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DueDiligenceImage BlogDUE DILIGENCE IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING NONPROFIT SOFTWARE MARKET

When organizations are closing in on the purchase of nonprofit accounting software, they generally take the time to call references.  Talking to other people who use the software is common and smart practice.  

People who are living with a solution – who rely on it each day to carry out their responsibilities – are in the very best position to give you great insight on strengths and weaknesses of a particular product.  We

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BlogImage ChangeAgent smallWhen mapping the direction and strategy of your nonprofit, the ultimate goal is always mission fulfillment.  But are there habits and processes that need to change in order to see dramatic improvement?  

Are there change agents within the organization that have pointed to areas of deficiency who have been routinely told “not yet”?  Are there areas of the organization that are operating exactly as they did five years ago, ten years ago?  What about your accounting department?  Are they

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The following article was originally featured on the Nonprofit PRO website, December 2016.

The impact of nonprofit organizations in changing lives and communities for the better can never be fully calculated.

The wonderful goodness of combining the resources of knowledge, ability, funding, and delivery of service, in order to accomplish good - optimal assistance and transformation - is something nonprofit employees, funders, donors, advocates and volunteers should be proud of.

It could be said

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Fraud word graphic 

I recently moderated a session at an association meeting “The Role of Internal Controls in Preventing Bank Fraud”.   The speakers included a Bank Examiner, a CPA and the CEO of a nonprofit agency.  They provided a nice balance of different points of views and resulted in a good discussion.

Internal and external vulnerabilities

One thing quickly became apparent, there are really two avenues for bank fraud, internal and external, and there are different activities or functions that a

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Survey Says! Opportunities Abound for Organizations to Improve Endowment Management

AccuFund recently commissioned publisher Nonprofit PRO to survey its readers (nonprofit finance professionals and top organization management) to benchmark the methods used to manage endowment accounting.  With 272 endowment professionals responding, the vast majority of organizations (83%) manage endowments less than $100 million.

Opportunities Abound!

In spite of endowment management solutions available, only a

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We’re always looking for ways to make AccuFund easier for you to use – creating features that let you complete tasks fast and get to the information you need more quickly so that you can turn your attention to more important matters.

At our last user group meeting we shared 10 ways AccuFund can make routine tasks easier to execute.  What follows is a brief description. You may also download a handy tip sheet to have on hand for when you need to perform these tasks

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Attending AccuFund User Group Meetings offer multiple benefits.  It's your chance to see what's coming in terms of features and functionality, to increase your efficiency with AccuFund, and network with other nonprofit professionals using AccuFund.

We look forward to the AccuFund User Group Meetings because it's our chance to see you in person and tap your experience for ways to make the solution better.

There are four locations for the 2014 AccuFund User Group Meetings and an online meeting

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The good news is you have multiple grants funding your mission.  The bad news is tracking and reporting on grant budgets can make anyone’s head spin – especially if grants cover multiple fiscal years and you’re using spreadsheets for tracking and reporting for your nonprofit.

Difficulties creep in when trying to match the grant year reporting with your fiscal year reporting.  Or the anticipated spending was either accelerated or delayed.  Perhaps you hired staff based on the grant and

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Your staff is on edge.  You’re exhausted and stressed.  The only thing you can think about is getting through month-end.  

If that sounds familiar, read on, because while it’s not unusual for us to come across nonprofit accountants who experience the professional equivalent of going under house arrest during period-end closes; it is completely unnecessary.

Painful closings are a symptom of inadequate accounting systems.  Inadequate systems make your life harder, not easier. 

Beyond

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It may not be at the top of your priority list but regular system reviews are key when it comes to ensuring that you are getting the most out of your investment.

Your financial systems are the bedrock of responsible stewardship and organizational transparency.  In addition, access to financial data when evaluating grants, applying for new grants, determining fundraising campaign effectiveness, tracking operational expenses, etc., is critical to serving your constituents now and in the

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Implementing best practices is the gift that keeps on giving.  Best practices incorporated into the workflow of your nonprofit system helps you work smarter and usually faster that makeshift manual activities.

When best practices are combined with automation and offer a significant savings in time and money – that’s the best possible scenario, and going paperless is an activity that delivers each of those benefits.

We saw such positive results with clients that we recently conducted a

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Nonprofits have more choices than they did a few years ago when it comes to operational software.  If you are shopping for new accounting software there’s a new consideration beyond features and functions:  is the best choice a cloud solution, a hosted solution or an on-premise solution?

  • On-premise is the traditional method of housing your software.  You license a solution that is installed on a server that resides physically within your organization. 
  • A hosted solution means that you
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Savvy donors want to make sure their gifts are being used properly and that the organizations they choose to champion are fiscally responsible and transparent.  GAAP compliance allows not only donors, but also creditors and other stakeholders, to view financial data in a format that is consistent from organization to organization.  

When it comes to GAAP Expense Rules, there are three things nonprofit organizations should be aware of when creating financial reports:

  1. Expense should be
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Cloud Computing is at the top of the list for almost all organizations looking for their next fund accounting and donor management and fundraising systems – and for good reason. Cloud computing is the most revolutionary technology development since application software (once only available for mainframe computers) became available for personal computers and landed on the desktops of end users.

There are several hugely compelling aspects to cloud computing – in many cases it comes

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Why should nonprofits be interested in cloud accounting?

There are significant savings to be enjoyed by emptying out your server room and putting the money you used to pay in maintenance and upgrades towards your mission.

The cloud, through economies of scale, offers state-of-the-art security, disaster recovery, and guaranteed uptime.

Budget-friendly subscription pricing combined with anytime, anywhere access gives your organization the agility it needs to focus on your mission in the most

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I recently read with interest an article by Gene Marks about how to make your CRM installation a success.  One of his points I thought applied equally well to your accounting system and that was "Invest in a Administrator".  I have repeatedly seen this be the difference between failure and success in client installations.

Like the CRM system that Gene is talking about, you make a significant investment in your accounting solution and it is a critical part of your organization, be it

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