7 Reasons why you should supercharge your non-profit by switching to Cloud Accounting
Running a non-profit is a labour of love and is different from managing a traditional business as NPOs face unique challenges unfamiliar to other types of organisations.
If you work in a non-profit organisation, you are keeping many plates spinning as you’re tasked with multiple responsibilities such as accurately providing information to directors, funders, and regulatory agencies often at a moment’s notice. Non-profits, like all other successful organisations, need to keep up with the tools of the times.
Cloud Accounting delivers real-time reporting and frees up your time by streamlining tasks and increasing your efficiency.
Benefits of Cloud Accounting
1) IT Cost Reduction
Cloud services do not usually involve substantial upfront capital investment, and ongoing operating costs are often more economical than traditional IT infrastructure.
Cloud Accounting software such as Quickbooks Online offers affordable subscription rates.
Providers typically have the necessary support available, which puts minimal demands on internal IT resources and may result in less IT staffing hours. Cloud Accounting features allow funds and staff resources currently spent on building and maintaining an in-house technology infrastructure to be re-directed to activities that more directly support the NPO’s mission.
It means you can spread the cost rather than pay in one go upfront. Because it’s cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about keeping up to date with the latest version of the software. This is particularly helpful for organisations that provide emergency aid relief or services in locations without substantial support.
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? ~ George Eliot
While lower cost is a definite advantage, the board needs to do its due diligence and make sure that management has considered the costs of integrating a new cloud solution into the organisation’s current IT environment. It is also vital to ensure continuous monitoring of ongoing costs because cloud solutions are often consumed and billed on a pay-per-use basis.
2) Save on office space
Cloud technology facilitates volunteers or employees to connect to the NPO remotely, via laptops, or home computers, or mobile phones and allows shared access to resources across geographically disparate locations. Many non-profit organisations have a tight budget with no fixed office space, so they need to have employees working remotely. Cloud-based software makes perfect sense here, allowing your accountant or bookkeeper to update the accounts wherever they happen to be.
3) Ease of Access
Cloud-based accounting implies that you can securely access your accounts from anywhere in the world with a single login, as long as you have an internet connection.
Cloud Computing also allows you to quickly and securely share critical donation and expense information online with donors, board members and volunteers.
You can rapidly send invoices and record any payments in real time, and the cloud accounting app will automatically refresh your accounts.
4) Online Donation Campaigns
Online funding platforms such as Canada Helps allow potential donors to contribute directly to a cause quickly and easily, which is good as the donors want to know whether their dollars go directly towards helping the cause (through online cause-driven campaigns), rather than funding other activities that indirectly contribute to a bigger goal, such as staffing, infrastructure and marketing.
Through online platforms such as Canada Helps, the donors can also get donation receipts(Tax deductible) right away.
Cloud Accounting software allows you the donors to take donations online, face to face, over the phone or by invoice.
If you find it in your heart to care for someone else, you will have succeeded. ~ Maya Angelou
Online funding enables reduced staff time dedicated to these functions, and the redirection of these staff hours to fundraising can result in increased donations by 15-20 per cent.
Donors also want to see more transparency and feedback about how their gift was used or how it made an impact. Real-time cloud accounting reports can provide quick reporting to the donors so that they can see where their donations are getting used.
5) Improve Funder Reporting
Government funding programs can help support non-profit projects and initiatives, including hiring and training team members, and completing community-based projects.
By following best practices, using real-time cloud accounting software which can manage multiple grants, and thoroughly monitoring all the money received and spent, you’ll be able to meet and exceed the funding requirements which can help in maintaining and growing the funder base for your organisation.
For example in Quickbooks online, class-based funder reporting can be turned on by simple steps :
1. Turn on Class Tracking.
2. Assign a Class to each fund.
3. Optionally set up a banking sub-account for each fund.
4. Run a Profit and Loss by the Class report to review income and expenses.
6) Track Key performance indicators in real time
You can take a look at the profit and loss; balance sheet; and run a quick cashflow forecast to assist you to plan and make decisions for the coming months, like should you focus on delivering projects of fundraising? Creating reports is a breeze and is particularly beneficial if you undergo an audit and need to run off information on a particular area of the organisation without having had time to prepare in advance.
Cloud accounting software such as Quickbooks Online provides you with a ‘dashboard’ of useful numbers that you can access quickly and easily.
Cloud Accounting software can help you in tracking key performance indicators such as liquidity graphs, accounts receivable ratios, monthly timelines of income and expenditure and net assets and other useful statistics.
7) Cloud Accounting is a scalable solution
Your business might stay tiny, or it might grow as you reinvest revenue to help people.
Choose cloud accounting software that can be scaled up for extra users, and spread with integrated apps to manage new features that you might need.
For example, Intuit offers scalable software solutions serving small businesses through QBO basic version and larger organisations through QBO advanced version, which can handle higher volumes of data and chart of accounts.
The bottom line is that cloud accounting software can help non-profits to work more efficiently while they advance their mission to make this world a better place. Getting your board on board for moving your accounting to the cloud might be tough, but the payoff is well worth it when you have technology that helps further your mission. Change the way you work so you can change the world.
Cloudiverse CPAs Inc specializes in the cloud accounting implementation and consultation in the Non-Profit Space. We will be happy to help your Non Profit convert to the cloud to enable you to reap the benefits of the latest technology.
The information provided on this page is intended to contain general information. The data does not take into account your situation and is not designed to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Cloudiverse CPAs will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.