Top 10 Requirements for a Non-Profit Financial System

Non-profits are businesses and conduct the same day-to-day transactions as any business but from my experience have specific needs in the top 10 requirements below.  A non-profit may not have all these needs but probably require most of them.

 

Reporting by Fund/Grant/Project/Client/Service/Department/Etc.

Reporting, slicing, and dicing is a key requirement for non-profits.  AccuNet’s detailed discovery and design process is a key step in the design of your next financial system.  Taking a holistic look at your compliance, audit, budgeting, reporting, fund and grant facilitates design of a system that allows you to get the information back out later.  One of the most common complaints I hear from accounting staff is that, “I know the information is in there, but I cannot get it out!” Our proven design process insures you can easily view and query the system with reports, dashboards, Excel pivot tables, charts, drill downs and views that empower your people to use the valuable data you are collecting.

 

Audit

Audit goes hand in hand with reporting.  We have consultants on staff who have satisfied the toughest auditors.  We like to think of the auditor as a key user of the system that needs to be satisfied, much like a board member or CFO.  Since our design has taken the auditors needs into consideration, our customers often give the auditor access and they run most of the reporting and queries they need themselves.  This shortens the length of audits and reduces the demand on your staff.  Since our systems include drill down and document management, the auditor can pull most of the documents they need independently and only tie up staff with exceptions and special cases.

 

Compliance

We codify compliance rules into the financial system using powerful tools like the builtiin workflow, flexible security, color coding, dashboards, required fields, restricted funds, budget rules and warning notes to keep all transactions in compliance as they happen.  Workflow is a universal rules engine that creates a process of alerts and actions when key events occur.  Want to add a new account?  A rules engine routes a task to the appropriate person.  Spending going over budget?  An approval request is sent to the proper person.  Entering a voucher over a certain amount?  An approval request is sent to the proper person or dual cosigner.  Dashboards with color codes, keep all managers informed on key indicators of cash, budget, spend rate, fund and project performance.  Our financial systems have the powerful tools but how we implement those tools makes the difference.

 

Budget

Non-profits are often budget intensive, and we can scale to meet your needs. If only a few people create the budget, then a simple dump of actuals creates a basis, Excel based tools allow for percentage increases or decreases across a range of accounts and subaccounts.  The new budget is then available for actual to budget reporting and viewing based on security by department managers.  If you have complex budgeting based on FTE, square foot, service area, fund, donations, events, departmental roll ups, complex modeling and forecasting, we can support that too.  Budgeting is not a one-size fit all and we can do the basics to the most complex.

 

Restricted and Non-Restricted Funds

Properly define funds and eliminate the commingling of cash.  Demonstrate stewardship and comply with donor requirements without burdening staff with complex data entry while keeping funds balanced.  This feature is built-in to our system and works with budgeting, financial reporting and encumbrances.

 

Document Management

Built-in document management allows users to attached Word/Excel/PDF/images and notes to all transactions during entry at the lowest level of transaction detail.  This could be a billing document or a note explaining a GL entry.  Powerful drill down allows anyone with the proper security to drill down to that transaction and see all supporting detail and documents related to that transaction.

 

Grant and Project Reporting

Whether you have funds from donors, or grants tied to a purpose, you will be able to setup programs limited to specific managers. Create specific budgets and encumbrances that purchases are automatically applied.  We can track time, expenses, and even inventory to a project or grant.

 

Easy to Use

Designing our system for people with moderate accounting skills and technical skills is what we do.  Non-profits often use volunteers and staff that need to do their job with little training and supervision.  We empower people to use the system with easy screens, clear prompts, help screens and user create wikis to guide new users.

 

Unlimited Users and Cloud-Based

Our system comes with unlimited users so temporary users, short term events, peak season users and the board member that needs one report a month, all have access at no additional cost.  Our system is cloud-based and device independent, all you need is a web address to gain access from your mobile phone, notebook, Mac, PC, or Chrome device.  This anywhere, anytime access comes with powerful security and military grade encryption.

 

FASB and IFIRS Compliant

Our systems are designed to support FASB and IFIRS, which puts you on track for a successful audit and gives you the tools to meet donor and grantee demands.

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