About Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT
Streamline financial processes and demonstrate accountability with Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT's complete fund accounting system.
Wide range of training available. Excellent customer support.
Getting information out in a form and format that they could use was difficult to impossible. I was told they spent $250k getting the program up and running in implementation costs.
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My review of Financial Edge NXT
Comments: I like Financial Edge NXT and I couldn’t imagine doing my job without it!
I like that this software is for finance and accounting professionals. It has helped me to perform the daily functions of my job with limited interruptions.
I haven’t been able to understand the allocation module, and so we are still doing our investments manually. The guide that is provided seems to work more for people who have an overall understanding of how it should work.
Great Fund Accounting Software
Comments: We moved from QuickBooks to BlackBaud because we needed a fund accounting program and it has performed well for our organization. Our department heads now have access to the site and can see their financials more than just once a month which is game changing for financial decisions.
The cost of this software verses the others in the market is very affordable. The implementation went very smooth and it has been working very well. Support is usually really quick and helpful to get problems solved.
The reporting functions are time consuming to set up but most reports can be built to suit your needs and work great after the initial build.
The product you are sold is probably not what you will actually get
Comments: Our experience with FENxt has really been terrible. It is soooo slow. Features we were promised at implementation do not work or have never been rolled out (where is A/R??). It does not sync with our bill pay system (we were told it would!) so bills have to be manually entered into two systems. It takes a very long time for support and usually the ineffective solution is that we should clear our cookies or history, or we are sent something to read. One of our databases has had problems from the start. Every excel report has to be reformatted to be useful.
It is good to have project tracking capabilities and to have the ability to work from home if needed.
The sales team will give you a lot of promises that are not reality. The biggest overall problems are how slow the system is, and features we were promised that never happened.
Good product - backward implementation
Comments: The worst part is implementation. We had to make decisions about setup that cannot be changed before we fully understood how we wanted to use the software. They should have allowed us to use our own data in a "sandbox" model to learn how things work.
I love the fact that you can create journal entries and invoices and include that information in reports before posting them. This helps to avoid mistakes. The web view is user friendly and fairly intuitive.
The database view is archaic and not user friendly. Many functions have not yet been converted to the web view and must be done in the database view.
Comments: Has been positive but still learning the system since "go-live" migration about 7 months ago.
Migration from previous version was seamless along with BB team to assist where needed. Ability to "copy previous" is very helpful. Helpful training opportunities via on-demand or BB U taught courses. BB support is usually always quick to reply & direct when needed.
Understanding parameters that need to be set (i.e. post, etc.) can be confusing. BB support does not seem to have access to your org file when issues arise...that was a bit shocking. I would think behind the scenes that would be able to access & walk through critical problems that need to be addressed. I realize it may be a data security issue but having to add a BB staff as user seems akward.
Blackbaud NXT functions with great effort
Comments: Blackbaud has two ways of interfacing with the software. One can use a database interface or NXT. In some cases, NXT is easy to use. In other cases, the database option is more efficient. I find myself having to use both. Blackbaud has a steep learning curve. Parameters that control the software are buried in a sea of screens and options. It is often a needle in a haystack search. Blackbaud documentation is exhaustive but hard to find answers. User manuals may run on for hundreds of pages without answering the question.
The report writer allows financial statement to be developed using column and row specifications that are user defined. The row specs are based on organizing the chart of accounts. The columns are user defined and are adequate.
Blackbaud is not intuitive or user friendly. Trying to control the software is very cumbersome. Also the report writer in Financial Edge is less flexible than other software products I have used. Columns are defined as to time periods. But if one wants to run the same financial statement from past time periods, these specs must be re-written. The reporting periods should be a relative definition and should refer to a fiscal period selection at run time.
Financial Edge, Student Billing and Raiser's Edge - Powerful Tools!
I have used Financial Edge for over 10 years in both "traditional" non-profit settings, as well as a school. In all of these organizations, we also had Raiser's Edge - which was integrated with Financial Edge. Through the canned reports, as well as building custom reports, I have been able to accurately report on my organization's finances. The Student Billing module allows a school to record all payment activity for a student and tie that directly to the GL.
I have encountered many organizations that purchased Blackbaud Software without being properly trained. As a result, they become frustrated with the product which leads to negative comments. The sales reps should not be allowed to sell the software without a training package included.
Missed it by " " that much
building reports is easy. its a great accounting package overall. the go to for non-profits of size.
its a great accounting package overall. my one complaint is the way accounts are made, in three parts, account number, fund, department. these three parts all make up an account number. for example 7000-02-100. 7000 is the traditional account, 02 is the fund, and 100 is the department. so if you make an account for all funds and departments the list of accounts is HUGE!
