, is the collaborative effort on the part of code savvy users to improve the source code and create an improving product over time. FrontAccounting is an open source small business accounting solution which includes a full arsenal of accounting features such as allocations, sales orders, accounts payable, and a general ledger.

The newest version released in February of 2016 is currently available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and even offers multiple user access.

Have you used FrontAccounting? Be sure to leave a review!

10. Ledger Lite

LedgerLite

Ledger Lite is the free version of the paid open source software, Ledger. They boast their software as being the “world’s simplest accounting software” and their features include balance sheets, general ledgers, comparative reporting, tax calculations, and income statements.

One interesting perk to Ledger Lite is the quick download with no formal installation. The program runs off of a “.exe” format, which allows for immediate use as soon as the file is downloaded. However, as a trade off, this means that Ledger Lite is only available for Windows due to the file format. We can’t get everything we want.

Have you used Ledger Lite? Be sure to leave a review!

Conclusion

Do you agree with our list? Did we miss any free nonprofit accounting software options that you feel should’ve made this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.

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About the Author

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Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.

Comments

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EasyERP is not free that I can find. Seems like pricing starts at $99/month. Many NFP are very small and only need to operate a little higher level than a Checkbook but may have multiple cash accounts and memberships to track.

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I’m so glad that there are free and low cost options for nonprofits of all sizes. I speak with 2 or 3 nonprofits every week that are just getting started and recognize that spreadsheets won’t cut it anymore. However, I do agree with Joseph’s comment in certain circumstances.
At some point, all nonprofit organizations will realize that they can no longer function in their out-of-the-box software and require a more robust nonprofit accounting software to run their organization. This could be due to complexity managing funds, fund accounting, grant management or processing encumbrances. Use tools like Capterra to find a software that is a good fit for your organization and matches your requirements.

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One more great accounting system could be mentioned here – EasyERP. It`s completely free (so it is more than suitable for non-profit organizations), cloud based and besides accounting features it also has decent CRM and ERP ecosystem. Plus it is open-source, so customization possibilities in EasyERP are more then wide.

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Joseph is correct, while these programs may have a free version, it would be a stretch to say that they are actually recommended for nonprofit accounting. Most need to track funds, which are not a standard feature in most accounting programs, and also want to see donations separate from other income to prepare contribution statements. I work with Aplos Accounting which is one of the highest reviewed fund accounting software on Capterra because we actually do great nonprofit accounting and include donation tracking within the system. We also offer six free months to new nonprofits to help them get started, and regular discounts to small organizations to keep it affordable and within their budget. Sure, its not free, but it is much simpler to use and does it the right way.

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I think you missed an important one: Nonprofit Treasurer ( http://www.nptreasurer.com ) The app has a free tier that works really well for very small, All-Volunteer Organizations like booster clubs, scout troops, PTAs and community charities.

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Don’t waste your time on ‘free’ accounting software. All of the packages listed will not handle the complex reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations that need to segregate their activity by restrictions (unrestricted, temporarily restricted and permanently restricted) and by functional area – Management and General, Fund Raising and Program. You know the saying, “You get what you pay for.” And if you pay nothing, you get ….

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