Nonprofit Accounting Services to Help You Manage Executive Transitions

Executive transition is never easy, and it offers both challenges and opportunities for nonprofits. You may need the help of a nonprofit accounting service to help you fill a gap left by an outgoing CFO, for example. Beck & Company would like to invite you to download the free whitepaper, A Nonprofit’s Guide to Working Smarter with Outsourced Accounting, to provide valuable information during times of transition.

Challenges and Opportunities During an Executive’s Transition

When a beloved leader decides to retire or leave an organization, it offers both challenges and opportunities.

Challenges abound, of course. It’s hard to fill the shoes of a great CEO or CFO, someone who genuinely cared about their team and believed in the nonprofit’s mission. It also leads to uncertainty. Staff may wonder if they’ll like the new leaders or if they can work with them as easily and happily as they could with the outbound executive.

Changes also offer opportunities, and it is on this we’d like to focus. Opportunities include the ability to chart new directions with a new leader. New executives bring fresh ideas to an organization and may have experience from other posts that can help you grow. They bring new perspective and vision as well as energy into a nonprofit.

Bridging the Leadership Gap: Nonprofit Accounting Services

If you believe it will take a while to fill an open position, as it often does when trying to fill top slots, Beck & Company offers nonprofit accounting services that can fill interim gaps. Our team of CPAs has extensive experience in the nonprofit world and can serve as interim CFOs or other leadership positions until you are ready to hire a full-time executive.

Tips for Finding Your Next Leader

After the initial shock wears off, when you learn that a current leader plans to leave, it’s time to get working. Here are tips and best practices to help you find your next great CEO, CFO, or other nonprofit leader.

Create a succession plan: Nonprofit boards can do themselves and their organizations a great favor by developing a succession plan to guide the organization through leadership changes. Identify the qualities you seek in a leader and utilize groups or other resources to help you find the right candidates.

Ease into the transition: If possible (for example, if someone plans to retire), ease into the transition by leaving plenty of time to find the new leader. It can take a year or more to find a leader for a large nonprofit organization. With more time available, you have the benefit of being quite choosy about who will lead the organization to success.

Consider organizational culture: Take the pulse of your organization. Know its culture so you can find someone who will either continue the tradition or effect the changes you seek. Without a good understanding of the corporate culture, you run the risk of putting a leader into position who will find roadblocks and create more turmoil than necessary in the first year of leadership.

Support onboarding: Put into place an onboarding process that includes plenty of time for new leaders to meet key staff, understand the organization’s mission and principles, and broker relationships with donors and members. Don’t expect big changes right away; give the new leader time to ease into the organization.

Hire interim help: Interim leadership, such as nonprofit accounting services or CPAs to fill CFO spots, can be a great help. They can maintain continuity and ensure that operations run smoothly until you hire a new leader.

Change is never easy, but if you can use the opportunities it brings to your advantage, you can grow through it. Nonprofit boards can do a great deal to ease the stress of a leadership transition to ensure their organizations continue to benefit others.

Beck & Company offers experienced CPAs for nonprofit accounting services, interim financial management and consulting, and nonprofit audit services. We invite you to download our free white paper A Nonprofit’s Guide to Working Smarter with Outsourced Accounting and explore our services to help your nonprofit organization grow and thrive.

Beck & Company

Beck & Company is a certified public accounting firm serving the greater Washington D.C. area and the Eastern seaboard. We offer consulting services, auditing, and software selection to help nonprofits with their accounting needs. Contact us today for more information or assistance.

Making Mindful Choices in the World of Nonprofit Accounting

Each day, your nonprofit organization faces many choices. One area where choices are of supreme importance is in the area of nonprofit accounting. Choosing how you classify donations, whether to give a trusted employee a raise, or how to comply with the new FASB 958 regulations are all choices that must be weighed and prioritized based on urgency.

Register for this Webinar Now: Financial Reporting – Is Your Nonprofit Seeing the Full Picture? 

When faced with myriad choices, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. As Washington DC nonprofit advisers, we have worked with many nonprofit clients to help them identify and prioritize key elements of their accounting activities for maximum business impact. Here are several tips to help you make mindful choices about your financial and accounting needs.

