Aplos is a web-based accounting solution best suited for churches as well as small and medium-sized nonprofits. Having already supported the growth of 40,000+ organizations by enabling them to better manage their membership base, fundraising processes, and events, Aplos remains dedicated to providing people with a trusted and competitive product. But is it right for you? To give you the scoop, we went through numerous Aplos reviews and tested the product ourselves. Scroll down to find out more!
As a customizable cloud-based platform with comprehensive fund accounting capabilities, Aplos was initially developed to equip nonprofits with the tools to handle their financials. Its efficiency, however, quickly turned it into a complete system that also enables organizations to create directories, track donations, manage events, and more. But of course, no product is flawless. So, the scope of this Aplos review is to present to you both the benefits and drawbacks of this platform.
Whether you need an accessible member directory or a customizable database powered by an automated event registration, the Aplos membership management software meets the demands of nonprofits and churches. Courtesy of its multiple features, it further caters to homeowners associations (HOAs), Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), and schools.
No matter the size of the organization, most of its operations depend on possessing an easily manageable and accessible member directory. With Aplos, staffers or volunteers always have fresh and updated personal information about their members. Users also find it convenient that the directory is not just easily accessible but also printable.
The customizable database is another helpful functionality. It allows users to store detailed information about their members, including their relationship to the organization, how often they attend events, track if they are active or inactive, make contributions/donations, etc.
The database can also be used to create custom lists. For instance, if you want to have a list of the people who have recently renewed their membership or have donated, it can be done instantly. As noted in Aplos reviews, the software's different components use the same database, so the information integrates seamlessly throughout the system.
Another solid functionality of the Aplos membership management platform is the secure member portal, where admins can create and manage groups in the system. The Aplos portal enables all interested parties to access everything in one place. A particular group can have its portal send messages or emails, coordinate events, schedule meetings, upload documents, and more. While the portal may not be as robust as those offered by some competitors, it offers private online sign-ups and fully covers the needs of the target organizations.
The Aplos software further simplifies communication, especially concerning administrative tasks like billing members. By checking the portal, admins will know where to send the next invoice. There is also the option to monitor the status of the invoice sent, while the system guarantees secure payments.
But asking for money is not all Aplos is good for. Email marketing is a powerful feature of the Aplos CRM. From sending group emails to setting up automated campaigns, you can speak directly to your members with, say, custom thank-you emails, donation receipts, and donor statements with the mail-merge functionality.
Aplos reviews confirm that the pre-built email templates are pretty helpful when sending registration and donation receipts, as well as group invitations and reminders. There is an optional upgrade for bulk messaging as well. Note that even though the CRM feature is not a complete software for customer relationship management, it does serve its purpose well.
Imagine being able to create an event, communicate with prospective attendees, manage the inconvenience of ticketing and registration, accept donations, then measure the success of the event when all this is done. Luckily, with the software’s broad suite of tools, everything can be effectively accomplished. And it all starts by sending out personalized invitations and registration forms to offer your attendees flexible registration options. Aplos software reviews note that an unlimited number of registration forms can be sent free of charge, which is a big plus.
The ticket sales part meanwhile gives you full control over the process. You can include early-bird sales, offer individual or group tickets, discounts, etc. People who register are automatically added to a list in your database. For safety purposes, the system has even added the kids' check-in feature enabling admins to manage the drop-off and pick-up of children in your organization.
The best part is that the accounting feature not only tracks ticket purchases and calculates tax deductions but also monitors event income and expenses. This part of the process is positively rated in many Aplos reviews. Based on the financial data gathered from the ticket sale, the system generates reports with reliable data on how well the event performed.
If you want to inspire and engage your members, donors, or volunteers with a website where you can showcase your mission’s purpose, the newly-added website builder might have what you need. Explicitly developed for churches and nonprofits, this tool will help your organization build its own digital space with easy-to-use and customizable website templates.
Once you’ve selected the one you like, you can further customize it by adding more engaging content, information about past or upcoming events, or you can use the online donation and event registration widget.
Another positive side we want to highlight in this Aplos review is that this feature requires zero coding knowledge, but if you prefer to develop or customize your website yourself, the code of it is easily accessible. Note that no matter which pricing plan you choose, hosting fees are included in the price, and all data is stored directly in the system.
What makes Aplos such a useful product is that it packs many features under its hood, a key one being the accounting software. In addition to its user-friendly interface that works great on both Mac and Windows, with the Aplos nonprofit accounting software, admins can automatically track donations, give statements, and meet the reporting requirements and limitations.
Aplos software reviews confirm that, thanks to true fund accounting, tracking funds related to grants or special programs is now headache-free. The platform’s custom chart of accounts fitting your nonprofit's structure enables you to customize the different types of accounts and tag them as assets, liabilities, income, expenses, or equity. This way, you can track your income per type of transaction, while with expenses, there is the option to create separate accounts for managing salaries, wages, office suppliers, etc.
According to numerous Aplos reviews, funds categories are crucial because they keep admins up to date with the specific amounts set aside for a particular fund. For instance, you can have a general income as the primary account and set sub-groups (contributions, missions, fundraisers, or donations) and even add a special project income account where you can add accounts for, say, book sales or special events. All of the above contribute to the financial and accounting reporting processes, and the best part is that admins always have them available and ready to print.
