Your nonprofit organization is striving to save time on operations, reduce costs, and improve processes so you can devote more of your limited resources to your mission or cause. One overlooked area where improvements can be made is in the accounting department where outdated software, inefficient workflows, and ineffective processes can be costing money and decreasing your accuracy in fund accounting and budgeting.
Having a third party provide an accounting assessment can pinpoint areas of improvement but is one really necessary for your organization?
What Is an Accounting Assessment for Nonprofit Organizations?
An accounting assessment is a comprehensive, in-depth study of your accounting department performed by a third party. This includes researching your existing methods, including discussing your processes with your stakeholders in the accounting, looking at how you maintain your books, the reports you’re running, staff knowledge and training, and other aspects that affect accuracy and efficiency. Once the third party completes the review, they run a report that outlines the strengths and opportunities within your department – basically, what’s working well and what’s not working well for your organization. Then, there will be a list of actionable steps you can take to implement improvements.
You can expect an assessment to include the following outcomes and recommendations:
- How to restructure or improve existing processes and systems within your accounting department to make them more effective
- New or updated reporting systems
- Measurable accounting processes to determine their efficiency and efficacy
- Guidance and advice for how to choose and implement accounting software
- How to improve your accounting department’s organization
For example, if your accounting department is relying on Excel spreadsheets rather than a dedicated accounting software platform, your assessment may include how many hours a week are spent on avoidable data entry, suggestions for accounting software, and steps on how to implement it.
Benefits of an Accounting Assessment
Having an objective third party assess your accounting systems and processes and provide you with a plan can help you achieve the following goals:
- Improved organization within your accounting department
- Improved accuracy in your ledger and reporting
- Improved efficiency
- Increased productivity without exhausting your team
- Eliminate non-essential steps
By having an experienced, objective assessment, you can see exactly where your department is struggling and move away from old, outdated processes. By identifying and dismantling obstacles, your accounting team will have the tools they need to be successful.
Do You Need a Nonprofit Accounting Assessment?
How do you know it’s time to schedule a nonprofit accounting assessment? Often, an established system can be difficult to shift away from, even if it’s outdated and causing problems with your data and reporting. If you feel there are inefficiencies, your accounting team has concerns that they don’t have the tools they need to succeed, or conversely, any attempt to make changes to improve has been met with resistance, you need an assessment. Having someone who can see your processes and systems without bias and is familiar with a variety of accounting workflows and strategies allows them to see what obstacles are in place and how they are holding you back.
Schedule an Accounting Assessment with Capital Business Solutions
We work with a wide variety of nonprofits across numerous sub-industries and have the experience and knowledge of systems to successfully assess your accounting practices. We provide assessment, as well as recommendations, remediation, and training to get your team where you need to be. To learn more, reach out to us at (843) 971-9061 or fill out the form below to get started.