We have spent the last several weeks taking an in-depth look at all things “paperless” as the popularity and importance of going paperless are more necessary and worth consideration than ever before. We’ve explored what this means to go paperless, what the many benefits are of this, how a paperless office culture is created, and how to get started. The key to success in going paperless stems mainly from having the necessary reliable and robust software in place to help reduce the need for paper versions of documents. Finding the best software is a good place to start on the journey to a paperless nonprofit.
Previously, we took a look at some considerations you need to make when exploring fund accounting software options for your nonprofit organization and the necessary functionalities needed in the system to help you choose which one to use. To review the considerations we have covered so far, visit here.
This week, let’s take a look at more considerations and questions you’ll need to ask during the exploratory stage of choosing what you need. Just like last week, the considerations will help you decipher what software, such as AccuFund software, is best to meet your operational needs that can also help ensure you make a smooth transition to a streamlined and paperless office.
Noteworthy Considerations in the Process of Selecting Fund Accounting Software that Assists with Going Paperless as well:
- Does the solution offer tight security? Data security is a must. Threats to your organization’s integrity and the value of your most important information are serious. They can come from outside competition and identity thieves or from inside disgruntled staff or staff theft. Luckily, fund accounting software systems can provide security. Look for such a solution that offers multiple levels of password-protected access for groups and individuals all the way down to a property level. Also, look for one with audit trails that show who and when documents have been accessed and what information has been updated within the documents.
- Is organizational self-sufficiency achievable? It’s important to insist on finding a solution that will allow your organization to be self-sufficient in using the solution. This means being less reliant on the solution provider and having the ability to control change management so that you can introduce procedural changes in steps or phases. This calls for greater modularity and scalability. In addition, you will want your staff to be able to configure and maintain the system instead of relying solely on the vendor to do this.
- Does the software allow for self-paced migration? Although your ultimate goal is likely to have a comprehensive fund accounting software that is used throughout the organization, you’ll likely want to start by implementing a solution for one application and in one department initially. Tackling one thing at a time makes installation less disruptive and less expensive which will increase buy-in and support for the new project. You can always come back later and expand the solution to multiple departments or processes in the months and years that follow the initial implementation. Be sure you find a solution that allows for this flexibility with timing and implementation so the pace matches the comfort level and needs of your specific organization. Choosing a fund accounting software and going paperless are two potentially challenging tasks so you don’t want to rush into things and cause more problems than you solve.
It is not an easy task to select fund accounting systems and start using them to help on the journey to being a paperless nonprofit, but a fund accounting for nonprofits system can be used to help. For more information about one such fund accounting software, AccuFund Software, please contact us to learn more.