Easy to Use and access. I would recommend Raiser's Edge to anyone. Once you have aligned your system with Finance reports are really easy to produce.
Raiser's Edge has so many fields that can be used or created, if you don't have an established process things can get messy like any database.
We use the full suite of modules and like the integration and support. Payroll is more challenging.
Help and support tools / resources are great. Chat support is responsive and gets a solution to the problem.
Payroll leave time management configuration is challenging for our organization that has a complex leave time structure.
Blackbaud Financial Edge (BBFE)
Comments: BBFE has both strengths and weaknesses, as might be expected. It is a true fund accounting software with the ability to handle thousands of funds. Being able to push data in and exporting data out are 2 features that are usually very important, and BBFE mostly does that well. BBFE allows for attaching various homegrown codes to the data at the fund, account, and transaction level. This is not a panacea but can be helpful. The software can be used in a fairly high volume a/p environment and the g/l functionality is also pretty good.
Exporting data is easy, so long as the export you are looking for is available. Importing fund codes is do-able but may require some significant preparation of the upload. BBFE allows for a seemingly unlimited amount of codes to be attached to funds, accounts, and transaction lines. This is very helpful. BBFE has some built in custom reporting facilities that can be helpful. BBFE has a detailed security model that can help with internal controls.
Reports: many of the builtin reports do not contain running totals and grand totals as well as header information page-to-page as one would like. Exports: the data exports are not true sql type, but are a simplified version, which is sometimes adequate. You might need another sql facility to adequately access the data and control the data joins. BBFE imposes credit memos and disallows negative invoices--depending on what you are doing, that could be a big problem that will need to be addressed. BBFE automatically computes and shows balance forwards and each year does not stand on its own, so for some data analysis you might have to compute balance forwards in order to avoid having to download all historical data. BBFE doesn't enforce cash balancing for JEs (if 2 funds are exchanging cash, the JE can give more cash to the recipient than was removed from the payer). BBFE doesn't seem to understand control funds (a fund that holds detail information that belongs to a pool of other funds)--this will require booking JEs that would be unnecessary in some other fund accounting software. BBFE enforces using an outside service for production of 1099s.
Financial Edge - the application that works with Raiser's Edge
Comments: Overall, FE is a good application if you are already RE but do not have an existing accounting application. If your organization is small and do not have an IT team, then look at Blackbaud to host your RE and FE applications and let the professionals take care of your application hardware infrastructure.
If you are using Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge (RE) software and need another application to perform accounting functions, Financial Edge (FE) is the application that will take care of Vendor tracking, A/R, A/P, etc. Rather than using another accounting application (ie. Quickbooks), Financial Edge integrates with Raiser's Edge. When you post gifts from Raiser's Edge, it goes over to Financial Edge and updates the information. The information for batch number, Appeal, Funds, Campaign migrate over to FE from RE. The user interface, look and feel between Financial Edge and Raiser's are the same. If you know RE, then FE will be easy to catch on. If you are hosted by Blackbaud, then you will be looking for FE/NXT
While there is a lot of integration from RE to FE, this comes at a cost. The FE application is expensive compared to other financial applications. If you are hosting FE on-premise, I believe Blackbaud charges by the number of users. You also need to a server with SQL to run FE. This is not like QuickBooks which can install on a local PC. If you are hosted by Blackbaud, then you will be looking at FE/NXT and again price will your main concern.
Financial Edge User
Comments: I have been using Financial Edge for almost four years now and the the strides they have made from my first impression to now are outstanding. When I first started my job I was thrown into the systems and provided little training and while the system (Accounts Payable, General Ledger) were easy to learn they were a little clunky looking and the features that made them powerful (attributes, global changes) were not something you would find on your own. We recently (been a little over a year) moved to the NXT version and while all the functionality is not there yet I do appreciate BlackBaud taking the time to listen to their customers while building out the functionality instead of just updating it based on the database view. While this make take more time to build out (which can be frustrating) it will hopefully allow for an even more powerful platform in the end that allows us to be a more effective and efficient team in the end.
New functionalities being rolled out that allow us to use more systems working together instead of isolated. Community boards to allow users to make suggestions and learn from each other.
That NXT is not complete yet (but I understand why and agree with their methodology). Customer support can be clunky at times when the first person is not able to help you.
Financial Edge - Hands Down the Best Nonprofit Accounting Package
Comments: Listen, price is always a concern, but so is the time you'll spend manipulating reports in Excel when you work with lesser software packages. I guarantee you, pit me on Financial Edge against an accountant on any other software, and I can get the job done at least twice as fast, and if it's QuickBooks, five times as fast, and without ever having to go into Excel to do anything.