However, we did come across more than one Aplos accounting software review stating that there is no backup or restore functionality, so if the user makes a mistake, it has to be manually corrected. Another major flaw is that the software does not import the addresses of people who donate via PayPal, which spells more manual work or requesting the information directly from PayPal.
The church accounting software works very similarly to the one intended for nonprofits with a few extra features such as the Aplos payroll, all-inclusive bookkeeping, and tithe tracking. Whether you are just starting in ministry or are already running a church but are struggling with the complexities of management, bookkeeping, and payroll, the software promises to take your worries away. Moreover, when it comes to accounting, Aplos vs Quickbooks comparisons are mainly in favor of the former.
Aplos uses Gusto as its payroll add-on. Admins only need to do the setup, enter the working hours, days off, and pay, and from there on, everything is fully automated. Similarly, all the taxes and benefits management for Aplos are done via Gusto. The payroll service was added fairly recently, and according to Aplos church accounting reviews, it was the only thing this product was missing. Most recent reviews we analyzed note that the product is robust enough now for even small and medium-sized churches to use it in more complex ways.
With the Aplos church accounting software, you can also import transactions from your bank, track and pay bills and I-9s, create invoices, and receive payments online. The bookkeeping functionality requires minimal accounting or bookkeeping experience, making it an ideal fit for a church’s needs and mission.
Generating financial statements and reports is effortless, and Aplos accounting has more than 70 customizable reporting options. The standard ones such as Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Budget Reports are available, as well as additional budgeting reports (Budget by Fund and Budget by Tag). The system can also issue reports about donations by contact and household, top donors, and contributions by purpose.
Tracking tithe from the dynamic member database — especially the Aplos online giving and communication history and notes — is made more accessible and modern. By offering donors the option to subscribe to an automated recurring giving, Aplos increases your chances of receiving both donations and tithes. Plus, the personalized, mobile-friendly forms offer preferred payment methods for giving via Aplos donations. As the case is for nonprofits, the church accounting feature also gives admins the option to remind givers with a text about their upcoming pledge.
As far as integrations go, user reviews vary. For instance, for bank transactions, Aplos has a partnership with industry leaders Plaid and Finicity, which gather information from financial institutions and pass it back to Aplos. While most users are happy with the bank integration and how simple it is to import transactions, others complain that it does not work correctly. People who used QuickBooks for nonprofits accounting say that now that they’ve switched to Aplos, the information that appears in the software does not match bank statements.
On the other hand, the payroll integration with Gusto works seamlessly. Aplos donor management is done through integrations with Bloomerang and digital giving and text marketing software OnlineGiving. For the time being, Aplos integrates with 5% of the most popular apps, which is a substantial percentage given how integrations are relatively new to the product.
Normally, the Aplos Suite price starts at $59/month and includes 500 contacts and two users, plus the basic and most essential features such as Membership Management, Fund Accounting, Custom Chart of Accounts, Donation Tracking, Financial Reports, and Giving Statements. At the time of writing this Aplos review, however, the product comes at a promotional price of just $29/month with an extra 10% discount for one-year subscriptions.
For those in need of a customized plan, Advanced Accounting is a great fit. The Aplos cost for this suite is $159/month. It includes extra features like Budget by Fund or Tag, Custom Role Permissions, Automatic Recurring Transactions, Income and Expense Allocations, Multiple Entity Management, and more.
Getting in touch with the vendor to request an Aplos demo for this particular bundle will get you some promotional prices, and of course, for those intending to buy the annual subscription, there is currently an extra 10% discount. Note that the vendor offers Aplos accounting as a standalone software solution at $49/month.
Currently, the vendor offers a 50% discount for 12 months. As stated on the official website, the offer is available with an Aplos promo code, applies to new software subscriptions only, and cannot be combined with other offers. So, in case you decide to opt for Aplos and are interested in saving some money, we strongly recommend that you check for any ongoing promotions or discounts on the Aplos software pricing before you seal the deal.
Finally, Aplos offers a 15-day free trial for you to check if the software is a good match before committing.
If you are thinking of buying Aplos but haven’t quite decided yet, the vendor has a great way of persuading you to subscribe to their product. Before you buy, you can talk to the support team and ask questions about all matters related to the software.
They will guide you through the setup, data import, and even offer live webinars for a product tour complemented with Q&As. Taking this into account, we were not surprised that the majority of the user reviews we analyzed were full of praise about the support team.
Furthermore, potential clients can explore a particular feature that interests them or join the training center with an abundance of courses on all the aspects of the software. Live coaching sessions for nonprofits and users of the church accounting are also available.
In case of any queries, users can reach Aplos support by phone or email. Based on the numerous reviews we analyzed, the customer service gets a 5-star rating. Given how users say they typically get answers within one-two hours, no wonder reviews are so positive. Some users, however, say that although tech support always answers quickly, their solutions do not always work.
For users who wear more than one hat for their organization, even the most essential features of Aplos provide a simple yet quality solution. Although it is best known for its accounting software, it also packs the features of event and membership management software, an online directory and customizable database, donation tracking and payroll, making it an even better fit for small nonprofits and churches. And finally, despite some integration issues which the vendor is slowly but surely settling, Aplos reviews and our own evaluation indicate that the software exceeds expectations and earns its recommendation as a budget-friendly solution.