Your goals as a CFO remain constant: Support the mission. Increase revenue. Consolidate across multiple entities. Budget. Implement internal controls. Facilitate audits and compliance reporting. CFOs want to optimize the organization’s returns by carefully managing all the finances.
Here are key challenges along with some best practices for maximizing impact in 2014, gathered via clients of Intacct, a leading cloud management company.
Challenge 1: Accounting for nonprofits is complex, requiring solutions that provide flexibility for diverse accounting and reporting needs. Make sure your accounting system can support the separate, balanced sets of books required for fund accounting. Design your data structure and chart of accounts to support maximum flexibility.
Challenge 2: Nonprofits must be vigilant stewards of donated monies, carefully monitoring what is spent on every initiative and program. The solution is a centralized control and distribution system showing responsibility by event, program and donor in one system.
Challenge 3: No two grants are alike, creating extraordinary complexity in nonprofit accounting. Balancing and closing each fund independently is important. Create an infrastructure that supports rapid customized reporting by fund and donor.
Challenge 4: Set up the right financial infrastructure to help know and show what is happening in every aspect of your operation with superior speed and clarity. Have transparency in reporting. Streamline auditing with online financial software that supports and elevates your financial reporting to differentiate your organization.
Challenge 5: IT budgets and expertise are scarce, and financial management software can be a distraction. Think about using the best and most appropriate technology for the job. Staff appropriately or hire external expertise.