Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Have You Outgrown Your Financial Reporting System?

Note: Articles published before January 1, 2017 may be out of date. We are in the process of updating this content.

Jul 12, 2017

As your organization grows and becomes more sophisticated, your financial reporting needs to evolve as well. Every organization starts with basic accounting software and as financial and operational needs change, an upgrade to more sophisticated business systems may be needed.

At a certain point, solutions that used to work will no longer provide you what you need. Trying to manage a growing business with a multitude of different solutions, spreadsheets and pencil and paper has a negative impact on the business, and you wind up spending too much time just keeping up with the day-to-day activities and responsibilities.  As a result, it’s tough to be proactive and take advantage of some of the new opportunities to grow in a scalable way.

Here are a few things to consider when determining if it is the right time to upgrade and improve your financial reporting.

  • Does your team spend significant time outside your financial reporting software using Excel spreadsheets or manual processes?
  • Could your accounting and finance staff save time by eliminating repetitive manual processes?
  • Do you have all the functionality and control you need?
  • Are you getting the reports you need to manage your business effectively?
  • Can your team work remotely and securely access your financials to perform tasks and approvals?
  • Do you have adequate internal controls in place to help mitigate risk of fraud?
  • Are you handling your backup securely and do you have a recovery process? 

If the answers to the questions above give you pause, perhaps it’s time to think about how you can manage your business in a more automated, integrated and efficient way.

Cloud-based financial accounting and reporting solutions are an option to consider. Moving away from inefficient work arounds and spreadsheets and utilizing robust reporting software will save staff time and increase the timeliness and accuracy of your data. And, having accurate and timely data will lead to better business decisions.  Cloud-based systems are highly scalable, which enables you to expand as needed, without the need for costly new in-house hardware and server resources. Additionally, users can access cloud-based services remotely and on any device at any time, making it easy to manage from multiple locations.

Gaining reporting flexibility to track financial and operational data for a specific entity, location, product line, service offering, or individual transaction is one of the biggest benefits of upgrading software. Understanding what areas of the company are profitable or knowing what areas need improvement through real-time dashboards that track key performance indicators (KPIs) will drive you to focus on the right areas of the business.

Moving to a cloud-based solution provides 24/7 secure access, creating the convenience and efficiency every business needs while helping to take away the worry of system availability and unwanted access.