Three Tips for Nonprofit Accounting to Help You Set Priorities

  1. Focus on strategic clarity: Clarity of purpose, mission and vision is essential for all good business management, but especially for nonprofit accounting. When you clearly identify your organization’s mission and vision, you will find it easier to prioritize the essentials. Activities in direct support of your mission are funded first, with secondary activities funded next, and so on. Developing strategic clarity can be difficult if you are not used to this type of work; a nonprofit business adviser can help.
  2. Diversify income sources: In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Relying upon one source of funding for the majority of your organization’s support can be catastrophic if something happens to the funding source. Grants may end; donations can dry up if the economy sours. Diversification of your income stream is equally as important as diversifying your investments. Diversification spreads out the potential risk if one stream dries up.
  3. Measure outcomes: Measuring outcomes isn’t just for the for-profit world. Nonprofits should also measure the outcomes of their efforts. Measuring donor campaign results, educational activities, and other projects just makes sense. It is only measuring how well you achieved your objectives that you can prioritize funding in future years. Knowing that one activity achieved its objective while another fell short can help you decide whether additional funding, staffing, or publicity can change the dynamic or not.

Asking the Tough Questions

Asking the tough questions about initiatives can also help you set your goals. It may be difficult to learn that a favorite activity doesn’t meet your revised mission statement, but it is better to learn this now than to continue spending resources unwisely.

Ask yourself:

  • Are we continuing any activities just because we’ve always done them? Some companies continue with charitable events, marketing campaigns or other activities in the same manner year after year simply because “it’s what we always do.” Always ask if the activity serves the organization’s best interests now.
  • Are we holding onto “pet” projects? Larger organizations with a strict hierarchy sometimes fall prey to the ‘pet project’ syndrome. It may be the director’s favorite activity, or a cherished idea. It’s done simply because so-and-so asked that it be done. You must have the courage to question even pet projects to prioritize the vital ones from the rest.
  • Does this serve our constituents? No matter what activity you are considering, asking if it serves your constituents’ best interests helps keep your focus on what you do best. This helps you prioritize your budget and accounting activities around what matters most.

As Washington DC nonprofit advisers, we know how hard it is to ask these questions and to change the status quo. It may be helpful to bring in business advisers to help you sort through these issues dispassionately.

At Beck & Company, we offer CPA services, nonprofit accounting, and business advisory functions for nonprofit organizations. Contact us today if you would like more information about our services or help with your nonprofit business needs.

Accounting for Nonprofits Update: FASB Financial Reporting Standards Changes

If you are in charge of accounting for nonprofits, it is important to keep abreast of the FASB financial reporting standards changes. These changes are the most significant in twenty-three years, and will affect organizations to a large degree.

The New FASB Nonprofit Guidelines

On August 18 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities.

Register for this Webinar Now: Financial Reporting – Is Your Nonprofit Seeing the Full Picture? 

Like other accounting for nonprofit tasks, these FASB changes require significant planning and preparation. Failure to begin planning now may mean that your organization is unable to meet the requirements later.

The areas most affected by the changes include:

  • Net asset classification requirements
  • Information provided financial statements
  • Notes about liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows

The Journal of Accountancy states that nonprofits must now report expenses by their nature and function. This is a change; formerly, only nonprofit health and welfare organizations were required to follow this reporting protocol. Now all nonprofits will be required to report expenses in this manner.

In addition, a net presentation of investment expense against return is now required on the face of statement activities. Internal salaries and benefits expenses must also be disclosed as they are netted against investment returns.

Operating cash flows may be presented by either the direct or indirect method, eliminating the need for those who use the direct method to reconcile with the indirect method.

Other highlights of the changes include restructuring the net asset classifications from three to two. Nonprofits are also required to provide qualitative and quantitative information that refers to their liquidity.

The goals of these sweeping changes is to make financial disclosure more transparent for donors, investors and the general public. Many changes also reflect the changing nature of the nonprofit world.

The standard will take effect for annual financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2017, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2018.

Help for Accounting for Nonprofits

If you struggle with your accounting for nonprofits, Beck & Company can help. We are a CPA and business advisory firm dedicated to the nonprofit sector. Our many years of experience can help you update your financial compliance, change to follow FASB 958, or handle all types of accounting for nonprofits. Please contact Beck & Company today for further details.

Accounting for Nonprofits: Close the Book on It!

Preparing Your Books for the End of Year Close

‘Tis the season – the season when nonprofits everywhere start thinking about year-end close. This year, vow that you’ll do all you can to smoothly and efficiently close the books with minimal stress to your accountant. Accountants everywhere thank you.

