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COVID 19imageAs a nonprofit, you’re used to being on the front line helping your community members tackle the challenges they face every single day. From social services to arts and education to health and religion, you play a critical role in helping others. The positive impact you have on your community has

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ToolboxFASB ThumbnailAdobeStock 59589297By now you’ve probably heard about the changes coming with FASB ASU 2016-14.  The changes are significant and we’ve assembled a collection of resources to get you up to speed.

We have some concerns about what we’ve been hearing in the field:  responses to the question,  "How will you

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FASB blog thumbnailThe deadlines for ASU 2016-14 are approaching.  Implementation of the standards will be disruptive – whether that disruption is minimal or acute will depend on how prepared you are and the capability of your nonprofit accounting solutions.

FASB ASU 2016-14: Here’s what’s changing for nonprofit

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FinanceManagerGuide2Cloud BlogImage18CustomIf you are currently evaluating nonprofit accounting software, chances are your old system is a legacy, on-premise, accounting solution. We define legacy as software that was developed prior to 2000 (Y2K). “On-premise” refers to where your software physically resides, for example, on a server

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UpgradeImageBLOGAdobeStock 177368477SMALLFrom fundamental ASU2016-14 FASB updates to company-specific software updates, equipping nonprofit organizations with the tools to improve reporting and financial management is top-of-mind for many, if not all, nonprofit executives and boards.

Personally speaking, when AccuFund makes enhancements

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AccuSUM2017 COLOR VNever has there been a greater need for the services and support our nonprofits and local governments provide, in large cities and small towns, across the United States.

And at the same time, these nonprofits and local governments are challenged by the reality that funding is shrinking.

In order

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BlogImage multimain Many commercial accounting products have 2 elements - a natural account and a department - and this works fine for commercial entities.  In a nonprofit with multiple funding sources this quickly causes reporting issues.

We regularly work with nonprofits (NPOs) who use commercial accounting

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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

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DonatewithGraph ThumbnailPart of AccuFund's Small Formulas – Big Impact Series: Donor Participation Ratings    


HOW ESTABLISHING DONOR HISTORICAL DATA CAN LEAD TO INCREASED GIVING.

Who are your frequent donors?
Who are your major donors this year?
Who is close to moving into these categories?
How much has any one donor

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Salesforce logoFor fundraisers, knowing the appropriate amount to ask of a potential donor is half the battle (and arguably, the most important). Ask too little and you miss an opportunity. Ask too much and you risk scaring the donor away.

A little known and scarcely used tool in Salesforce helps guide the

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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

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Salesforce logoIn an earlier blog post, we showed you how to increase last year’s giving total for ALL your contacts by 10%. Oftentimes, this standardized increase will help you achieve a specific fundraising goal set by your team.

In some cases, you might have a select group of donors that you’d like to

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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 small percentage of organizations (9.5%) are using one.  Rather, 35.5% are reliant on entry-level solutions requiring manual intervention and 55% are using an exorbitant system. The alarmingly high number of respondents (90.5%) using inefficient systems ultimately prevents their organization from effectively managing their endowments. The opportunity for improvement is enormous!
•    9.5% of respondents use in-house or cloud-based endowment management software
•    35.5% indicate using Excel or QuickBooks
•    55% use the organization’s accounting system or a third party investment advisor
Trending Towards Transparency!  As the trend continues to move towards increased organizational transparency, reporting is a critical component that, when using an endowment-specific management solution, enables organizations to communicate efficiently and efficiently with all appropriate parties.

It’s an exciting time.  Join the Endowment Management Movement!

The 2015-2016 Endowment Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey sought information central to endowment accounting management, including the frequency of fund statement reports, the systems used to manage finances, and specific software features used to manage endowments.  Learn more…view the entire 2015-2016 Endowment Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey Infographic.

When Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District replaced their accounting software system with AccuFund Online hosted solution, they immediately gained 750 hours a year time savings.  On average, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District creates 125 purchase orders each month.  They estimate AccuFund Online saves them about a half hour for each one.  That's 62.5 hours saved each month, or 750 hours per year - that's over 18 weeks!

But that was only a start to the efficiencies gained from making the move to AccuFund Online, you can read the full story here.   

