Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Review: Features and Pricing 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is cloud-based fund accounting software with enterprise resource planning (ERP) features specifically for nonprofits. It helps you track and report on your grant transactions, manage cash flow and expenses, and monitor your organization’s financial health. Its features include advanced multiscenario budgeting, grant and project accounting, and real-time reporting. For pricing information, contact Blackbaud.
- Integrates with all Blackbaud financial and fundraising programs
- Can track grant requirements
- Powerful budgeting with multiple scenarios
- Unlimited tracking characteristics for more detailed reporting
- No upfront pricing
- Lacks donor management features
- Most modules require an additional fee
- Too complicated for nonaccountants
- Midsize nonprofits that need detailed transaction reporting: Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT has a flexible general ledger (GL) that uses an unlimited number of tracking characteristics to help you dig deeper into your data. If you want to look at other options, read our guide to the best nonprofit accounting software.
- Nonprofits looking for a budget planner: It includes a built-in budget planner, which lets you plan future budgets and compare actual revenue and expenses against your budget.
- Organizations that want consolidated reporting: You can add the consolidation management module to consolidate financial statements between multiple organizations.
- Nonprofits that require member management features: Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT brands itself as a nonprofit ERP, so its features focus mostly on accounting. If you need functions to manage people like sending short message service (SMS) or event registrations, we recommend checking out Aplos.
- Small nonprofit managers preferring to do the books: Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is a complex system that has a steep learning curve before you can feel comfortable with it. If you want a simpler solution, you should consider QuickBooks Online Plus. Users can configure QuickBooks Online for nonprofit use, and it can be more affordable for smaller nonprofits.
- Nonprofits looking for a desktop solution: QuickBooks Online and Aplos are both cloud-based systems. Hence, QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit is a desktop alternative. Since it is a special edition of QuickBooks Desktop, it comes with nonprofit accounting features built into the system.
Visit Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT
Are you looking for something different?
For general accounting software that can be customized for nonprofits, see our evaluation of the best small business accounting software.
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Deciding Factors
Midsize and large nonprofits looking for nonprofit ERP
Email, phone, and knowledge base
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Alternatives
Best for: Nonprofits needing member management features
Best for: Nonprofits looking for a simple bookkeeping system
Best for: Nonprofits wanting a desktop program
Starts at: $79 per month
Starts at: $85 per month for QuickBooks Online Plus
Starts at: $799 per year for one user
Read our Aplos review
Read our QuickBooks Online review
Read our QuickBooks Premier Plus review
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT vs Competitors
We compared Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT with top nonprofit accounting software Aplos and NonProfit+.
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Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT Custom Priced
Aplos Starts at $79 per month
NonProfit+ Custom Priced
In our Financial Edge NXT review, only Aplos published prices on its website. As much as possible, we’d like software providers to publish prices to provide readers with immediate information for decision-making. Hence, we give more points to Aplos in the pricing criterion.
In terms of accounting features, it’s almost a tie. Financial Edge NXT fell only a few points behind Aplos and NonProfit+ because some of its accounting features need third-party integration, which comes at an additional cost. It got a high score in nonprofit features, but its competitors still got the lead because it doesn’t have member management features. However, we don’t see this as a major miss because Blackbaud promotes this product as a nonprofit ERP.
Prices for Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT aren’t provided on its website, but you can contact Blackbaud to request pricing information or get a customized quote. The cost of nonprofit accounting software typically depends on several factors, such as the size of your organization and the modules and features you need.
Financial Edge NXT’s accounting features are comprehensive and useful for complex nonprofit accounting. We gave it a high score because this software matches larger nonprofits and religious organizations.
It has a flexible account and subaccount structure that lets you create and slice your reports based on various metrics. While the default account segment is the fund account code, you can create and drill into your reports based on other dimensions, such as program, event, or department. This means that you have total control over your financial reports as you can arrange your data based on how you need them.
Also, the GL is connected to all the other modules so that you can generate reports from different aspects of your organization.
Through the General Ledger menu, you can access the journal. Here, you’ll find journal entries arranged by batch. Recording a journal entry is done by batch with an assigned batch ID. This system of recording journal entries allows better efficiency since you can add related or similar journal entries into one batch. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT’s batch system borrows the concept of special journals to reduce the recording of repetitive journal entries.
The A/P module provides an easy way to manage liabilities, such as bills, loans, and mortgages. You can customize your A/P process for a wide variety of functions. For instance, you can control whether the program checks for duplicates automatically or should alert you of due invoices. For your bills, you can pay your vendors or providers directly with a credit or debit card, check, or electronic fund transfer (EFT).
