Technology improvements have taken a back seat over the last three years thanks to the great recession. Unfortunately the timing for this was terrible, as many organizations were slated to implement updates to their Y2K systems in 2007/2008. The result is that many nonprofits and government agencies are well behind the technology curve and not able to take advantage of efficiencies that are available now when they need them the most.
Nonprofits and Government Agencies have been especially impacted by the lack of current funding and technology, and many have been holding on by a thread trying to keep their organization alive. However, if you are like us, you are starting to see positive trends that are real indicators of better times ahead.
To help, this edition of “Left Brained World” is dedicated to our top 6 recommendations to start 2012 with the tools you’ll need to keep your organization running at its best!
#1: Keep your ERP solution current
Discover Sage Fund Accounting v11.0
Sage Fund Accounting v11.0 (formerly known as Sage MIP Fund Accounting) is packed full of enhancements. From usability feedback within core product areas, quality reporting improvements, and a streamlined upgrade process- you’re sure to improve your day-to-day operations with this upgrade. Additional features include: an updated workflow and user interface; new functionality for Accounts Payable; additional options for processing sales orders; the ability to control appending entries and AP invoices using Set Up Modules; Grant Administration functionality; a timesheet refresh option; and more! If you’d like more information on this upgrade, click here.
Upgrade to HR v5
Anyone currently using Sage HR v4.6 or greater, now has the opportunity to upgrade to v. 5, which is packed full of new enhancements. Some of these include:
- Default work week hours and number of pay periods can be assigned by Processing Group.
- The availability of Data Export as an add-on module.
- A custom Report Writer for the HR module.
- Visible Leave Balance Accrual and Taken Balance.
- A lunch taken field on all timesheets.
- The ability to export Timesheets from View Timesheets.
- The comp time functionality on Timesheet III now accrues comp time rather than requiring the time to be paid out.
- A new formal leave request and approval process.
- The ability for employees to view their current and future leave balances on the Enter Leave Form
- And more!
#2: Automate Operational Processes
Increase efficiencies with automated Purchasing, Timesheets and Budgets
Automation is the key to improved efficiency and reduced time spent on busywork. Some great tools that can help you do this include:
Sage EWS is a complete HR management solution (from Sage Nonprofit) which integrates with your HR and Payroll systems. It provides streamlined data entry, employee access to payroll history and W-2 information, an online employee timesheet entry and approval access, and more.
The Microix Workflow Modules (www.Microix.net) consist of three modules (Budget, Requisition and Timesheet) which fully integrate with Sage Fund Accounting. These equip your system with:
- The ability to easily collect employee timesheet data and automatically route them through an approval process.
- Requirement enforcement capabilities and purchase requests.
- And the ability to create budget worksheets for any time period.
#3: Utilize Intelligence tools
Stay informed with customizable dashboards from Visual Analyzer
It’s never been more important to be able to make fast decisions based on accurate and reliable information. Visual Analyzer was designed to support customization of dashboard features to give you easy access to the data you need. With ten interactive and customizable dashboards, Visual Analyzer provides comprehensive graphical views of your organization’s key information. Additionally it enables you to connect your back-office systems with your donor information helping you stay informed at all times.
#4: Build donor loyalty with integrated donor management
Improve capabilities to stay connected with your supporters
The right fundraising solution can help you get to the next level in your donor acquisition, and fundraising efforts. Sage Fundraising 50 can help you do this by providing:
- Increased productivity through an intuitive interface and built-in utilities
- Extensive Fundraising and Development Capabilities by: a) Promoting donor acquisition, cultivation and retention through comprehensive profiles, moves management, tickler tools and complete communication histories; b) Providing built-in event, volunteer, and membership management software; c) Saving you time and money by streamlining gift processing; d) Connecting you with supporters online.
- Flexible Built-in Reporting
- Remote Data Access
- And More!
#5: Increase efficiency with better grant management
Say goodbye to spreadsheets and hello to streamlined, collaborative and secure reporting!
Sage Grant Management helps nonprofit and government organizations maximize funding potential and provide transparency at the organization, program, and grant levels. This web-based grant receiving solution uniquely combines development, contact, and financial data to improve grant pipeline oversight while optimizing success tracking. Reporting and trend analysis become efficient and effective, resulting in organizations and agencies that are better equipped to serve their missions, constituents, and communities.
Sage Grant Management will help you to:
- Strengthen your organization’s financial health by increasing grant funding and proactively managing the grants in process.
- Easily keep track of all projects, programs, grants, and contacts through an integrated relationship-based system, eliminating the errors and inefficiencies of disparate manual systems and spreadsheets.
- Collaborate with other associates to build better grant applications, keep track of deadlines, create budgets, and better manage the grant pipeline.
- Track success measures in a sustainable and credible way so that funders see your true impact, which will also help to maximize your organization’s funding potential.
#6: Go Green with Document Management
Find the documents you need faster while reducing waste
We have all been in the situation when a donor calls and needs a copy of a document. We put them on hold to dig through the filing cabinet where it “should be” and end up empty handed. It’s never a good feeling to have to tell them that you will call them back with the answer, but the reality is that things are not always put away correctly. Even if they are, it can mean digging through piles of paperwork. Document management is a technology that can help you eliminate that problem.
Document management software (DMS) rests in a central place that can be accessed right from your desktop. Documents are scanned in then indexed so that you can search for the document in any way that you may need. For example, if you are storing donation receipts, you may want to index them by name, location, and/or amount donated. This would help you to immediately find a copy of the letter with the donor on the phone. Most DMS systems have built in indexing options but you always have the option of customizing the indexing prompts to meet your organization’s specific requirements.
DMS takes accessibility a step further by making any phrase in the document searchable. If the field you need to find has not been indexed, you can type in the information you do know and the DMS will search through the text to find it. This search method is not as fast as indexing but it is extremely powerful.
Many times a document cannot be found because someone else in the organization has it in their personal filing cabinet or worse, sitting on a mess on their desk. When documents are stored electronically they can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. The document will never be lost because the final copy is online.
Document management systems are a huge advantage to organizations that have piles of paperwork to manage and struggle to keep it all organized. It essentially removes the guesswork by storing everything in a central location and making all the content easily searchable.
There are several options for Document Management systems available, one of which is EZ ContentManager from ACOM which works directly with your Sage Fund Accounting solution without any custom programming needed! Click here for more information…