MonkeyPod vs. QuickBooks

You’re curious about MonkeyPod and how it can help manage your nonprofit accounting -- that’s great! While QuickBooks and MonkeyPod can be used to manage your accounting, only MonkeyPod offers true nonprofit accounting.

Let’s compare the features below:

Product Features MonkeyPod QuickBooks
Enforces nonprofit accounting guidelines
Tracks spending that doesn’t map to a single category and allocates shared expenses according to management estimates for reporting purposes

Differentiates between contributed vs. earned income

Tracks donor-restricted assets

Tracks and reports on grants

Produces nonprofit-specific reports without any additional workarounds
(e.g. Statement of Activities, Statement of Financial Position, and Statement of Functional Expenses)

Tracks nonprofit-specific transactions like donations, pledges, and grants

Tracks bills, checks, credit card payments, sales, invoices, deposits, and other routine transactions

Connects to online banking for streamlined expense tracking

MonkeyPod accounting makes compliance a breeze.

Nonprofit accounting rules differ from for-profit rules in a few important ways. The two biggest are that, as a nonprofit, you have to (1) track your contributions and assets by donor-imposed restrictions (for example, a restricted grant vs. a general operating grant), and (2) categorize your spending by functional categories (i.e. programs, fundraising, or management) in addition to the standard natural categories (for example, payroll or office supplies).

If you use QuickBooks, you’re on your own. You’ll need to design and implement your own systems for enforcing these rules, and then whoever keeps your books has to remember to always follow them. This is true even if you’re using QuickBooks’ Non-Profit Edition. The smallest mistake could invalidate your financial reports, which means big accounting bills at the end of the year to fix those errors. 

MonkeyPod supports nonprofit accounting and only nonprofit accounting. The rules are enforced for you so seamlessly that you barely need to think about them. MonkeyPod users rest easy knowing they’re always in compliance, even if they themselves aren’t exactly experts on the ever-changing guidelines. When you send a report to a funder, you can confidently show exactly how you’ve spent those grant funds, and how much is left to spend. Meanwhile, your accountant will be shocked by how easy it is to generate standard (and fully compliant!) nonprofit financial reports.

MonkeyPod keeps the books for you.

MonkeyPod includes free automated bookkeeping for lots of routine transactions. When you raise money online through a MonkeyPod fundraising campaign, those donations are instantly recorded on your books. They’re guaranteed to be accurate, even when they include complicating factors like partially deductible gifts. When you spend restricted grant funds, the complex accounting required to formally release those funds from restriction is handled for you -- automatically and seamlessly. And these are just two of the many ways that MonkeyPod takes bookkeeping grunt work off your plate.

QuickBooks takes a different approach. Because they’re trying to serve small businesses of all shapes and sizes, they can’t possibly have enough context about your organization to handle this stuff automatically. Instead, they maintain a stable of outside bookkeepers who you can hire for this kind of work. But be careful! Most of these folks have little or no experience with nonprofit accounting, so you could easily find yourself paying an “expert” who knows far less than you do.

MonkeyPod puts your data in context.

Despite the limitations we’ve pointed out above, QuickBooks is a popular small business accounting program. It can track your financial activity, and if you use it correctly, you’ll end up with accurate books and acceptable financial reports. If you’re the type of organization that doesn’t spend much time thinking about money -- where it comes from, how it’s spent, how it’s trending -- then QuickBooks probably meets your minimum requirements for an accounting system.

MonkeyPod has a different philosophy. In our experience, smart and effective nonprofits aren’t afraid of money or data. Instead, they figure out how to turn that sea of information into meaningful, actionable insights. MonkeyPod makes this possible. That’s because MonkeyPod is so much more than just an accounting system. MonkeyPod is a holistic, fully-integrated system. (You might think of it as your “nonprofit-in-a-box”.) In MonkeyPod, a donation isn’t just a financial transaction. It’s also an important interaction with someone who your organization cares about. MonkeyPod can show you what other touchpoints led up to that gift, who else in your database is connected to the donor and how, whether someone else played a role in the solicitation, and much, much more. This is data in context, and context is what gives meaning to data. If you can understand your organization’s financial life as part of a larger picture, then you’ll not only build a stronger and more resilient organization, but you’ll also be smarter, faster, and more effective at fulfilling your mission.