As a nonprofit organization, your future is based on your financial reporting. They’re necessary to show your board of directors periodic revenue and spending, for filing your Form 990 to the IRS, and creating accurate budgets and forecasts. If you’re using Excel for your financial reporting, you’re not alone; it’s one of the most commonly used tools nonprofits use to create and run financial reports. However, we wanted to share some ways Excel alone may not be the best option and how you can improve your reporting.
Problems with Excel Financial Reporting
First, let’s look at the ways using Excel for financial reporting may be causing problems for your nonprofit organization.
Errors Are More Common
When you are creating financial reports through Excel, you’re having to manually enter information from your ledger into the spreadsheet. It’s easy to type in incorrect numbers or make an error in a formula, which can throw off your entire report. Even more frustrating, is that you are building them from static data, without any real-time updates. This means that your financial reports are incorrect within a few days, and analysis will never be 100 percent accurate because you’re trying to analyze outdated information.
Visual Reporting Is Challenging
Your board of directors and donors most likely don’t want to sort through a spreadsheet to understand whether the past quarter or year was successful or what the next year looks like. Instead, they want to look at easily scannable visual aids like charts or graphs. While Excel does allow for chart and graph development, it’s clunky and slow.
The biggest challenge of Excel for financial reporting is that it is time-consuming. Adding data manually from your ledger or fund accounting software into a spreadsheet, double-checking for accuracy, and building charts and graphs manually is a slow process. Even slower? Trying to share your data and collaborate with others using your reporting.
Improving Efficiency and Accuracy in Excel Financial Reporting
Excel is challenging, but it’s also easy to use, familiar, and intuitive, so we understand not wanting to get rid of it for your reporting. Fortunately, there are integrations that fix some of the problems we’ve talked about, connecting your accounting software to your Excel financial reporting.
Power Cloud Reporting
Why choose Power Cloud?
- Data entered into Financial Edge NXT updates your financial reporting in real-time so your information is always accurate and updated.
- Create unlimited layouts, and multi-level outlines allow you to provide as much or as little detail as needed.
- Drill Around allows you to dive into numbers and find information easily and access different account and project records.
- Each column can have its own filter and date range.
- Security features restrict or open access to different reports, layouts, or even segments and projects.
- Create budget vs. actual reporting.
For MIP Fund Accounting software users, DrillPoint Reports offers similar improvements in your reporting. DrillPoint Reports includes pre-formatted financial statement templates that allow you to create professional-level, presentation-quality reports using an intuitive interface. Best of all, once you have a report built, you can refresh the data with real-time information, saving you the time of continually having to rebuild and redesign reports and presentations.
This software integrates with Excel, allowing you to drill down from Excel spreadsheets into specific transactions and documents for improved information, saving time and improving accuracy. Additionally, you can use DrillPoint Reports and Excel together to manipulate data, create what-if scenarios, and build attractive, informative graphs from the information.
Schedule a Consultation With Capital Business Solutions
If you are tired of relying on Microsoft Excel for financial reporting, we can help you move to a more efficient method of reporting. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today by calling (843) 971-9061 or filling out the form below to get started.