In the mission-driven nonprofit world, accounting and financial management can sometimes slip down the priority list. It’s not always easy to allocate budget dollars to back-office infrastructure that doesn’t directly support the nonprofit agenda, and it’s even harder to find the time and expertise to make it all work. Consider some of the obstacles:
- Capital investment for software and hardware
- Facilities and expert personnel to implement and maintain the system
- Lengthy deployment cycles
These issues aren’t part of most nonprofit organizations’ core competencies. That’s why many nonprofits are increasingly turning to new-generation cloud-based solutions to automate financial management. Cloud-based financials enable the application vendor to deliver shared, scalable services that the nonprofit agency can access over the Internet using a web browser or mobile device.
There’s no need to buy, own, license, understand, manage, or control the underlying hardware, software, or data/networking infrastructure that supports the financial infrastructure. Cloud services are typically delivered on a term-based subscription basis, eliminating the need for upfront software licensing fees or major purchases of hardware. The result is cost-effective, anytime, anywhere managed access.
While the urge might be to invest in programs rather than technology, it may be wise to calculate how a modest investment in technology can transform operations and ultimately help better manage programs. Cloud technology is much easier to implement than legacy systems of the past and quickly delivers return on investment.
What do nonprofit financial leaders have to say about their move to the cloud?
“All of our chapters can access our cloud-based financials,” said Nikki Jones, Controller, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. “We have volunteers working all over the world at all hours of the day and night. With our system, they access the same world-class financial foundation that many companies use. Our board and chapter leaders have real-time access to reports, registrations, metrics, and analyses. That means we’re constantly on top of our operation and can make strategic decisions faster. For us, the cloud is critical. It’s the only way to go.”
“Cloud financials are absolutely key to running a nonprofit today,” said James Linday, Vice President and CFO, Great Books Foundation. “Now we can eliminate lots of manual work, be more productive, and eliminate all of those capital investments. This is a predictable, flat operating expense, and we save at least $30,000 a year this way.”
In nonprofit financial management, survival depends on predictable costs, a reliable infrastructure, and world-class functionality.
Best practices for survival:
- Move financial management to the cloud for optimal accessibility and lower cost
- Enable global real-time access to financials, reports, and analyses
- Use cloud architectures to eliminate manual work and improve productivity while providing world-class functionality that far exceeds primitive single-user tools
To learn more about the cloud-based financials we recommend, view this short, on-demand video.