Transparency and accountability are critical to a non-profit organization, and leaders of these organizations are expected to produce and demonstrate successful results in their initiatives. With expectation levels and scrutiny constantly rising on all sides, it is imperative to find management techniques that provide the level of transparency needed.
To meet this demand, non-profit organizations are embracing technology to measure and report their performances. When used strategically, technology can not only show funders and constituents how the organization is performing; they also help pave the way for sustainable growth and greater efficiency.
Why does monitoring metrics matter?
- Funding—In a competitive environment, the ability to define, measure, monitor, and report the metrics can encourage new and additional funding from donors, foundations, and other benefactors. For instance, demonstrating achievement of key milestones can unlock subsequent rounds of multi-year grants.
- Accountability—Funders are tying their support to stringent accountability. They want to see where their monies are going and the results that are achieved–whether it’s organizational growth and new locations or more non-profit partnerships and matching funds. Non-profits must provide exceptional transparency into the organization’s outcome metrics, controls, and reporting.
- Stewardship—From development and accounting to operations and programming, the ability to define, track, and report outcome measures–showing where you are and where you want to go—will help ensure good stewardship. This, in turn, boosts donor confidence and strengthens credibility—which supports growth and ability to pursue your organization’s mission.
5 ways technology is helping non-profits achieve success
1. Gain greater visibility to mission successes
Many organizations waste countless hours trying to marry financial and statistical data in spreadsheets. ERP systems, such as Sage Intacct, offers the native ability to easily report financial information along with operational statistics – and then allows them to include calculations of the two – as well as other key performance analysis within the system. Whether key financial, statistical outcome metrics or a combination of the two; organizations will see the whole picture, in real-time with one view into one system.
2. Easily connect with other solutions
Non-profits need a solution that easily connects disparate systems, leverages existing infrastructures, and eliminates information silos. Streamline processes by connecting Sage Intacct with fundraising systems such as Salesforce or other solutions, payment delivery services, and many more specialized applications. A true cloud integration strategy allows for easy, intuitive imports or seamless integration via web services. This ensures your finance team stays current with modern processing and reporting insights for the management team by harnessing technology to work smarter.
3. Gain efficiencies for multiple entities
Sage Intacct’s unique architecture makes it unique and well-suited for finance teams that are responsible for multiple entities. It provides streamlined access for operational oversight of multiple organizations, real-time consolidations, and a transaction toolset with robust security and configurable user experience to facilitate easy, smooth transaction processing.
4. Cloud-based financial management
When managing a non-profit, accounting and financial management can sometimes slip down on the priority list. Allocating dollars to back-office infrastructure is not always easy, especially when it doesn’t directly support a non-profit agenda. Cloud-based financials enable the delivery of shared, scalable services that the organization can access over the internet using a web browser or mobile device, removing the need to maintain underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure.
5. Diverse accounting needs require a flexible solution
Beyond the basics of accounts payable and receivable, nonprofits are unique in that they encompass a distinct set of standard documents, including the statement of activities, statement of financial position, statements of cash flow, and Form 990. Fun-based accounting is an essential requirement for most non-profits, as every funder has its own requirements for reports. The accounting system must be designed to present information from a variety of dimensions, such as geography, project, time frame, and funding source while allowing for custom reports and consolidation more easily.
When it comes to nonprofit financial control, survival depends on careful monitoring. We are offering the free Sage Intacct eBook ‘The Nonprofit CFO’s Survival Guide’ to help CFOs address the unique challenges and pressures of nonprofit finance. To learn more, click here.