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Q&A

Accounting Software

Any recommendations for accounting software for PTO's? Want to switch over to digital books. Just want to make sure we invest in software that's going to work for us. Thanks
- maresad

I've been using MoneyMinder for a couple of years now and there are several other PTAs/PTOs in our area who use it as well. (www.moneyminder.biz) I'm happy with it. I used to use Finance Manager from PTO Today, and it was ok, but MoneyMinder had better features and reporting. However, that was several years ago that I did the comparison, and I'm sure there have been upgrades since then, so it would be worth a trial version to check it out. I believe both will give you a 30 day trial. I saw Treasurer's Briefcase at the PTO Today exhibit, and liked what I saw, but once I got to use the trial version, realized they had no capability to enter budget numbers, and that was a dealbreaker. They have several upgrades coming over the next few months, but not yet ready for primetime.

I strongly urge you to go with web based software instead of something that people install on their own machines (like Quicken or QuickBooks), because I've been burned too many times by people who forget to back up files regularly, or who skip out on their job. With web based software, multiple people can have access, and you don't have to worry about backups being made or people's computers crashing. You'll pay an annual licensing fee instead of a one time software purchase, but the security is worth it.
- mum24kids
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Hi maresad,

Wanted to pass along some additional information from our Leader Support team

Kudos for wanting to update your PTO finances!

There are several programs out there marketed at parent groups, and each has their own set of pros and con. As you examine them, think about what YOU and your PTO really need. PTO Today’s Finance Manager is designed for even the most novice treasurer to use and provides a safe, secure and simple way to keep track of your groups finances. It allows anyone to quickly step into the Treasurer’s shoes if needed. Since you don’t know what’s going to happen with you (or your current treasurer0, make sure whatever you use can be learned quickly by anyone regardless of their experience level. Also, what better recruiting tool for next year’s officer slate than a simple accounting tool for your treasurer?

Couple other things to look for: A web based program which allows multiple users access is crucial. Finance Manager allows access anywhere there is an internet connection. Also, the ability for others to review your books without being able to change them is important, especially for the PTO who wants their finances to be transparent. Finance Manager allows different levels of access so that multiple board members can view the books all at the same time, yet editing control remains solely with the treasurer. For any parent group, cost is always an issue. Make sure that whatever you decide on allows multiple users to access the system without an additional charge, and includes any software updates. Finance Manager is only $ 129 per year ($109 for PTO Today Plus members) and all updates and technical customer service support are included. Whatever you go with, make sure that there is the ability to try it out BEFORE you purchase. Look for a 30 day free trial to see if the system will do what you want it to do before taking the plunge.

Finally, make sure that whoever you purchase your program from is going to be there for you in the future. Finance Manager is supported by PTO Today, the people who know parent groups best. PTO Today has been supporting parent groups for more than 14 years.

Thanks so much for your assistance!! Please let me know if you need further asstance.

Best,

Charlene LaFerriere
Leader Support Specialist
- Rose H
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If you are looking for a niche system, it is not advisable to go for standard generic accounting system which is merely a 1 size fits all and might not suit your PTA/PTO requirements and also might turn out to be cumbersome to manage.
If you are a Treasurer at non-profits like PTA/PTO, you should look at RunPTO

RunPTO is the latest cloud based software system designed and developed specially for PTA/PTO Accounting Software and other features available in the PTA/PTO space today. You have a 90 day free trial to check out and it just cost $299 per year. It includes Student Directory, Membership Signup and Directory, Online Payment integration, Volunteer/Event Signups, Distribute Newsletters, Email Blast, Website integration and more features all for $299. Check out the features at www.runpto.com and the system demo at www.runpto.com/demo
- kendsouza
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