In all seriousness, there are many reasons why doing a good job preparing your books for the end of year close is important. Without closing your books for the year, you’ll have no idea if your nonprofit was profitable or not. Closing the books and reconciling them means that you’ve tallied up everything for the end of the year, put a period or end point on it, and start with a fresh slate in the new year.

Register for this Webinar Now: The Modern Day General Ledger – Leveraging Cloud Technology for Nonprofit Accounting.

Closing the accounts for the year reset the revenue and expense lines to zero. These ‘temporary’ accounts are now ready for the new year, a clean slate, and a new eye to profitability. Without closing your books, you’ll have a muddle of data to assess, and you won’t get a clear picture on how well your organization achieves its financial goals during the year.

Accounting for Nonprofits: Tips for Success

There are certain steps you can take to successfully close your books for the end of the year. This includes:

  • Keep your accounts updated: Schedule time monthly to reconcile expenses and income. If you let it all pile up to the end of the year, it will feel overwhelming. There’s also more of a chance to make mistakes and forget items.
  • Create a checklist: A detailed and thorough checklist that details every step for your year-end close is a helpful resource. Such a process can guide you through the close out each year and save time.
  • Ask questions during the year: Hopefully, you have a great certified nonprofit accountants to work with, someone who knows your nonprofit and is open to questions. Don’t let questions delay your routine accounting practices. Ask questions throughout the year so that you don’t let mistakes proliferate.
  • Schedule plenty of time for your audit: Dovetail your end of year close with audit prep, but leave plenty of time for your audit. By doing both at the same time – audit prep and end of year close – you’ll be well-prepared for the new year.

Pay Bills, Lower Receivables

Another useful end of year task to tackle before reconciling and closing your books is to pay off any outstanding invoices so that you carry fewer into the new year. You should also review your accounts receivable file, and attempt to collect any past due invoices. You can certainly carry these over, but it is always a good idea to avoid open receivables. The fewer receivables you have, the more income your nonprofit has at the ready.

While closing out your books may not be top of mind as you celebrate the holidays, tackle the tasks early enough in the month so that you can get them done while people remain in the office. Note when your accounting team may be taking time off to travel or celebrate the holidays, and work around their schedules. You can complete your end of year close with plenty of time to enjoy the festivities of the season.

Beck & Company

Beck & Company provides nonprofit accounting and audit services in Washington, D.C and Virginia. Founded in 1987, we specialize in the world of nonprofit institutions, helping them to navigate the complex world of finance and accounting. Our services are always personalized, and cost-effective for your institution. We welcome your inquiry or call.  Contact us today or call 703-834-0776 x 8001.

Considering the Cloud?

Here’s What Nonprofit Accountants Need to Know about Cloud Computing

Many nonprofit accountants continue to be reluctant about switching their files and systems to the cloud. Cloud computing uses shared servers and hardware, rather than servers and hardware located in your physical office space, to store files and run programs. Cloud programs are accessed through secure web-based portals, making it appealing for companies with a mobile workforce or who work from client sites frequently.

Concerns about switching to the cloud range from security concerns to cost concerns. Advances and changes in computing often come with some anxiety. Accountants who, in times past, purchased new hardware and upgraded their programs annually, suddenly find themselves considering site licenses, monthly or annual fees, and new business considerations related to cloud computing. It’s definitely a shift in how organizations think about their technology needs and roll out tech changes.

Dispelling the myths surrounding cloud computing can help you feel more confident as you consider the options. Cloud computing is now ubiquitous in many industries, and nonprofit accountants are catching on to its many benefits.

Cloud Computing Concerns

First, let’s address typical concerns shared by nonprofit accountants regarding moving to the cloud.