Rancho SimiRecreation and Park District worked with ComputerWorks NFP Solutions, who provided implementation and support for their accounting system.

For information on how AccuFund can help your special district, contact us.

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 the monthly pain inflicted by inadequate accounting systems, the time chewed up by closing activities delays critical fund information getting into the hands of your organization’s managers.  Those delays could contribute to less than optimal use of funds.

What if you could cut the time it takes to do you period-end close in half?  What would that mean for staff morale?  What would that mean for your sanity?

What we see when we implement the AccuFund Accounting Suite for nonprofits is enormous relief followed by increased efficiency followed by increased innovation.

Accounting teams are relieved and excited to see the impact of AccuFund Accounting Suite.  Organizations report that it’s easy to use, cuts down of the time necessary for period-end closing and, perhaps best of all, greatly reduces the number of manual activities the team had done in the past.

The benefits of AccuFund Accounting Suite are also felt beyond the Accounting department.  Period-end closing no longer delay getting monthly reports into the hands of management.  Many of the organizations we work with take advantage of query licenses, which give non-accounting staff access to their own reports and budgets – directly from the system.  

There are many challenges that a nonprofit faces, however, long, painful period-end closings does not have to be among them.

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

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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

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AccuFund has been working for many years with some large non-profits and foundations that require endowment accounting capabilities.  Our Allocation Management module was developed for two specific purposes, allocating indirect costs for grant-funded organizations and nonprofits with endowments that need to allocate income and expenses to named funds.  Our first endowment client started using AccuFund in 2004 and they continue to use it successfully today. 

We have added a number of endowment organizations, both foundations and other nonprofits with endowments.  We decided that this should become a focused market for AccuFund.  We have an excellent solution for Foundations that includes solutions for their special endowment management needs as well as a full accounting suite to run the entire foundation. 

Learn more about AccuFund Endowment Suite.   

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 license the software and it resides on a “host” server that resides in a facility operated by the hosting service company.
  • A cloud-based solution is usually subscription-based.  After the initial set up and associated costs, you pay a monthly subscription fee to access the software through a browser.

Cloud-based solutions are getting a lot of press these days.  In many cases, a cloud-based option will be more attractive to nonprofits for several reasons.  Because it’s a subscription, the cost of the software is split up into monthly payments over the course of the year.  Many organizations prefer the subscription to a large upfront payment with an ongoing annual maintenance and support renewal payment.  In some cases it’s easier to gain approval for the expenditure and monthly payments are easier to accommodate.

The anytime, anywhere access of cloud-based solutions make them very popular when an organization has staff in the field, or multiple locations.  There’s more flexibility for organizations with system users who are not coming to the office everyday – or whose office is in another city or around the globe.

Related Content:

Cloud Vs. On-Premise White Paper

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 reported as a decrease in unrestricted net assets
  2. Expenses should be reported gross and not netted against revenue (investment expenses would be an exception)
  3. Expenses should be reported by function

As the financial director of your nonprofit your credibility as well as the credibility of the organization is dependent on accurate reporting.

Since the IRS requires expenses to be reported by functional expense on the Form 990 for 501c3 and 501c4 organizations – it’s important that you have clarity about Functional Expenses Reporting.

AccuFund is designed specifically and solely for nonprofits.   As a result, the reporting requirements for nonprofits are built into the software so that you can generate reports directly from the system.  

Representative Payees are government agencies, nonprofit organizations or a relative or friend who is appointed by the Social Security Administration to handle the Social Security matters of beneficiaries who are not able to handle their own financial affairs.

The SSA defines the responsibilities of the Representative Payee as:

• Determining the beneficiary's total needs and using the benefits received in the best interests of the beneficiary.
• Maintaining a continuing awareness of the beneficiary's needs and condition, if the beneficiary does not live with the Representative Payee, by contact such as visiting the beneficiary and consultations with custodians.
• Applying the benefit payments only for the beneficiary's use and benefit.
• Notifying SSA of any change in his/her circumstances that would affect performance of the payee's responsibilities.
• Reporting to SSA any event that will affect the amount of benefits the beneficiary receives and to give SSA written reports accounting for the use of the benefits.