You can use Financial Edge NXT’s interactive charts to view transaction information with a particular vendor. There are filters that you can turn on and off to see specific data points over time. Below the interactive chart is a list of records for a particular vendor. You can go over individual records instead of reviewing the charts.
You can set up default payment terms for your clients, allowing you to bill them for your goods or services. It lets you track individual organizations, clients, and funding sources.
You can also import clients, invoices, recurring invoices, product and billing items, payments, and refunds. You can even apply payments manually to invoices, void or reverse a posted payment, and exclude a specific invoice or invoices from your aged A/R report.
Financial Edge NXT brands itself as a nonprofit ERP, meaning that it didn’t disappoint in terms of nonprofit features. We included member management as a subcriteria in our evaluation, and even if Financial Edge NXT doesn’t have that, it still got a high score in overall nonprofit features.
You can track and report on both simple and complex grant requirements. The program includes additional tracking levels so that you can separately monitor activities for each grant.
You can also generate detailed reports about a grant and track and forecast budgets across multiple grant periods. If your organization has complicated grant reimbursements, Financial Edge NXT has built-in grant spending rules that enable you to make reimbursement calculations automatically.
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT includes approval workflows to automate your entire purchasing and expense management cycle, from setting up unique business rules to entering purchase orders (POs) and creating invoices. You can also change an invoice status or approve an invoice and perform direct and indirect allocations so that you can attribute revenue and expenses properly to your projects, accounts, or funds.
This built-in budget-checking feature allows you to compare the performance of your actual revenue and expenditures against your budget. If you want to track your future expenses, the budget-checking feature also supports forecasting and customizable fiscal periods.
What’s more, Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT allows unlimited budget scenarios. You can create annual, grant, department, program, project, or hypothetical budgets. You can also roll over certain budgets into a parent budget, such as department budgets to operating budgets.
Users with approver roles can view approval requests in the expense management module. As fund management software, Financial Edge NXT helps companies manage funds efficiently by providing features that complement standard internal controls. Approvers can review and reject charges and rejected invoices or bills can be resubmitted for approval.
This optional consolidation management module is ideal for users who manage multiple organizations or those that deal with different currencies and account structures. The solution allows you to consolidate your data while maintaining separate books for operational and tax purposes. You can consolidate reports without having to export and merge data manually using spreadsheet software.
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT has configurable dashboards and custom reports that let you view critical information about your organization. They also enable you to drill down to see the most important information and which of your transactions are generating the most results.
You can even populate your dashboards with the records and reports that you frequently access. Some reports available include account reports, allocation reports, budget reports, and financial statements, such as balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and statement of activities.
Grant reports, such as grant reimbursements and budget vs actual reports, are also available. For further analytics, Blackbaud integrates with SKY Reporting, Blackbaud’s modern open interface. When you open the Reporting tab, the first thing you’ll notice is the list of reports, with tabs displaying all the reports, the recently run reports, frequently run reports, and reports that are marked as favorites.
While Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT has a user-friendly interface, it can be overwhelming for new users or nonbookkeepers. If you’re familiar with the Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge application, it has the same look and feel. Designed to be mobile-friendly, the interface includes a series of filters to help you access a specific feature easily. The main tabs on the screen include the Dashboard, General Ledger, Treasury, Payables, Reporting, and Control Panel.
Users can contact Blackbaud via phone, chat support, or a ticket through its online case portal (Case Central). You can also check out its online knowledge base of articles and videos, how-to documents, and community forum. If you need continuing education in the nonprofit industry, you can enroll in any of the training courses offered by Blackbaud.
Financial Edge NXT reviews reflect that users found the software useful for printing nonprofit reports, customizing reports, and tracking funds. However, they also pointed out that it has a steep learning curve.
These are the tool’s ratings on third-party review websites:
- GetApp: 4.2 out of 5 stars based on around 160 reviews
- G2: 4 out of 5 stars based on around 60 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Blackbaud have software for tracking members?
Yes, but not in the Financial Edge NXT program, which specializes in accounting. Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT is a constituent relationship management (CRM) system catered to nonprofits that includes member tracking.
Is Financial Edge NXT easy to use?
No, there’s a steep learning curve in using this software. In our evaluation of Financial Edge NXT, we conclude that it requires a lot of learning time before fully understanding how the features work.
If you need a nonprofit accounting solution that can generate transaction reports at a very detailed level, consider Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT. It’s great at helping nonprofits manage their cash flow, plan and run their budgets, and track their organization’s position with robust reporting tools. On top of its standard features, it offers an extensive selection of integrated modules, such as budget management and consolidation management, making it worth your investment.