Nonprofit organizations all face a familiar crunch: how to do more with less. Their missions are noble. But there’s always a limited number of employees to get the job done.
Now, with the advancement of cloud-based technology, accounting automation, and mobile payments, nonprofits have the ideal opportunity to level up their finances and maximize their resources.
Nonprofit Champion #1: Accounting Automation
Accounting automation digitizes grunt work and runs those processes for you.
Let’s start with bill payment. If three people need to see an invoice to approve it for payment, there’s typically an owner of the process who is tracking people down, sending reminders, and continually checking where it is in the review process.
While this process is important (you have to pay the bills!), shouldn’t there be a way to make it easier?
With accounting automation for bill payment:
An invoice enters the system.
The system begins the review process based on the non-profit’s guidelines and the information in the invoice
It alerts the first reviewer and will remind them if they haven’t responded in a certain amount of time.
It continues this process through to the release of payment.
Time Savings: With automation like this, the time your nonprofit spends on bill payment can be cut by at least 50 percent. Plus, if you integrate with solutions like QuickBooks Online or Xero, all data will automatically sync between systems. You have real-time, accurate data always at your fingertips.
Nonprofit Champion #2: Mobile Payments and Mobility
Nonprofits—and their donors—are often spread across a country, continent, or beyond. Oftentimes, sitting at a desk every day isn’t an option for executives and employees. They visit donors, hold fundraisers, visit with volunteers, and more. If they can’t work on the go, they’re limiting their contributions to the organization.
Imagine if you had a dangerously close-to-overdue bill. All non-profits face tight budgets, and a late fee means an unnecessary and costly expense. The only person who can sign the paper check is traveling and won’t be in the office until next week.
What do you do?
Along with automating accounting, you must mobilize it. That includes the ability to pay from mobile devices. Adopt systems that are mobile-compatible, so that activities normally confined to paper or certain workstations don’t impair progress. In the example above, that executive could view the bill and any related documents or notes on a mobile app and simply swipe to authorize an ACH payment.
Time savings: Incalculable. Can we use that when talking about accounting?
Nonprofit Champion #3: Audit-ready tracking
Audits are a way of life for nonprofits. In order to retain their status, they often undergo them on an annual basis.
This process can be inefficient, devours valuable time, and typically looks like this:
Digging through files
Gathering paper bills and invoices
Finding canceled checks
Rounding up contracts and other related documents
Putting the pile on a conference room table
Opening the doors to the auditor
Spending a week working with the auditor to find additional documents
Cleaning up and refiling everything once you’re done
What if everything you needed for an audit could be handed over in just a few clicks?
With automation, every activity and workflow is tracked and archived—from the bill’s entry to the system, through each reviewer, all notes, approval, payment, and even check images. The nonprofit gives the auditor an audit-level access to the system. From there, the auditor can locate the information they need to complete their work—they don’t even have to be onsite. They can conduct the audit from any location in a fraction of the time it normally takes.
Time savings: Let’s be conservative and estimate 15-25 hours (at least.)
Nonprofits: It’s time to reclaim your time and reinvest in your mission!