The essential needs of the beneficiary include food, clothing, shelter, utilities, medical care and insurance, dental care, personal hygiene, education, and rehabilitation expenses, for example.

If there are funds left over once the beneficiary's current needs are met, the representative payee must save or invest the remaining funds in trust for the beneficiary.

AccuFund has a stand-alone Representative Payee System for social service or government agencies that serve as fiscal guardians for clients or patients who are unable to mange their finances.

Also known as custodial checking and trustee accounting, Representative Payee provides these organizations with a robust, flexible tool for tracking funds and paying bills for a large number of clients.

We believe it's the best product on the market. We'd love to show it to you and see if you agree. Register for a Representative Payee Webinar.

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 with:

  • a lower cost of ownership
  • significantly faster implementation
  • full feature sets
  • hassle-free upgrades
  • enhanced security, up time, and disaster recovery
  • can be available anytime, anywhere on a variety of devices.

But what is it? In a cloud computing environment, your software solution is hosted 'in the cloud' and access via the web, rather than on a server (owned by you) that is housed at your location (on premise).

Chances are you began using cloud computing before you were aware of it. The first book you ordered from amazon.com was done via the cloud. If you pay your bills through online banking, you're operating in the cloud. Every song on your iPod or iPhone was a download from the cloud.

Now you can run your nonprofit business solutions from the cloud – fund accounting, fundraising, donor database, email, payment processing, etc.

At AccuFund, we provide nonprofits with fund accounting and fundraising solutions that can be hosted on premise or from the cloud. Whichever technology you prefer, we can accommodate.

While making a wise choice with regard to what technology best suits your organization, it's far more important that your choice of solutions is developed with nonprofit organizations in mind. Commercial accounting solutions don't work well for nonprofits, because they're not designed to collect and organize your data and provide the reporting output your organization requires.

Your fundraising results are crucial to your mission. Development Directors that can put technology to work employing an easy-to-use and affordable fundraising system are going to see better results than those burdened with manual processes.

When looking for a new system there are two costs that go into your purchase – the cost of the software and the cost associated with implementing the software. AccuFund CRM software will require an implementation fee, but there is no cost for the software itself since it is available through the donated Enterprise Edition Licenses of the Force.com platform.

In addition to the savings, you benefit from the long list of capabilities of the software including:

Donor & Relationship Management
Donation Tracking
Marketing Campaigns
Reporting, Analytics & Forecasting
Social Networking
Pledge Management
Approvals & Workflow
Email & Productivity
Content Library & Document Management
Honor/Memorial Tracking
And much more

The best news? This is all available through the donated Enterprise Edition Licenses on the Force.com Platform.

To determine if this very affordable fundraising option is a fit for your nonprofit, please join us for one of our upcoming Fundraising Webinars

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 cost-effective way without sacrificing features or performance.

Why should nonprofits be interested in AccuFund?

We currently serve more than 1,000 clients and we special in accounting software for not-for-profit and government organizations. AccuFund Anywhere extends that experience to the Internet with a true browser-based solution available anywhere and with AccuFund providing the technical support.

Because of our focus, we understand your needs and your responsibility to your constituents.

Join us for a product webinar.

Fill out my online form.

Would you like to decrease the amount of time an effort that goes into your period-end close? Would you like more reporting options? Or the ability to upload large numbers of contributions at one time?

Then you might want to take a closer look at AccuFund Accounting Suite.

We are proud to report that AccuFund Accounting Suite received five out five stars in the all categories reviewed by the CPA Practice Advisor including: Basic System Functions; Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capabilities; Management Features; Financial Statements & Reports; Integration/Import/Export; and Help/Support.

The article concluded that "AccuFund Accounting Suite for Nonprofits is an easily navigate, scalable nonprofit software product ideal from mid-sized nonprofits desiring excellent budgeting capabilities along with a product that can grow with them."

One vice president of finance, who has selected AccuFund Accounting Suite for not one but two nonprofits he has worked for, shared this, "The key to nonprofit accounting is about managing restricted, temporarily restricted and unrestricted funds," he said. AccuFund is much easier and productive that the systems we'd used before, but it's also much more robust and flexible." Before moving to AccuFund, "...it would take at least two days to run monthly financials, but now it takes about three hours, and we can run individual reports in just minutes."