I've worked with Blackbaud's Financial Edge for over 2 decades now (even back when it was called Accounting for Nonprofits), and it's the best for nonprofit accounting. Its chart of accounts can be changed at any point to accommodate as many segments as you need (I have worked with as many as 4 segments), and reporting of any kind is easily accomplished with the variety of accessible reports and queries. A lot of journal entries that you'd need to create in other software packages are easily handled through invoice entry in accounts payable, at the time of invoice entry, through miscellaneous distributions. Customer service is excellent as well.
The annual support for customer service is a bit pricey, and designed to keep you on the hook forever (if you don't pay for a year, because you don't think you will need support - and after the first year or two you may not - as soon as you need support, you've got to pay a large percentage of all the years you missed). Not a con, but Blackbaud's products get a bad rep from bookkeepers who are more used to the silliness of QuickBooks than the accountant's dream that Financial Edge really is.
The best nonprofit accounting software, period.
FE is quite flexible, especially its chart of accounts and the number of segments you can report on. Setup is easy, and unlike other packages, you're not glued to what you set up originally. If down the road you find you need to add a segment to your chart of accounts for reporting purposes, you can do that on the fly. And you don't need to be concerned at set-up with adding future account segments. But make no mistake: you've got to have a basic understanding of accounting in order to appreciate this product for all it can do. Customer support, through annual maintenance contracts, is excellent.
I too would like to be able to export financial reports into Excel without having to re-format when I get to Excel. That's a mild inconvenience, but there are times when you want to put stuff, data onto financial reports that can't get there any other way than through manipulation in Excel.
Maximizing Time and Effort - Minimizing Paper
Comments: If you are having issues, contact support staff. Work with them. If you need to refine your initial setup do so earlier than later, you will appreciate it the long run.
The integration between Altru (our sub-ledger), BB Merchant Services and FE/NXT is superb in my opinion. You have the ability to track a transaction backwards and forwards. We use the visual chart feature to create our budget in five different views - relating to the grants we are using, thereby eliminating errors in data collection by excel spreadsheet creations not getting updated. Someone mentioned that thinking about the creation of your organization and GL was a big con for them. I disagree. We came on board with expert advice from BB and created a cohesive database that allows us to close the month within two-three days. I think the effort that is put into creating a tool should be as important as the information that you hope to receive from its use.
A few spotty delays when I an running an exceptionally detailed report as you watch the Jeopardy button go around in circles.
Great product for Non Profits
The versatility of the product was great. You are able to track data on several levels using account numbers, and several transaction codes that you are able to define yourself. Despite all of that information that was housed individually, the software also would allow you to consolidate information across multiple entities. Report writing was fairly simple as were day to day processes of entering journal entries, AP invoices and AR invoices. A nice feature of the reporting was that you were able to create one report and filter it by the transaction codes before running the report. This meant you did not have to have 100s of reports for different scenarios. Instead you could create one report and filter it each time by the transaction codes or entities you were interested in viewing. We also integrated the software with PaperSave which allowed us to go paperless.
The support was not always the best. If you had an issue, sometimes the support had a difficult time understanding your issue and resolving it in a timely manner.
Financial Edge has given us an edge up
Comments: Financial Edge has been a great experience; we have streamlined data processes and improved our reporting cabability more than 10 fold. We love the project and grant data management pieces as well. The newest addition of Credit Card payment/processing has been a WONDERFUL thing for our office. Our CFO and Accounts Payable Staff can easily see where we are at any given moment in regards to AP/AR balances. Paying invoices is really easy and the load from tables funcationality for GL Disbursments is helpful as well. Financial Edge also has the capabilty to create recurring invoices for those AP invoices that are the same month after month. We are integrated with Raiser's Edge as well and that process is very easy as well.
Ease of use in Query and Report Parameters
Some of the more intricate invoices can be cumbersome, but that is only for a few items that we have. I wish the Vendor integration with Raiser's Edge was more robust, but it works for us ok.
Great cloud based accounting system for non profits!
I've been using black baud for almost 10 years, I love the ease of using the AP side. It's very easy to get from viewing a vendor, to adding a new invoice and checking for purchase orders, all in one window (with tabs).
The only thing I don't like, it seems there are updates (which is great, but sometimes complicates things). It loses the alignment on my checks pretty drastically and doesn't save the alignment for a new run. I'm not sure if there's a glitch. It does time out kind of quickly if you aren't constantly using the system.
