As any CFO or controller will tell you, no financial management or accounting software system is perfect. As a result, nonprofits are quick to develop ways to “live with” a system that really doesn’t meet their needs.
After more than 25 years of implementing and supporting enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, AVF Consulting has seen the same pain points, time and time again, hindering the financial and operational efficiency of nonprofits. We have identified these common pain points that – in reality – nonprofit organizations do not have to live with:
- Inability to drill down to the level of detail necessary to eliminate searching for pertinent information.
- Inability to do true Fund accounting, requiring some workarounds in the system.
- Lack of interface capabilities with other best-of-breed applications.
- Lack of modern and user-friendly interface that can be personalized for each user.
- Lack of accurate and efficient reporting due to complex and inflexible Chart of Accounts.
- Lack of strong reporting capabilities, ranging from design to distribution.
- Lack of workflow automation.
- Inability to create unique segments for defining transactions and reporting.
- Lack of integrated document management.
- Lack of flexible security to allow users access to information without having to modify data.
- Inability to stop users (via validation) from “coding” and entering bad combinations of General Ledgers (GL) and other account segments.
- Lengthy and cumbersome audits due to over reliance on manual steps or manually populated and managed Excel workbooks in order to generate reports and manage documents.
- Overburdened and unhappy staff – in the accounting department and throughout the organization – due to process inefficiencies reflected in the mandatory use of manual processes and ERP system workarounds (e.g. running reports or issue payments for others in the organization due to lack of access or permissions).
- Costly implementation and support of not just an inadequate system, but also of numerous third-party systems.
- Lack of speed keys driving inefficient data entry processes.
The existence of any of these pain points is an indication that your nonprofit is not taking advantage of technological advancements in fund accounting-based financial management systems, and it may be time to consider investing in a new system that can better support the long-term financial and operational health of the organization.
The preceding is a guest post by John Uder, Business Development Manager, of AVF Consulting, Inc., which partners with nonprofit organizations, associations and NGOs to implement and support financial management and accounting software systems specifically designed for the requirements and demands of the not-for-profit industry. Specializing in Serenic Navigator software, AVF is a Microsoft certified partner that has been providing accounting, HR and payroll solutions since 1986. Clients include American Psychological Association, ASCD, American Urological Association, SCO Family of Services, Philadelphia Zoo, and more. For more information, please visit: www.avfconsulting.com or contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.