How Not-for-Profit CFOs Can Raise Their Game

Many not-for-profit CFOs are seeing their organisations rapidly grow. That growth is often the catalyst for several pain points in their back-office financial accounting processes.

There is a digital technology for virtually every aspect of a not-for-profit’s finances. There are technology solutions that focus on enterprise resource planning (ERP) and others that focus on smaller, yet just as-needed processes, such as budgeting, AP automation, and financial reporting. And thanks to cloud-based technology, these technologies can fully integrate, making for even more of a streamlined process.

As a CFO, you are in a unique position to offer guidance to not-for-profits and their board of directors, regarding financial accounting advancements that can improve internal processes and maximize limited resources. These improvements will enable the organisation to focus on what matters most – their mission.

Does add-on functionality make sense?

There are many not-for-profit organisations that fall into the trap of “patchwork systems,” where a single department in your organisation identifies a need, finds a software solution and that’s it. While the solution may automate some of the work, it may create a different challenge downstream. The result of this is that you end up with many temporary fixes that aren’t necessarily cooperating together. This can make your organisation feel overwhelmed and the solutions and workflows that were intended to help you end up making matters worse. This is where add-on functionality becomes extremely helpful for your back office. A major accounting system is intended to cover most of your financial data needs, but there still may be some holes in the process. Add-on functionality allows you to have all of the tools that you need fully integrated with one another, creating a genuinely streamlined process.

What are the top features that not-for-profits should be looking for in a modern accounting solution?

The major attributes that not-for-profits should be looking for in a modern accounting system are integration and digitization.

Integration keeps your organisation’s in-house accounting processes moving without relying on one or two staff members. Integration ensures one source of truth for your organisation. Integration enables end-to-end visibility of financial information, key metrics and KPIs. It provides secure data with an audit trail for compliance and accountability.

Digitisation optimises operations, connects your constituencies, empowers employees and transforms your program delivery. Optimising operations can look like improving service levels and reducing costs with up-to-date and real-time processes. Connecting your constituencies can look like building tailored data-based experiences. Empowering employees is giving them a modern, cloud-based environment to utilize their skill sets. Transforming your program delivery is utilising more advanced processes, dashboards, and financial statements to better reach your organisation’s mission.

Does this technology integrate with existing systems?

Absolutely! That is one of the major advantages of working with cloud-based technology. The integration among these solutions streamlines processes to a level that most not-for-profits haven’t seen before. Whether you are using existing systems for fundraising, forecasting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, or other financial operations, you will find that cloud-based technology can be feathered in to create a fully integrated financial management system.

But is it affordable for not-for-profits?

Prior to the cloud, these financial solutions were out of reach for not-for-profits. Cloud-based technology has reduced the cost of these solutions drastically and made them readily available for not-for-profits. This is the time for not-for-profits to capitalize on the resources and solutions that were once only made available to for-profit companies. Cloud-based technology reduces the need for manual processes and allows not-for-profits to focus their time and resources on their mission.

Wondering where to start?

JMT is here to help – and will be with you every step of the way throughout your decision-making process. Navigating accounting software is no easy task, which is why we have built our success on providing objective recommendations, implementation and training for our clients and their finance teams. We have a team of dedicated financial and not-for-profit experts whose goal is for you to be 100% satisfied with your experience. At JMT, our customers can be as involved with the implementation process as they want. We will partner with your stakeholders and user groups to understand your needs and help you decide which financial management and not-for-profit accounting solutions are best for your organisation. Then, our not-for-profit experts will show you how to best utilize these cloud-based tools to meet your needs. Since 1991, over 2,000 not-for-profit clients have trusted our expertise in providing best-in-class not-for-profit accounting solutions for their mission-driven organisations.

Contact JMT Consulting today to learn how we can assist your not-for-profit.

Jacqueline Tiso