  • Security: Many fear that because public clouds, or the typical cloud solution embraced by the average organization, aren’t as secure as paper-based files or networks housed within their physical office. Consider your current security situation for your files. Are valuable files backed up on your server? If so, where are the backups housed? Do you lock your file cabinets, and are they located in rooms with locking doors? Many offices use convenient central files that, while they take up less space and make it easier for workers to access, are by no means as secure as the company assumes. Cloud security, on the other hand, is usually top-notch. Because the companies providing the cloud invest heavily in security, they can afford the best and are constantly updating and upgrading their technology. They may still be breached or hacked, but they are probably more secure than what you are currently using.
  • Costs: Cloud costs may be confusing at first, but they tend to be less than what you would spend on upgrading your hardware. Many cloud solutions provide a monthly fee with an annual subscription that offers significant savings. If you amortize the cost of hardware and software investments in the past, cloud computing tends to come out ahead in terms of cost savings.
  • Mobility: Many nonprofit accountants take work home, especially during busy times of year such as end of quarter and the spring run-up to tax season. Cloud computing is mobile, and can be accessed anywhere you have a web connection. This makes it easy to log on from home, complete your work, and access it again from the office the following day. If you travel frequently, or work onsite at a client’s location, you can also access all of your files no matter where you are.

Choosing a Cloud Vendor

As you can see, the cloud offers many advantages for nonprofit accountants. If you are considering a cloud vendor, review several to find the best match for your requirements.

  • Check references and delve into the vendor’s reputation.
  • Request data on downtimes. How does the vendor handle outages and problems?
  • Do they have someone available 24/7 to help you by phone, email or chat, or do they limit communications?
  • Who owns the data?
  • Do they own their own server or rent space from another company?
  • What support and backup do they offer? How frequently is data backed up, and what are their recovery plans if data is lost?
  • What security do they have in place?
  • What is the cost and contract terms?

Cloud computing offers exciting opportunities for flexibility, cost-savings and security. Moving to the cloud is usually a smart choice for nonprofit accountants.

Beck & Company

Established in 1987, Beck & Company is a group of Washington DC and Virginia Certified Nonprofit Accountants. Our services are personalized to your organization’s needs. We provide independent auditing, accounting, tax services, and consulting to help keep your organization’s finances running smoothly. Contact us today or call 703-834-0776 x 8001.

Reacting to the Unexpected: Filling Senior Accounting Roles

It’s the phone call nobody wants to receive: a senior level staff member at your nonprofit organization has a personal emergency or has fallen ill and is in the hospital. Not only are you worried about them, but you’re also worried about fulfilling their obligations in light of an impending annual audit or year-end close. There’s a lot to do and you’re short a critical staff member’s talents.

While your team member is recovering or dealing with personal issues, you can fill that vacancy in several ways. The first thing to remember is that no matter how stressful things seem, there’s always a way to solve a problem. You can’t replace someone, but you can fill a vacancy.

Replacing Senior Financial Positions

Your organization’s controller, chief financial officer, or other senior-level accounting or finance person is likely responsible for many tasks. She is responsible for overseeing the accounting and finance teams, for apportioning funds, and for general fund accounting. She may be responsible for investments and for leading the end of year close or audit. All of these tasks are vital for the health and well-being of your organization.

First, decide how long you’re going to need someone for the temporary vacancy. If it’s just for a few days, someone from within the department is likely able to step in and lead open projects. If it’s weeks or months, however, you’ll need something more permanent to keep the work moving along.

Consider whether or not a consulting firm can fill the gap. Consultants offer many advantages over temporarily replacing an open position. A consulting firm can offer expert advice and insights that not only help you over the current bump but may provide long-lasting benefits for your organization.

You have several options to fill the gap left by an unexpected vacancy. You can:

  • Temporarily promote from within: Is there someone on the current team who can step into the role, even if it’s just temporary? Often you’ve got a star player already on the team who understands what needs to be done and who can lead the charge. Look within first to see if anyone fits the bill.
  • Work with a placement firm: Some placement first specialize in filling temporary finance positions. These firms screen senior and mid-level executives for you, and can find a consultant to fill the role. It may take that person a few days to fully understand the organization, and there may be cultural gaps as they learn the ropes at your nonprofit, but this can be a good measure if the position will be vacant for several weeks or months.
  • Hire a consulting firm: Firms such as Beck & Company can step in and lead the team temporarily. We can help you prepare for end of year close, a nonprofit audit, or an upcoming board meeting. We work as business consultants as well as accountants and have a team of CPAs, financial and business experts in the nonprofit world, ready to work with you.

At Beck & Company, we can help you get back on your feet when an unexpected vacancy stops progress on accounting and business projects. We can help you sort through the stress of an impending audit or help you figure out what needs to get done. Our consultants specialize in the world of nonprofits. We provide independent auditing, accounting, tax services, and consulting to help keep your organization’s finances running smoothly. Fund accounting is just one of our many specialties. Contact us today or call 703-834-0776 ext. 8001.