4 years ago
Hello Reviewer, I appreciate you taking the time to review Financial Edge NXT! As you may know, we listen to our customers' feedback for updates - I have let our product team know about your issue with check alignment. Please let me know if you have any other issues! - [email protected]
FE and RE are standards for managing your data
Comments: RaisersEdge allows my organization to keep track of tens of thousands of individual records. Without these we wouldn't be able to interact successfully and efficiently with our clients, donors and partners. Financial Edge allows us to produce accounting reports and maintain our large assets.
RaisersEdge is easy to use and store data. RaisersEdge has vast capabilities and reliability. FE makes the process of accounting and check printing very easy. Both products integrate well with other software
Even though RaisersEdge has many different tools - you may not be likely to use many of them regularly. Instead I find I reuse the same tools and end up bypassing a lot of what I could do, instead sticking to the essentials. Those extra functionalities just are not that useful to me
Financial Edge NXT Not Ready for Primetime
Comments: After seeing the NXT demo, it was clear that moving to the new platform would provide our business with all the functionality we were missing in our on premise thick client version. THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE! Although during the demo it was clearly stated that some of the modules would not be moved from the old version to the new, it was not stated that features in the NXT migrated modules would not be available... so if you are working in say AP and rolling along with your work, you might hit a feature set that does not exist in NXT and requires you to switch to the Citrix version think client. It turns out that only a small percentage of the system has been migrated to NXT. This plan to migrate the modules and functions within the modules in realtime is a massive failure. The performance hit moving to the cloud was intollerable. GL uploads take twice as long even after assessing bandwidth and attempting to do the uploads on the local Blackbaud servers in the cloud. Its as if they did not build the environment robust enough to support the client base. There were features that simply did not work. Printing is problematic and the WebPortal for purchases and requisitions simply does not work. It fails with a web browser error. They said they fixed it as they had identified a node that was not turned up (you would have though they would have a monitoring tool to know this was the case) but this did not solve the problem in the end. Screen lockups, and crashes began to occur and yet there was no one who could effectively analyze the issues and solve the problems. We now have to roll our database back to our on premise version and search for a new solution. We will not be using Blackbaud. Their support is horrendous; forget telephone support your could be on hold for an hour or more; we were able to get on chats but that took some time as well. It was not until we started yelling and escalating that we finally got some response because the number of open incidents was ridiculous. I'm sure their bread and butter CRM and Grand management apps are probably fine but hosted Financial Edge/NXT definitely not worth the money.
Product just does not work.
Full featured software but not cheap
Great functionality, and able to handle everything our local non-profit organization needs it to do, including integration with the donor management side, Blackbaud Raisers Edge. An example of the good integration is that gifts recorded in Raisers Edge then can be posted over to Financial Edge, to avoid duplicate entry. Good audit trail for all transactions, with inability to change posted items.
The desktop version is being phased out with customer support and account reps strongly encouraging a move to the web based version, which is in fact more user friendly (per the demos I've seen) but is also more expensive, and it already was not cheap.
A top accounting software for non-profit
Comments: Blackbaud really values users' opinions. It connects all non-profit users together. It also emails me helpful tips every week.
Very good customer service. Comprehensive training program. I took all courses and mastered the software within 3 months. Those courses gave me an in-depth view of the software and simplify my work process. Financial Edge has easy-to-use features that meet our organization needs. I like the query function, VCO and various reports. VCO allows me to build reports in certain format, and query allows me to extract data quickly. The query function helps me survived this year's auditing. When an account was off, I used query and easily found the problems to fix it.
It logged me out and ran very slow sometimes. I'd like it to be able to communicate with excel easily.
With their continued expanding, focus on what the users want, this product can only get better!
The 'in testing' credit card feeds function. Our company has a lot of credit card activity and with the credit cards feed we are able to link directly to the bank accounts and pull in every transaction as they occur. This has taken our 3 days process of entering all of the receipts and shortened it down to just half a day, with the receipts already in the system all I have to do is tie it to a vendor and code it then it's done. I also like the customization when filtering through vendors and invoices each person wants and needs to see different fields and NXT really lets each user have their own experience. When entering multiple invoices for one vendor you also have the ability to duplicate the last invoice speeding things along especially if there are minimal differences between the invoices.
There is no use for our Payroll Specialist or Accounts Receivable, and with each day having at least 40 invoices to enter at one time, there is no way to enter a bulk amount of invoices like the database view allows so Accounts Payable is limited to using it only once or twice a week.
Financial Edge is indispensible for us
Comments: We have been able to run a very busy finance office with only 1.5 employees for several years now. We also have been able to do much more efficient and flexible reporting to business units (detail) and to board management (summary).
The NXT online service is very easy to use and very flexible to our needs for reporting. The support is good, most reps are very responsive and I love Blackbaud University.
It's really expensive. And requests for customization are hard to get through. But it's overall so easy to use that we can live with the small tweaks for now.