– BY MADDIE CRAIG | 2023
This is a story about a non-profit organization we'll call "JOE."
The JOE organization wanted to enhance communication and collaboration among the Executive Director, the board, and Leadership team. They wanted the team to be able to access to real-time data, have clarity on their tracking and establish a more inclusive and comprehensible system for the entire organization. They were also transitioning from an in-house bookkeeper and wanted to review their standard operating procedures to ensure they had transparency and clear roles within the organization and their team.
During transition and growth, relying on systems is essential. Nonprofits must adopt efficient bookkeeping solutions that are poised to grow alongside the organization's needs to ensure smooth operations.
We helped outline a comprehensive strategy and actions that helped JOE develop better finance tracking, addressing issues such as migrating from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks Online, enhancing detail and reporting capabilities, streamlining processes, and implementing budget tracking throughout the year.
1. Transitioned from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online: The first step in improving their accounting tracking was migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. We helped them seamless transition and migrate their data from Desktop to Online without any loss. We ensured the transition went smoothly and conducted thorough tests verifying data accuracy before fully adopting the new system. By moving to a cloud-based accounting software, they gained several advantages, including:
real-time access to financial data anywhere
easier collaboration for multiple parties
automatic backups and a more secure cloud-based system
3. Enhanced Detail/Chart of Accounts Revamp: To achieve more detailed accounting without getting too lost in detail, the nonprofit needed to find the best way to track income and expenses. We helped revamp and revise their chart of accounts to reflects the organization's specific needs. We utilized class tracking, better categories/naming conventions and project tracking to provide a more comprehensive breakdown of financial transactions.
4. Improved Reporting: Better reporting is crucial for nonprofit organizations to assess their financial health and communicate it effectively to stakeholders. After revamping the detail being tracked, we were then able to improve reporting and customize the various ways they could review the data. This nonprofit was now able to generate more insightful statements and more specific grant-related tracking. This gave the organization more than one way to track its financial progress in a clear and easy to understand way to help them make informed decisions.
5. Streamlined Processes: Streamlining accounting processes minimizes manual effort and reduces the risk of errors. We helped provide automation tools and clear, written standard operating procedures around the accounting tasks, providing a roadmap for efficient accounting practices. This allowed the nonprofit and ongoing bookkeeper/collaborators to more effectively, accurately and efficiently manage the bookkeeping in an ongoing basis and ensure consistency across the organization.
6. Budget Tracking Throughout the Year: A key aspect of effective accounting tracking is maintaining a budget that aligns with the nonprofit's strategic goals. With the new system set up, we were able to help the organization review past history, set financial budgets and monitor actual performance against budgeted figures.