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New Study Explores Trends and Challenges Impacting Nonprofit Finance and Accounting Professionals

New Study Explores Trends and Challenges Impacting Nonprofit Finance and Accounting ProfessionalsBecause you’re reading this blog, you’ve likely stepped away from your mountain of work for a little brain break. You probably needed the breather. It was on your terms. Your choice. And, you’ll soon return to your work feeling refreshed and focused.

But, what about all the – dare we say, “unwelcome” – interruptions you get every day, when you’re really in the zone, trying to knock out some serious work?

If you’re a nonprofit finance/accounting professional, these interruptions are all too common. In fact, according to findings from our recently released Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Study – Trends and Challenges Facing Nonprofit Finance Professionals, the number one most common challenge finance/accounting professionals say they face on a daily basis is interruption from other departments (nearly half of all respondents).

The study, commissioned by Abila and conducted by Strop Insights, explores key trends affecting nonprofit finance and accounting departments, as well as key challenges nonprofit finance professionals face daily.

It also looks at the specific trends and challenges for three different generations (Millennials, Generation Xers, and Boomers) of nonprofit finance professionals. Respondents include more than 350 nonprofit finance and accounting professionals in the United States who work at organizations with annual revenue of $1 million to $50 million-plus.

Here’s a look at other key findings:

Nobody is above the basics: While many of the respondents hold senior-level positions, nearly all of them continue to be involved in the day-to-day activities of the organization.

Funding is (obviously) key: Organizationally, finance/accounting professionals identify long-term sustainability and finding new funding sources as big challenges. Most organizations are looking to increase funding sources in the next three years.

Embracing the cloud: Larger organizations are moving to the cloud faster, and also see greater value and benefit to cloud-based software.

Finance/accounting professionals want to focus more on strategy: Respondents spend much of their time focused on either running reports or preparing for monthly presentations, but would like to spend more time on strategic and budget planning.

Involved across the organization: Respondents say they’re actively involved in decision making across the entire organization, not just within the finance department. Many play active roles in operations and human resources, as well. However, the department with which they are the second least involved is fundraising/development.

Read the entire study, here.

New Study Explores Trends and Challenges Impacting Nonprofit Finance and Accounting ProfessionalsThe preceding is a guest post by Dan Murphy, product manager for Abila MIP Fund Accounting™. He has a background in nonprofit financial management, with degrees in finance and accounting and more than 10 years of nonprofit accounting experience. Before joining Abila, Dan got his start in nonprofit accounting as the assistant CFO of a large organization, handling financial reporting for publically and privately funded multi-family housing development projects. From there he moved to a construction and management company, working as the financial manager for 16 publically- and privately-funded public housing developments across the Gulf Coast region. Before moving to software development, Dan was the Director of Finance for a local social services organization. Dan volunteers with various local nonprofits and has been a financial consultant for small local nonprofits. Most recently, he’s been teaching the financial management class at Austin Community College as part of the Certificate for Nonprofit Leadership and Management curriculum and is the board treasurer of a local nonprofit in Austin, Texas.

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice