Modern Fund Accounting Software–The Gift that Keeps Giving
According to BDO’s Nonprofit Standards benchmarking survey, half of nonprofits reported declining revenue or funding is a high-to-moderate level challenge, and 36% said finding new sources of funding was their top priority during 2019.
Nonprofit donors make some of the toughest stakeholders of any industry because the stakes are much higher than just profits. Nonprofit programs impact the wellbeing and happiness of people around the world. To keepdonors engaged, nonprofit finance leaders must provide a complete picture of the impact donations make in driving the mission.
Whether your nonprofit is faith-based, a foundation, an association, a healthcare provider, or social services, or other organization, you need the advantages that modern fund accounting software solutions can provide, including activity-based budgeting and real-time visibility. Today’s donors expect incredible levels of transparency. It’s hard to tell a comprehensive story about your organization’s mission if you are constantly searching for data in multiple spreadsheets or an outdated accounting system.
Modern fund accounting software, like Sage Intacct, helps nonprofit finance teams and fund administrators:
- Easily manage and track funds and grants
- Increase productivity by automating manual processes
- Ensure appropriate stewardship of funds and donations
- Deliver real-time reporting and visibility to stakeholders
- Manage access and permissions to geographically dispersed employees and volunteers
What Makes Modern Cloud Financial Management the Gift that Keeps Giving?
Through the power of automation, a modern cloud accounting solution gives you more time by ending your dependence on manual data entry and spreadsheets. It gives you the ability to reduce fund accounting process costs while managing funds more proactively than ever before. It gives real-time visibility, so you can find answers to questions from your boss, the Board, or your donors.
Gift #1: Improved Productivity
Tell your Excel spreadsheets that you want your life back! Modern cloud accounting solutions free up so much time through automation that your finance team used to spend doing manual data entry—often in the accounting system and again in other places like spreadsheets. Data entry makes poor use of employee time and talent. It forces nonprofits to hire more people than necessary to achieve their missions. On top of that, entering data into multiple systems or spreadsheets that don’t talk to each other carries a higher risk of typographical (and potentially painful) errors.
Good cloud accounting solutions also increase productivity by reducing the financial complexity. For example, Sage Intacct delivers functionality to help nonprofits account for multiple entities and produce consolidated financials, account for funds and grants, and account for allocations.
“With Sage Intacct, we have improved productivity by 25 percent for our worldwide field operations and global finance teams and seen a revenue increase of 15 percent. This translates to added resources to reach an additional 100,000 children through our Literacy Program and 21,000 girls through our Girls’ Education Program.”
Shari Freedman Chief Financial Officer, Room to Read
Gift #2: Greater Visibility and Easier Reporting
If your organization currently has only backward-looking reporting, you lack real-time visibility into your accounting for funds and grants, allocations, and more. That makes it difficult to make the best decisions to drive your organization’s mission forward.
Which programs deserve additional funding, based on outcomes? What kinds of donors are you most successful with in fundraising? What expense areas could be curtailed? When your executives and trustees try to answer these questions, they should do so with a complete view of up-to-date financial information—not just data from last year or last quarter.
Sage Intacct provides real-time reporting and centralizes financial and outcome data within a dimensional database, making it easy to slice and dice data as desired. Program managers and executives get a quick view of relevant performance metrics on their role-based dashboards. They can also drill down for granular details.
NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals, received the gift of greater visibility and real-time reporting from Sage Intacct and translated it into their secret weapon for effective decision making.
“When I first joined NATCO, we were losing money. Since implementing Sage Intacct, we’ve been solvent every year because our board can now see where we’re doing well and what we need to fix. Their whole attitude about the future of the organization changed once they had valuable financial information, they could actually make decisions with. Bottom line, Sage Intacct is helping us save more lives”
Donna Dickt. Executive Director, NATCO
Gift #3: Better Compliance and Internal Controls
In order to satisfy government requirements and meet donor expectations for transparency, it’s essential that nonprofit organizations maintain rigorous internal controls and compliance processes. This is one area where a cloud accounting system can really relieve some headaches.
With cloud financial management, role-based security means you can set levels of access to financial information based on each user’s need to know. Simply keeping employees out of areas they have no business viewing can be a powerful internal control for deterring fraud. Other internal controls include being able to automate approval processes and set alerts to notify managers when actions take place that could impact compliance or indicate potential fraudulent activity. Finally, audit trails make it easy to determine who makes changes in the system.
Sage Intacct helps nonprofit organizations comply fully with latest Nonprofit Accounting Standards by producing compliant financial statements. The Compliance Dashboard provides quick access to all compliance reports in a single location. The Disclosures dashboard automatically assembles quantitative information useful in financial reporting. A collaborate function enables a qualitative conversation to take place beneath each quantitative component, so the financial team can assemble all of the information needed for complete disclosures.
Like all nonprofit organizations using Sage Intacct, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma benefits from powerful internal controls, and they’ve also improves the productivity of their AP processes enough to generate $25,000 more cash flow.
"We calculated that we saved about 65% of the time that it was taking us to do our AP processing. That's like half a head count. But half a head count, when you're small, is pretty big. We figure that we can provide about four meals for every dollar that's donated to us. So, if you free up half a person's time, even a more clerical person, you free up $25,000―that's 100,000 meals."
David Parrack. Director Finance, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
The Best Gift Is Greater Focus on Your Mission
A modern cloud fund accounting software solution provides nonprofit organizations with many important and lasting gifts, including more time, greater control, improved transparency, and easier compliance. But most importantly, enhanced financial management gives you the ability to accomplish more in your mission—translating into greater impact in your community.
Redirect new found time, cost savings, and enhanced visibility into extra focus on doing what you do best―whether that’s delivering better health outcomes, serving association members, growing faith, fighting poverty, educating people, or supporting the arts. That’s how a cloud fund accounting software system can help you change the world.
Automate your organization’s fund, grant, revenue and billing processes so you can advance your mission and improve outcomes. Begin your search for a modern fund accounting solution by downloading our Complimentary Nonprofit Accounting Software Buyer’s Checklist.
Nancy Master is a senior nonprofit industry marketing manager at Sage Intacct and is passionate about helping nonprofits achieve mission success. Nancy has more than 15 years of experience in software marketing and close to 20 years of experience working with a human services nonprofit organization.