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Michael Flynn

To go with FMP or not - Help me decide

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Unless you need customization, I would recommend QuickBooks Premier Non-Profit Edition. Why reinvent the wheel?

On the other hand, it's very easy to create summarized list reports in FMP (I've read about 4th Dimension, but haven't used it). Just define whatever summary fields you want and put them in the subsummary parts of your report layout. Just be sure to sort by the corresponding fields before running the reports.

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You might take a look at the FileMaker web site's non-profit section:

http://www.filemaker.com/nonprofit/

4D is a good application. I like the some of the user interface capabilities. It's somewhat more expensive than FM, has a much smaller installed base, a smaller developer community, and, of course, no web site that compares to the 20,000+ members of FM Forums (shameless plug). They have an awesome technology plan for FM and the revenues to make it happen (I'm guessing, currently over $150M in sales a year). New FM user's groups are starting at a rate of about one per month, something unheard of, as computer user's groups have been in decline for about half a decade.

I'd check out the 4D forums and see how they feel, the time to respond to your questions, etc.

-bd

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I could be wrong but I don't think intuit sells a version of non-profit edition for the mac. Secondly, I think quicken doesn't handle fund accounting but uses classes. If that is the case its kind of a kludge and finally the reports that quickbook provides really don't suite our needs.

I haven't figured out yet how to create summary fields, I'm still getting a feel for the application. FMP has some definate advantages over 4d and vice versa. I'm having trouble figuring out which one.

Anyways these summary fields, how hard is it to create a cross-tab report.

Mike

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4D 2004 has a great interface. I like the way their report writer is setup, and overall its a nice application. One weird thing which I definitely don't like is, that after you define a field on a table you cannot remove it. I'm sorry but that doesn't cut it.

The company that produces 4d sells its application for dramatically less then street, much cheaper then FMP. Even though that's a great point in 4d's favor, its not the point driving my decision.

Both FMP and 4d have things that I really like in how they work and things that I don't like.

You also mentioned something that has been nagging me in the background and that's 4d's long term viability. Filemaker is pretty well established and I'm pretty sure it will be there for the long haul (though anyhting can happen). I have no idea about their forums.

I'm very pleased to see such a quick response to my questions here smile.gif

Thanks

Mike

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