• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Charity Digital – Topics – The best finance management systems for 2024

There’s no time like the present to get your finances in order. With the cost-of-living crisis and the general economic pressures, better visibility over income and spend could save more than a few pounds.

Financial management systems and tools do the grunt work by automating the mundane. They provide oversight, control, and reporting, all good things that enhances donor trust.


Rounding out the top systems for 2024, we shed light on the pros, cons, and costs.




Xero is a great starting point for exploring financial management systems because it’s simple to use and doesn’t require any sophisticated knowledge. As a basic system, it reconciles bank accounts, produces the three statements, and generates custom reports.


Pros: This is perfect for beginners, since the system is intuitive and reports can be downloaded to Excel or PDF.


Cons: The system doesn’t work for complicated legal entities or multiple jurisdictions.




When compared with Xero, Liberty Accounts has features that are tailored to UK charities and churches. There’s functionality to take into consideration GiftAid, VAT, and fund and donor management.


Pros: The charity and church specific tools are a boon, and since it is HMRC compliant, filings can be done online.


Cons: The pay-as-you-use fees mean you can test it out with little financial risk. However, you are likely to add additional features, making the monthly fee variable and unpredictable.




AccountsIQ compares well with the more sophisticated service providers. The core functionalities are financials, tax filings, and reporting. Like the others, it’s also compliant with HMRC. There’s also functionality for budget and forecasting, which can help charities plan.


Pros: AccountsIQ has integrations with Salesforce and Concur, so making it work with other systems is painless.


Cons: The basic package can be more expensive than other competitors.




Aimed at small businesses, the financial management system tackles contractors, those that are self-employed, and freelancers. FreshBooks performs all the main tasks that are expected from the finance side. Balance sheet, trial balances, ledgers, and accounts are manageable on the platform. In terms of tech support, FreshBooks offers human interaction so there’s less frustration for new users.


Pros: Plans start at £7.50 per month and go up from there. Even the tightest budget can likely make this work.


Cons: There’s no dedicated functionality for charity functions like GiftAid or donor management.




Zoho integrates the accounting system with a host of other features. CRM, invoicing, project management, and inventory management can all be housed within the same platform. Going back to the basics, the Zoho is like Xero. Financial statements, ledgers, and reconciliation can all be done here. Existing Zoho users will find the system painless – there are so many integrations and additional functionalities to play with.


Pros: Zoho is a one-stop shop for many charity functions – adding the financial management system will be seamless.


Cons: Zoho is simple, and may be best for small to mid-sized charities.




Blackbaud’s system is set apart from the others because it doesn’t produce financial statements. Rather, the platform focuses on managing funds from donors, payments, and grants. The biggest benefit is the enterprise CRM system – it’s customised for charities.


Pros: The system blends CRM with fundraising management. Managers can get a breakdown of funding sources across all segments.


Cons: You will still need to file your returns based on another system.




A tried, tested, and true platform, external sites still rank Intacct as one of the most popular financial management systems available. The system works for both small, simple operations, and large, complex ones. Aside from financial statements and HMRC filing, there are added benefits. There is sophisticated reporting and controller dashboards, making it easier to perform analytics and spot trends.


Pros: The entire platform itself can be customised with specific buttons and integrations.


Cons:  This solution is more expensive than other platforms.




Like Liberty Accounts, Aplos’s financial management system is for non-profits and churches. Aplos includes accounting, donor management, CRM, and fundraising software rolled up into a single platform. However, there are no integrations so beware of implementation.


Pros: Aplos is dedicated to the non-profit and charity sector.


Cons: The US-centric platform may need some refinement.




Another cloud-based system, KashFlow captures all the basics for small charity operations. The platform keeps track of bank reconciliations, invoicing, payments and expenses, and payroll. Importantly, the software is MTD and VAT compliant from an HMRC perspective, so information can be sent directly to government.


Pros: KashFlow works best if operations are simple and there are few transactions.


Cons: For organisations growing at clip, complexity will outstrip KashFlow’s abilities very quickly.



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