Investing time and money in a new accounting system is a strategic undertaking. You might be considering a new system because your organization has experienced growth, or you’ve been awarded new grants that require more complex reporting.
Time is money and if the time you’re spending on manual tasks for accounting is not producing a good return on investment that’s a key indicator you might need a different accounting software. One of the best ways to determine if you need a new accounting software is to ask key questions in relation to your accounting system tasks. Start with the simple question of how much time you’re spending on trying to generate financial statements or word processing applications.
Here are 8 other key questions to ask:
- Can you maintain your budgets in the accounting system?
- Do you need to easily track donor-imposed restrictions for contributions?
- Would increased security or internal access controls help reduce data entry errors and fraud while improving the reliability of your accounting data?
- Do you spend time manually reconciling your fund balances or maintaining separate databases to meet reporting requirements?
- Does your staff spend whole days pulling special reports together for management because it doesn’t have report-reading access to your accounting system?
- Does your organization spend hours gathering, analyzing, and reporting outcome measures for complex grants?
- Do you need to process donations in multiple currencies while fully complying with Financial Accounting Standards-52 regulations?
- Do you need to easily produce very intricate Governmental Accounting Standards Board-34 required reports?
- Is your organization a recipient of multiple grants?
- Does your system have a flexible chart of accounts structure that can capture more of the information that nonprofits need?
Customizing and overlaying features onto commercial software to achieve nonprofit and government accounting functionality can be inefficient, potentially incomplete, and expensive to buy and maintain.
When considering an upgrade or shift to a fund accounting solution, you should also consider, as well your remote accessibility needs. Does your staff need access to work in the accounting system remotely from home or front another office location? Should your system users be able to log in from a web browser or any computer? Or should access be limited to a specific computer dedicated to secure remote access?
Accounting is a crucial part of your organization’s growth and budget season is a good time to identify new advantages you may have in investing in a fund accounting solution. Reviewing your organization’s current accounting needs as well as anticipating your future needs will benefit your mission in the long run.
We’re here to provide you resources for making those decisions. Contact us for a short demo of our fund accounting solution.