All nonprofits alike are looking for ways to make their audits more efficient, more effective, and less painstaking. Automation is one way this can be achieved. With processes in place to help audits be less reliant on manual processes and more streamlined through automation, the audit process can be substantially improved. This is achieved using nonprofit accounting software. Besides automation, which we will look at further herein, find out more about other ways accounting software for nonprofits aide in the nonprofit audit process.
If you are looking to automate your audit processes, you’ll need to be using nonprofit accounting software technology. These tips will help guide your organization in the process of implementing and using this technology for automation.
- Appoint an audit point person or an audit excellence officer (AEO)
To ensure success, assign one person to be your audit excellence officer (AEO) to spearhead the effort. This person is responsible for ensuring that the nonprofit accounting software is rolled out properly, that timelines are adhered to, and that an appropriate level of involvement was maintained organization-wide. The AEO should be someone who has a good perspective on how the software would be used.
- Understand your audit process
Before beginning any major process automation initiative, you need to have a good understanding of the processes that you’re trying to improve. Map out your audit process. Focus on defining the key tasks and workflows that are necessary to manage and execute your audit processes. Be sure to also identify the person or “actor” who is responsible for performing each task. Then, incorporate the software into helping with the completion of these tasks.
- Adopt incrementally to ensure long-term success
Consider using a phased/incremental approach to accounting software for nonprofit implementation in order to help mitigate the impacts of the change to your staff (and organizational budget). With this approach, a full rollout is divided into logical phases and smaller pieces. This allows a nonprofit to identify and correct issues before an organization-wide rollout, reducing the risk of a large implementation failure. Each organization has different factors to consider in its engagements, staffing, and technology infrastructure in making this decision.
- Start using the software gradually, but require its use over time
The organization can choose to allow usage to grow little-by-little or do a formal organization-wide rollout. While some will be more comfortable with it than others, it is important to have an expectation that everyone will be using it eventually. Automation of processes isn’t possible if everyone is using different systems. Set a date by which the organization expects to see adoption of the nonprofit accounting software across the board.
- Provide training to reduce resistance to change and increase adoption
Staff training in the use of technology is a priority. Without proper training, staff may make up their own procedures or waste time trying to figure out how to use a tool. Develop a comprehensive training program or seek outside assistance in training on the software.
- Leverage time savings to generate more of what you need
Many organizations have admitted that while they saw time savings from audit automation through nonprofit accounting software, this didn’t result in real cost savings since staff are paid salaries and were more like a fixed cost. The real return on time savings from audit automation comes when you take the time that was saved and use it to generate more of what your organization needs through fundraising or education efforts.
With these tips in mind and the right nonprofit accounting software, your nonprofit should be well on its way to automating audit processes. To learn more about nonprofit accounting software, visit here. Contact RBP Methods for further assistance and information.