Training Your Team for Fund Accounting Systems: Tips for Successful Implementation

It’s go-time, and your staff is excited about the new fund accounting systems you’ve put into place. But wait: before launching the new system, have you made plans for training everyone on how to use the new fund accounting system?

Training, it seems, is often an afterthought when it comes to new software launches. Managers, IT staff, and everyone involved with selecting, implementing and using the new software should be involved in the training. Here’s how you can learn from adult educators on the best ways of engaging users in your new fund accounting system.

#1: Sell the value.

Even before you invite the team to a training meeting, you need to ‘sell’ them the value of the new software. Unlike children, who learn out of curiosity or obedience to authority, adults learn best when they perceive the personal value of anything they are expected to learn.

The staff of your organization must know right from the start why you’ve chosen the new software and why this particular product from among many fund accounting systems. How will it help them with their daily work? Will it solve problems, increase productivity, work smarter or faster than what they’ve used before? It’s only by answering these questions upfront will you grab their attention for further training.

#2: Keep training sessions focused on what users need to know.

Users need to know precise information to help them do their jobs well. They don’t need to know the history of the product, or the bells and whistles that so excited your CEO. They want to know now how to use it to do their jobs better. Focus your training on immediate activities the group can do to use the new software.

#3: Use it or lose it.

Another truism with adult learners is that they must use their newfound knowledge immediately or else it is forgotten. Adults need to use new skills repeatedly in order to keep them fresh. Schedule training sessions with the new fund accounting system where users actually bring in their projects and work so that the training can focus on job-related skills, and users can ask questions while actually using the system for real work.

#4: Customize vendor trainings.

Vendor trainings can be a great asset, but you may need to customize a vendor training session to your organization’s needs. You know your team. They may respond best to written materials, hands-on demonstrations, or simple verbal instructions. Work with your software vendor to tailor training needs to your team.

#5: Schedule follow up.

Many training programs fail because trainers pour information out and then leave without follow-up. Users leave the session invigorated and excited, but stumble using the new system when they return to their workplace. To keep the momentum going after training, schedule follow-up meetings a week or two after the initial training. Invite users to bring questions to the meeting so that you can help them use the system to its fullest.

Ready for New Fund Accounting Systems?

At Beck & Company, we understand the unique needs of the nonprofit sector. Our CPAs and consultants have been assisting nonprofits since 1987 with their accounting and operational needs. If it’s time to implement a new fund accounting system, please contact us for assistance. Call 1-703-834-0776.

Beck & Company CPA’s Client Accounting Services

Founded in 1987, Beck & Company, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors is an independent certified public accounting firm serving the Greater Washington D. C. metropolitan area with clients also along the Eastern Seaboard. Our firm has been built upon a tradition of service, technical expertise, and creative thinking. Did you know that here at Beck & Company, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors, we provide audit, tax, accounting, nonprofit, and consulting services? Our goal is to help our clients’ financial endeavors flourish while exceeding their expectations. Our background and experience in public accounting and business allow us to offer qualified assistance in practically any area of your business. Over the next few weeks we would like to take a deeper look into the services we provide so that you can take full advantage of our expertise, to help your organization meet its business and personal financial objectives.

Last week we took a look at the Accounting and Audit Services provided by Beck & Company, CPA’s. More than audit services we provide an array of accounting and other services for small and middle market organizations, privately owned companies, partnerships, not-for-profit organizations and other forms of businesses. Another valuable service is our:

Client Accounting Services

Reduce cost while increasing the value delivered by your accounting functions and better utilization of accounting resources. Nonprofit organizations are constantly looking for ways make the best use of their resources to focus on their cause. The complexity of managing the business aspects of a nonprofit organization while furthering its mission may inspire the need to seek outside support for some elements.

Almost every nonprofit can benefit from the insights and expertise of a chief financial officer (CFO) or a Controller, but unfortunately, few can afford to staff that position full-time, at this level and if they do, they may only have five to ten hours of work for this person per month. Overcoming this objective by outsourcing these functions, your organization will be positioned to access CFO and Controllership skills, tailored to meet your specialized needs.

Reducing Costs through Business Process Optimization (BPO)

With a thorough assessment and analysis of your operations and the reorganization and optimization of your processes, which can reduce cost and increase efficiency.

