Most nonprofit organizations use technology to connect with donors, raise funds to further their mission, and run the day-to-day financial management of their organization. Over two decades into the 21st Century, the question has long evolved from “Should I use technology for my nonprofit financial management?” to “Is my current nonprofit accounting software efficient in supporting the future financial goals of the organization?”
At Capital Business Solutions, our accounting software system assessment professionals have everything you need to know about taking the necessary steps to implement the best financial system possible for your organization.
In order to determine if the current data management software used by your nonprofit is effective in its recording and reporting system or if it’s causing more problems than solutions, a system software assessment should be done.
Why Conduct a Nonprofit Accounting Software System Assessment?
Nonprofit organizations are often met with a variety of challenges related to their financial management efforts. Oftentimes, we see that nonprofits are using accounting software that is either out of date technology or is an overworked system inundated with disorganized clutter.
It’s no secret that the staff at nonprofits can be overworked, underpaid, and doing their best to meet the needs of the communities they serve. With an ongoing cycle of staff turnovers, changes to business rules and strategies, and adjustments to financial goals, it’s very easy for a nonprofit organization’s accounting software to become ineffective if no one has had the time to take a close look at its performance.
That’s where an assessment of accounting software comes in. Having a third-party software assessment professional analyze your current system and offer solutions for the organizational success of your nonprofit’s financial systems is a great way to progress toward the organization’s financial goals.
The common reasons that nonprofits will run an assessment of their financial system software are because:
- Their current technology is not providing the expected financial outcomes.
- The organization wants to cut costs on software to decrease spending.
- The nonprofit does not seem to be progressing toward its goal and feels like it’s hit a wall in terms of moving forward.
The Benefits of a Nonprofit System Assessment for Financial Management
When an assessment takes place of nonprofit accounting software, there is potential for:
- Improvements made to the decision-making process.
- Maximization of time by improving efficiency.
- Implementation of a comprehensive, streamlined organizational structure.
- Simplification of the grant management process for donators, stakeholders, and staff.
- Easy access to financial data.
- Issues to be reduced due to adapting to a more user-friendly tech system.
Everyone involved in the philanthropic efforts of the organization– from staff, donors, stakeholders, and the community members who your organization serves benefits from the assessment of financial data software systems.
What Happens in an Assessment of Accounting Software?
Nonprofit accounting software system assessments directly impact the organization’s financial data management procedures by:
- Reviewing the current system.
- Evaluating and analyzing the current data.
- Conducting interviews with staff and stakeholders about the current financial management structures of the organization.
- Providing solutions and actionable steps to improve the system and day-to-day procedures.
At Capital Business Solutions, our talented and insightful assessment consultants have backgrounds in both practical, hands-on experience and technical knowledge of financial management systems. Working with one consultant throughout the duration of your accounting software assessment stages, your team’s appointed expert will learn the ins and outs of how your nonprofit organization operates the business.
What to Expect from a Nonprofit Software Systems Assessment
When working with our software services company to assess your current nonprofit software system, there is a process used to get the most out of your assessment and find the best, most impactful solutions for the corporation.
What the Nonprofit Should Do for a Software Assessment
Before signing up for a software assessment, whoever is leading the assessment team at the organization should prepare for the assessment by determining a few things. You should consider your organization’s needs for an assessment, the best software service company for you to work for, a budget for your assessment needs, and the collection of documentation needed to present to the accounting software system company you choose to work with.
What Capital Business Solutions Does for a Nonprofit Software Assessment
Our approach to assessing your accounting software system is to:
- Conduct a review of current systems: We look at who your organization is, what the financial goals are, what your current understanding of nonprofit accounting software is, and what software your organization is currently using.
- Analysis of the current system: We look at the tools you are using for stewardship, donation management, and fundraising and how those tools are performing in relation to your overall goals.
- Strategy building: Using the data from the software analysis, we build a strategy for success toward your goals, making recommendations for software solutions, improvements in how you operate the business, and ways your technology can implement these strategies.
- Documentation: You will be provided with our roadmap to success in how to implement the strategies outlined for the nonprofit and what products or customizations are needed for you to optimize results.
- Interviews: Interviews are conducted with staff, stakeholders, and system users about their perspectives on how the organization collects and reports financial data.
- Review: Our consultant will review the findings from the assessment and plan how to move forward as a team to better operate the day-to-day events of the nonprofit through software improvements.
What Features to Look for in Nonprofit Accounting Software
It can be a challenge for anyone in charge of choosing accounting software for their nonprofit, but it is important not to make the mistake many nonprofits make when configuring their financial records. While it’s unfortunate that many popular and well-respected accounting software options are not well-equipped to handle the needs of nonprofits, there are plenty of other accounting software options that are designed with solutions for nonprofit organizations in mind.
Choose Software Designed for Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations have unique features to the ways they manage financial records because, well, they are a not-for-profit business– therefore, they do not handle revenue as a for-profit business would.
Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and similar software are not designed to automate processes specific to nonprofits. These programs do not have the tools to account for donations, membership dues, revenues of different programs, grants, or income from other investments. Nor do they meet the financial accounting standards for nonprofits when it comes to reporting and donation management procedures.
It’s important to find nonprofit software that works for your organization and can account for the unique financial management needs of a nonprofit.
Best Software Features for Nonprofit Financial Success
When looking for accounting software to serve your nonprofit organization, look that the software you choose has the ability to:
- Track donations, grants, dues, events, services, bequests, pledges, and any other revenue collection or money-raising efforts employed by the organization.
- Utilize specialized documentation and management strategies across projects, platforms, and accounting periods.
- Easily manage transactions and run reports in the event of an audit.
- Provide an accurate and detailed report of financial data.
- Generate fund accounting reports for budgets and expenses.
- Provide automated, user-friendly payment processing to collect digital donations.
- Guarantee that vendors and staff get paid on time.
When accounting software for nonprofits has features that offer streamlined solutions for the organization, the time spent by staff during working hours will be spent managing their donation and fundraising initiatives for the communities they serve rather than spending hours on end worrying about and managing the finances that an efficient software system can provide.
Contact Capital Business Solutions for Your Nonprofit Software Assessment
Capital Business Solutions is Raleigh’s top-rated software systems solution company, providing our expertise for over 25 years.
If your nonprofit organization is not meeting its financial goals or you’ve been using accounting software that is not designed for the unique needs of a nonprofit, we can help by scheduling an assessment of your accounting management technology.
To learn more, reach out to us at (843) 971-9061 or fill out the form below to get started.