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3 ways non-profits can improve their financial management processes

As a non-profit organization, you have every incentive to contain your costs while still accurately reporting on your sources of funding, managing multiple entities and complying with various regulations. However, there are several common constraints that can hold you back:

  • Not-for-profits typically have limited budgets and relatively few staff members compared with for-profit organizations. Fundraising is often the top-cited challenge by non-profit boards, along with financial sustainability and strategic planning.
  • As a result, they often struggle to integrate new technologies. A study from the Nonprofit Technology Network found that only 12 percent of non-profits considered themselves on the cutting edge in tech, while most said they were either merely maintaining their current systems or failing to do so. The average non-profit spends slightly more than 3 percent of its annual budget on IT assets.
  • Manual processes, supported by legacy tools such as Excel sheets and QuickBooks, are still staples of many non-profits' day-to-day operations. Forrester Research has estimated that half of all automation opportunities are being missed.

With these challenges in mind, what can non-profits do in order to modernize and improve their financial management processes? Let's examine some of the top techniques available:

1. Upgrade to cloud budgeting and forecasting software

Planning is a widespread challenge for non-profit organizations, due to the numerous slow, inflexible manual processes involved. Switching to a solution such as Adaptive Insights provides an instant boost through access to continuous rolling forecasts, what-if analyses, driver-based planning, and consolidation of books. Automation underpins the entire Adaptive Insights feature set and saves your non-profit a lot of time, money, and staffing resources that would otherwise go toward rote tasks.

"Planning is a widespread challenge for non-profit organizations."

2. Set up cloud accounting software

A platform such as Intacct greatly streamlines the accounting cycle. Projects, funds, grants, and volunteers are easy to track. Plus, employees can access the same real-time information from anywhere in the world thanks to the application's intuitive web-based interface. They no longer have to hunt for the truth or trudge through tons of duplicates, now that contracts and similar documents are much more straightforward to locate and handle. Numerous integrations with other pieces of software allow your not-for-profit to weave Intacct deep into its workflows.

Non-profits frequently have to wrangle with cumbersome manual processes
Non-profits frequently have to wrangle with cumbersome manual processes.

3. Work with a trusted implementation partner

Picking the right financial tools for non-profit accounting, budgeting, and forecasting is only the first step in overhauling your essential processes. You also have to ensure proper implementation, support, and ongoing education. This is where a trusted and experienced partner such as RKL eSolutions makes a substantial difference. With years of experience working with non-profits, RKL eSolutions can help from start to finish, including discovery, solution evaluation, project management, business process re-engineering, and system enhancement.

Being a non-profit organization comes with a unique set of challenges. But these problems are solvable through cloud software and close collaboration with a partner like RKL eSolutions. Learn more today about how you can get started.

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