When you outsource some or all elements of your accounting, you will:

  • Significantly reduce overhead – The finance and accounting function is a cost center and does not generate income.
  • Optimize processes and improve workflow.
  • Allow management to spend more time and effort on your operation.
  • Improve operational efficiencies that impact your bottom-line.
  • Re-direct finance and accounting expenses to pay for new programs and events.
  • Gain faster, better financial information to help direct your leaders and drive your mission.

Beck & Company, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors is an accounting and consulting firm delivering specialized expertise, creative thinking, and unsurpassed service to ensure that our clients’ financial endeavors flourish. At Beck and Company, CPAS we’re different because we’ve been where you are – either in our professional experience in running our practice and business or we’ve seen situations similar to yours when working with clients much like you. Our broad base of managerial accounting and systems experience and our deep understanding of business process and technology enable us to apply knowledge from the past, together with up-to-date best practice know-how to help you solve your challenges and capitalize on the opportunities you face. Our creative and innovative team of experienced professionals with senior or owner involvement in all client engagements ensures you know you have direct access to specialized expertise on which you can rely and trust.

Increasing Accountability and Transparency through your Nonprofit Accounting Service

Trust is a precious commodity in the nonprofit sector—are you doing all you can to keep it?
Restrictions around the use of government grants continue to rise, and private foundations and corporations are asking organizations for specific measurable outcomes resulting from grant awards. Pressure is continually added by tightening federal regulations. There are talks of a possible requirement to add performance measures to the IRS Form 990, along with the chance of federal funding becoming subject to comply with OMB Circular A-133, thus requiring annual audits.

Compounded with stories of the misuse of funding grabbing headlines, the temperament of the donor community, although positive, is more cautious than in yester years. Not only is being accountable in aspects of your organization’s financial and program management an absolute necessity, but it is imperative now more than ever.

Accountability is not just the responsibility of the CFO or the Executive Director, but of all staff, your accounting services firm, board members who are involved in the financial management, fundraising, and program planning and implementation. Make sure money raised is being used for the purposes you outlined in your solicitations, and communicate it clearly and often to your donors. This can be as simple as sharing success stories in your donor newsletters or making your annual report available on your Web site, but also as complex as reporting on fulfi lling grant restrictions, program outcomes, matching requirements, and the impact or difference made by your organization. At the end of the day, however, tangible proof, such as clear tracking of donor restrictions and funds spent from the fi nance office, will underscore the organization’s accountability and transparency, and will help to build a case for continuing and future support.

Accountability also means keeping the lines of communication open with your supporters through the good and the bad. During an AFP Meet the Funders workshop, grant-makers and donors expressed the desire for communication—especially when plans go awry. “It’s not an opportunity to take the support away,” said one participant. “It is an opportunity to learn what roadblocks the program or project is facing, and figure out how we can work together to overcome it.”

It is no secret that donors and the grant-making community network and talk. Your actions and communications can reinforce their decision to give to your organization and may help them bring others to the table. On the other hand, your actions and communications, or lack thereof, can create a divide that is hard to overcome. A study published by the Public Agenda found “once an organization became tainted in [donors’] minds, they never gave to that particular organization again.”

Part of being accountable is also to have the right infrastructure in place to assist with the reporting, tracking, and communications. Annual audits are a must, and being able to give auditors, grantors, and stakeholders a clear trail to verify the accuracy of financial statements and donor intention is critical. As you look for ways to satisfy the demands of outcome measurements, be sure that your accounting system not only tracks and reports outcome measurements on financial statements, but that it can also be used to budget outcome measurements for accurate forecasting. In terms of your organization’s effectiveness, information on outcome measurements can be factored into financial data and presented to external and internal constituents, showing a powerful snapshot of your accountability and program performance with the funds you are receiving.

Likewise, keeping donor information in a comprehensive system allows for acknowledgement of donations in a timely manner, storage of communication histories, usage of donor profiling, creation of reminders for following-up, and the personalization of communications with the programs and projects that energize your giving community.

At the end of the day, it’s the people in your organization or the nonprofit accounting service firm you are using, who are dedicated to your mission, that use these tools to demonstrate the accountability, transparency, and stewardship needed to keep the organization’s integrity intact—and keep your donors and grantors contributing to your cause.