Throughout the non-profit sector of all kinds, funders and stakeholders are calling for greater transparency in their financial performance and their impact on the mission of NGOs. Whether an NGO engages in environmental, social, advocacy, community or human rights activities, finance professionals should effectively highlight outcomes and their mission to easily attract donors.
NGO financial leaders will continue to focus on the following pressing industry challenges: Revenue increment and discovery of additional funders, raise awareness about the NGO among the increasing number of NGOs, eliminate and eradicate waste, fraud and corruption, and increase trust among donors through improved financial transparency and accountability for results. NGO finance teams can use technology to improve strategic insights, transform their organizations, and achieve better fulfillment of their missions.
As a cloud accounting and financial management software, Saralbooks helps empower NGOs and nonprofits through transparent reports, data security, growth of funding, and successful mission achievement. The four goals to focus on by NGO Finance Leaders are:
Supporting global operations by replacing old accounting systems with cloud financial management solutions
NGO is tasked with working in different areas with several field offices established and use of old accounting systems limited to accounting only. Using a cloud-based management system, field teams can work from laptops and access information and report to headquarters. The move to cloud financial management makes it easy for both NGO executives and employees to access the latest information. The latest cloud accounting system supports a truly global workforce and mission, enabling everyone to use the same system at the same time.
Cloud Accounting Technology reduces IT costs and complexity because the software is maintained and updated by the provider and no funding is required to maintain the server. With the cloud accounting and financial management solution, NGOs eliminate paper and centralize information so that anyone with the right security qualifications can see the real-time information they need for their role. Members of the finance team can work from home or on the go as easily as in the office. This allows executives the flexibility to work with their employees from anywhere.
Achieve global, real-time visibility across multiple entities
NGO can support multiple organizations as new projects are initiated and programs expand to new locations. However, NGO financial leaders can struggle to get an integrated view of multiple locations, different funds, and many projects. If you do not have a financial system that provides an integrated, high-level view of your financial performance, your finance team will need to create a report for each unit and manually consolidate the data before analysis. Chances are that when the report is finished, the data will be out of date. Cloud-based financial systems can instantly integrate data from any project without manual intervention. NGO finance personnel want to be able to quickly provide accurate and reliable data to key stakeholders such as executives, board members, donors and key donors. To make the right decisions, stakeholders need better insights into revenue streams, programs, and outcomes. Without real-time, integrated financial information, stakeholders struggle with limited insights to make strategic decisions across the company.
Accelerate growth by increasing efficiency and automating manual financial processes
As NGOs grow and add programs, services, projects and locations, outdated accounting and reporting processes may not be able to match up. Manual data interpretation within Excel spreadsheets might work for a small organization for a while. But soon, the reporting burden negatively affects the time and attention of Finance team, leaving out the more important priorities. NGO finance leaders can`t focus on strategic decision-making if they are too busy building pivot tables. Today`s financial management solutions deliver greater automation and efficiency that help NGOs reduce or eliminate manual data entry and data manipulation, so the finance team can focus on strategic priorities that accelerate revenue growth to fund expansion of the mission.
Simplify grant management and facilitate full cost recovery
NGOs have the hard numbers to predict the true cost of projects, so they can fundraise to recover full costs. The only way to know the full financial impact of a project is to have a financial management system that can track how all expenses, including labor costs, IT and other expenses, are distributed to the project or program. Cloud-based accounting software designed for nonprofits helps NGOs simplify grant management by tracking and managing real-time financial reporting.
Funders and donors today want to work with NGOs that measure and report outcomes and results, not activities. A proper cloud-based non-profit financial management system like Saralbooks will be an essential tool for NGO financial leaders to support strategic planning and decision-making, clarify the mission story, and make the results more transparent to funders.