The End of Spreadsheets and Paper for Nonprofit Financial Management
By: Joan Benson, Nonprofit Industry Marketing, Sage Intacct
How Nonprofit Accounting Managers are Actually Heroes
At first, it seems quick and easy to run your nonprofit’s finances on spreadsheets and paper. Who doesn’t love an organized filing cabinet?
However, as your organization grows, you have to implement more processes, collaborate with more people – maybe even globally – and it gets harder and harder to manage when you’re spending hours every week emailing people for the latest version of a spreadsheet.
This is especially true if you want finance to be a trusted partner to the rest of your organization – rather than just the “numbers people.” I know. I was an accountant once!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could:
- Have your fundraising team ask you for advice in advance of major decisions
- Shorten your monthly close cycle by days
- Have one view of your key metrics for both your front and back office staff
- Easily recognize revenue for corporate grants
Fortunately, your nonprofit finance team can say goodbye to paper and take advantage of world-class cloud technology easily.
What does this look like?
Here are a few examples from Salesforce.org and Sage Intacct.
Sales and Finance On the Same Page
With Salesforce and Sage Intacct, IslandWood has been able to increase its efficiency by unifying a wide variety of the tools and processes it had previously relied upon. Erika Williams, Senior Accountant at IslandWood shared, “We invoice within Salesforce and we are able to sync that right into Sage Intacct. So now all of our accounts receivable and reporting and everything is exactly the same as the sales team has intended it to be.”
IslandWood has some advice for other nonprofit facing similar challenges: “Think of it as an investment – the cost of outdated, disjointed systems cost more than you think. Nonprofit aren’t good about putting costs to people’s time, but when you invest in the right systems, you can put more resources towards your mission.”
Reconciliation Made Easy
A global nonprofit, Women’s World Banking, was struggling with an old on-premise solutions that were difficult to reconcile – often giving front and back office staff a very different view of the organization’s metrics. “We knew Sage Intacct would increase our productivity with its easy-to-use, visually appealing interface, which we could make accessible to all of our finance and non-finance stakeholders anywhere in the world,” said Michal Mohr, CFO at Women’s World Banking. In addition, we valued the flexibility Sage Intacct would provide us down the road when we need it to integrate with our other solutions like Salesforce.” Get more details about how Women’s World Banking moved to the cloud.
Recognizing Revenue as Your Nonprofit Grows
DonorsChoose.org has experienced annual revenue growth of 15X and continue to increase at a steady pace. Before moving to Sage Intacct and Salesforce, one of the biggest struggles that the finance team had was revenue recognition for corporate grants and lack of visibility and reconciliation between finance and development.
“With Sage Intacct’s seamless connection to Salesforce, the whole conversation and frustration (between development and finance) has evaporated. We’re always in sync, because both teams work off the same accurate data,” noted Andy Kaplan, CFO.
With transparency on financial metrics across your organization, you’ll have the trust of your team so everyone can grow the organization. You may not wear a superhero cape, but you can still be a hero to your colleagues.
There’s a wide range of apps like Sage Intacct that can unlock secret powers for you on Salesforce. (Well, maybe they’re not so secret after you read the e-book.) See how Salesforce integrates with apps like Sage in our AppExchange App Guide for Fundraising.
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