Essentials of Accountability
Accountability is essential to nonprofits. Where is money being spent? How are funds being tracked? How much is being spent per each program or project? We live in an information hungry time and donor transparency is crucial. A Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study found that, “87 percent of the more than 10,000 respondents surveyed said that they make purchases based on what they know about an organization’s social, environmental, and cause-related engagement.” As in every relationship, clear and honest communication is the backbone of trust.
The National Council of Nonprofits talks about financial transparency on their website. “Nonprofits are required to disclose certain financial information to the public upon request; board members have access to financial information in order to fulfil their fiduciary duty to the nonprofit.” One of the ways that an organization can be transparent is through proper reporting to donors and board members. In certain accounting systems like QuickBooks or Fund E-Z, reporting can be cumbersome and require manipulation in Excel. It could take days or weeks to create and deliver custom reports. That could be the difference in distributing lifesaving resources or missing the opportunity to see a real-time perspective of their financials, or even obtaining more donor funds. Smart strategic planning is reliant on having a clear financial picture. In addition, nonprofits should adopt sound financial management policies, this includes internal controls to ensure accountability.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS OUTGROWING YOUR CURRENT ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE?
For some of our nonprofit clients, delivering up-to-date custom reports to donors was one of the main driving forces behind finding a new accounting software solution. Other organizations have experienced:
- Need for efficient way to manage and report on donor restricted funds
- Ad-hoc requests from key stakeholders take too long to process
- Personnel and other allocations are done manually
- Project-based accounting is handled “outside” the system
- Multi-entity requirements lead to difficult and time-consuming consolidations
- Back-up and security are a real concern
- Lack of Integration with other donor/membership/church systems leads to re-keying and duplicate work
- Current accounting system can’t process a June 30th year-end
RESULTS OUR NONPROFITS HAVE SEEN AFTER IMPLEMENTING SAGE INTACCT
Moving to a cloud-based platform brings many benefits, our nonprofits have seen the following improvements since implementing Sage Intacct:
- Simplified and streamlined key accounting processes
- Gained visibility across their revenue and expenses to monitor their business in real-time
- Increased competence Improved the monthly reporting cycle to provide timely reports within days of the month-end
- Improved overall efficiencies because transactions are now done online with up-to-date data
- Increased competence of accounting transparency and ability to track spending
- Managed spend better to stay in line with income of accounting transparency and ability to track spending
SAGE INTACCT & NONPROFITS
Sage Intacct and nonprofits work seamlessly together. Sage Intacct is a best-in-class cloud-based accounting software for small to medium-sized nonprofits. Sage Intacct’s sole focus is on building amazing professional-strength financial management and accounting applications that will fit into your existing infrastructure and integrate well with the other key applications you use to run your organization. Features and benefits of Sage Intacct’s accounting software include:
- Nonprofit Financial Board Book, powered by GuideStar
- Both cash and accrual books
- Employee and expense tracking by a project and/or program
- Financial reports and dashboards that are intuitive, graphical, and easy to understand for non-finance staff
- On-demand real-time budget vs. actual reports
- Central view and control over distributed systems and locations
SAGE INTACCT & GUIDESTAR
Sage Intacct and GuideStar share a common goal of enabling better financial stewardship and improved mission accomplishment based on a holistic view of the nonprofit organization. They’ve teamed up, through an exclusive relationship, to help nonprofits achieve these goals.
GuideStar delivers a set of pre-built dashboards that automate the tracking and management of industry-wide best practice metrics to deliver real-time insights. “With the Sage Intacct Nonprofit Financial Board Book, organizations can get a more complete picture of their financial health and easily align their efforts with the key metrics GuideStar has identified for nonprofit success. We aim to ensure organizations have the financial capacity to deliver on their missions in an increasingly competitive funding environment,” said Adrian Bordone, VP of Strategic Partnerships for GuideStar.
To learn more about Sage Intacct and GuideStar’s relationship please click here.
This content was originally posted here.
Leap the Pond delivers Sage Intacct based accounting solutions to growing organizations that have BIG plans. The Leap the Pond team averages more than 20+ years of experience with accounting and operations. Each consultant leverages this experience to help customers drive improved performance, streamlined processed, and real-time metrics. Since 2008, Leap the Pond has led more than 350 successful projects for nearly 300 organizations.