Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Review

Blackbaud
Product:
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Financial Edge NXT
Blackbaud
1981
Charleston, SC
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Public
Unknown
Cloud
No
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Financial Edge NXT At A Glance

Good: Budget management feature that allows organizations to forecast budgets years in advance, robust grant management features that adapt to complex grant requirements, integration to SKY Reporting for analytics.
Bad: Not intended for for-profit companies, can be costly for smaller non-profit organizations.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based solution that helps non-profits and public service organizations streamline financial tasks so they can focus on their missions.

Product Overview

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is a cloud-based fund accounting software aimed at non-profits and public service organizations. Accountants can manage their cash flow, run budget and forecasting scenarios, and track the organization’s financial health with reporting tools. The solution helps streamline financial operations so organizations can focus more on their missions.

To help organizations provide ethical and financial transparency, the Financial Edge NXT includes internal controls to prevent fraud and wasteful spending. Administrators can establish a set of security controls with unique business rules that’s enforced by automated workflows. They can also grant or deny access to specific features and data to specific users. The software includes a built-in budgeting feature to reduce overspending and an extensive audit trail that records all financial activity.

For non-profits that want a central system to handle all of their tasks, the Financial Edge NXT can work as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The Financial Edge NXT integrates with other Blackbaud systems, such as the Raiser’s Edge NXT (for fundraising). It also integrates with third-party solutions via the Blackbaud Partner Marketplace.

Organizations can also optionally purchase Blackbaud Forms (for printed materials, such as checks, fundraising letters or tax/gift receipts) or Blackbaud Merchant Services (for credit card processing).

Features

Core accounting: The Financial Edge NXT includes core accounting features, such as cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable and a general ledger. Organizations can pay their bills efficiently with a credit card, debit card, checks or electronic funds transfer. With the solution, organizations can manage client payments, for example, billing a third party for a portion of a client’s services. The software also allows the organization to set up automatic payment application from multiple funding sources to invoices.

Purchasing and expense management: The Financial Edge NXT automates the purchasing and expense management processes with approval workflows. Organizations can create their own unique business rules and set specific spending limits.

Budget management: The software includes a built-in budget checking feature for comparing the performance of actual revenue and expenses against the budget. Accountants can track budgets and compare an unlimited number of budget scenarios by department, grant, program or project. The software also supports budget forecasting and customizable fiscal periods, so organizations can forecast their spending needs several years in advance.

Grant management: Organizations can track both simple and complex grant requirements. The software includes extra tracking levels so users can track separate activities for each grant. The solution includes detailed records about a grant, such as history and notes, using customizable fields for each record type. Organizations can also track and forecast budgets at a grant level across multiple grant periods. Finally, the software helps users manage complex grant reimbursements with built-in grant spending rules that automatically calculate any reimbursement.

Reporting and analytics: Users can create configurable dashboards and custom reports that drill down into the relevant data. They can set up an editable chart of accounts with the built-in visual chart organizer, as well as create advanced reports that track funding sources against multiple fiscal periods. The software also supports an unlimited number of tracking metrics so users can run reports on any grant or project activity.

The Financial Edge NXT integrates with the SKY Reporting business intelligence tool for further analytics. Users can perform advanced filtering on any metric, create at-a-glance dashboards for drilling down to source data and schedule reports to be sent by email.

The Financial Edge NXT includes other modules, such as consolidation management (tracking financial data of multiple chapters or offices), fixed asset (tracking buildings and equipment) and payroll.

  • Billing and Invoicing?
  • Budgeting and Forecasting?
  • Core Accounting?
  • Expense Management?
  • Inventory Management?
  • Payroll Management?
  • Payment Processing?

Target Market

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT targets non-profits in a variety of sectors, such as foundations, healthcare, education and animal welfare. We’ve listed 10 of its clients below:

  • American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Edventure Children's Museum
  • Historical Society of Central Florida
  • Lawndale Christian Health Center
  • Ministry Health Care
  • St. Mary's Memorial Hospital Foundation
  • Target ALS Foundation
  • The Heritage School
  • Wake Tech Community College

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Implementation/Integration

Blackbaud’s general implementation process is broken down into four main phases: prepare, review, configure and wrap-up. The prepare phase consists of a kick-off call, where the agenda and timeline of the implementation are discussed and users are scheduled for product training. Clients receive a pre-consultation survey to fill out.

In the review phase, Blackbaud and the client discuss any requirements and business processes, and how the system is best configured to those processes. In the configure phase, specific functional areas are configured based on the client’s requirements, such as application hosting, system configuration, and the core and supporting functional modules.

The wrap-up phase officially wraps up the project with a conference call.

Customer Service & Support

Blackbaud provides several training options, not just on its solution but also for continuing education in the non-profit sector. Those training options include on-site or remote personalized training, regional classroom training or instructor-led online courses. Users can also view on-demand videos.

Blackbaud offers subscription-based training services called Blackbaud Learn. Blackbaud Learn has three tiers: Basics, More and Everything. With the Basics tier, users learn the foundational elements of the solution via on-demand videos. The More tier includes online instructor-led training, its library of eLearning courses and product certification courses.

The Everything tier includes live regional classroom training and solution workshops, in addition to the features of the other two tiers.

Blackbaud provides users with several support options, such as a knowledge base of articles and videos, how-to documentations and a community forum. Users can contact Blackbaud by phone, chat support or submitting a ticket.

Pricing

Blackbaud offers subscription pricing plans. However, it doesn’t publicly release pricing information. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is mainly intended for non-profits, so for-profit companies can check out our other accounting software reviews.

Users at smaller non-profits have found the software to be costly, especially as the cost increases annually. Also, users have reported that running queries can be difficult, especially if they don’t use the software often.

Screenshots

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About

Blackbaud provides cloud software, services, expertise and data intelligence that empower organizations to drive impact for social good. They serve the entire social good community, which includes nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and the individual change agents who support them. In addition to fund accounting solutions, Blackbaud markets various solutions for marketing, CRM, fundraising, merchant services and grantmaking, to name a few.

Blackbaud has received numerous accolades over the years, such as Forbes’ 2016 Fastest Growing Public Tech Companies, IDC’s 24th Largest Cloud Software Provider Worldwide and the 2018 Bronze Stevie Award for Contact Center of the Year – Technology Industries.

Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, SC, and has offices in several regions of the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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