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Nonprofit Finance Study Reveals Compliance, People, and Process Complexities

Nonprofit Finance Study Reveals Compliance, People, and Process ComplexitiesNonprofit finance and accounting can be tricky business. First of all—serving as a responsible steward of money coming in from a multitude of sources with diverse demands is a huge challenge. Then, rules and regulations are in constant flux. Compliance is becoming increasingly complex and burdensome. Fraud is a potential risk lurking around every corner. And, oh yeah. There’s the seemingly never-ending stresses associated with audit planning and prep. 

Phew. It’s no wonder nonprofit finance and accounting staffs are exceptionally vulnerable to employee turnover. 

We at Abila set out to get our arms around these compliance, people, and process complexities in our recent 2016 Nonprofit Finance Study. We wanted to get a deeper and better understanding of the challenges (and opportunities) associated with the more technical aspects of finance and accounting in the nonprofit sector—aspects such as whether individuals in a finance role receive formal training, how well finance leaders understand the rule changes, how federal regulations (and changes in regulations) impact an organization, the cost of compliance, what sort of business processes are in place, and more. 

We asked questions of more than 400 nonprofit finance professionals, representing nearly every vertical, such as education, social services, and health care. In some instances, we also break the data down by experience level to better understand how perceptions of more seasoned finance professionals compare to their less tenured colleagues. 

Here’s an executive summary of what we found:

For more, check out our infographic, below, and download the full study.


Nonprofit Finance Study Reveals Compliance, People, and Process ComplexitiesThe preceding post is by Dan Murphy, currently the 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.

Topics: Finance nonprofit accounting