Accounting software for nonprofits can help your organization achieve better operational efficiencies. If you’d like to learn more about accounting software for nonprofits, please contact RBP Methods. We can help you with software, support, and services to enhance your nonprofit financial management and accounting.
“Operational efficiencies” isn’t something you hear often at a nonprofit. It’s from the for-profit world where efficiencies equate higher profits, and higher profits please shareholders.
Nonprofits are often more concerned with meeting their mission than with efficiencies. However, there’s no law that says that a nonprofit can’t be efficient, and use those efficiencies to fuel margin that can in turn fund projects that support their mission. Having enough margin to fuel new work enhances a nonprofit rather than detracts from it. Nonprofits can learn a thing or two from the for-profit world.
Operational Efficiencies Are Important
All nonprofits seek to achieve their mission. To do so, they often look for continual income streams through donations, gifts, grants, and sales.
What if, instead of looking for new sources of funding, you could improve efficiencies and add to your margin without sacrificing programs? That’s the key to operational efficiencies.
The back-office workers in your organization—the accountants, financial managers, marketing managers, public relations team, administration, and human resources personnel—are on the front lines of improving operational efficiencies. It is through their efforts that operational efficiencies can be achieved throughout many parts of the organization without sacrificing quality or service.
Three Tips to Improve Operational Efficiencies
In most nonprofit organizations, everyone pitches in to help. Although job functions may be separate in larger nonprofits, there are ways in which you can improve and enhance operational efficiencies in small ways that make a big difference.
- Cross-train and share staff members: Cross-training means to train team members in the job functions of others. This way, if someone is out sick, on vacation, or on leave, you do not need to hire temporary workers. Work does not halt until someone returns from their leave, either. It can continue. This improves efficiencies throughout the organization in small but tangible ways. Sharing staff members across teams also improves efficiencies. Two groups with similar needs, such as accounting and finance or sales and marketing can share the same administrative assistant or other support staff. There are many ways in which operational efficiencies can be enhanced through training and personnel reassignment.
- Embrace mobile: Mobile technology has enhanced every organization’s abilities to work remotely and to have a flexible approach to work. A smartphone means you can check email on the go; other technology lets you work from home or from anywhere you happen to be. Embracing mobile technology and a flexible approach to work encourages people to work longer hours and improves efficiencies, too.
- Reduce travel expenses: Although travel may be part of your nonprofit’s culture, such as travel to events, conferences, donor, or member sites, reducing travel expenses can improve operational efficiencies and save money. Ask staff to combine trips to save on airfare or train fare. Take mass transit instead of cabs if possible. Use other services to save money, and ask people to review their annual travel budgets and cut extra travel expenses.
Accounting Software for Nonprofits Can Improve Efficiencies, Too
Accounting software for nonprofits can also enhance operational efficiencies. Just having the right software at hand can shave off considerable time entering data, running reports, and analyzing information for your nonprofit.
Accounting software for nonprofits has come a long way from expensive site-based licenses. Today’s cloud technology brings down the price of the software while enhancing both productivity and user experience. Automatic upgrades, backups, and shared data enhance operational efficiencies throughout the organization beyond the accounting department. Many organizations find that investing in new accounting software for nonprofits pays for itself quickly in the money saved on expensive software upgrades.
Whether you choose to consider one aspect of your nonprofit’s activities or explore new accounting software for nonprofits, there are many potential operational efficiencies to try. Remember, the better the efficiencies, the more money you will have to invest in programs and services that benefit your constituents.
RBP Methods: Advice You Can Trust
At RBP Methods, we care deeply about our clients’ success. We offer financial management, fundraising solutions, and grant management software, as well as nonprofit financial management software and consulting to help you choose the right software solution. Some of the accounting software for nonprofits that we offer includes AccuFund Accounting Suite, Abila MIP Fund Accounting, and more. For more information, visit our website or call 503-648-9051.