Trends in nonprofit accounting software are important to monitor and understand. Although many trends are fleeting, some such as using data and analytics to improve organizational performance, are lasting, valuable, and useful trends.
RBP Methods would like to invite you to a free seminar on September 14, 2017, entitled Benchmarking & Key Metrics for Internal Stakeholders, guest presenter, Vicki Welter, will help you understand how to use dashboards and other features of nonprofit accounting software to improve benchmarking. By using key metrics, internal stakeholders can understand and improve your organization’s work.
The Top Trends Impacting Nonprofit Accounting Software
There are numerous trends affecting nonprofit accounting software. Many of these trends are both valuable and useful. They help nonprofits control costs, improve outcomes, and reach more people.
These trends include:
- Cloud software: Nonprofit accounting software is increasingly cloud-based. This is good news for nonprofits as it means more powerful software with additional features. Because cloud software is deployed over the internet, you can easily scale up or down according to your organization’s business cycles. The cloud has enabled mobile software, mobile accounting software, and access to any internet connected device. Whether you work from home, travel frequently for work, or run events that require you to check and use your nonprofit accounting software, cloud access has changed the face of technology.
- Fewer people: Many organizations are finding they must make do with fewer people. Staffing costs, particularly the costs of benefits, have made adding new staff more difficult. Technology has been able to fill the gap by providing greater efficiency. Reducing manual data entry, facilitating easier reports, and providing broad and deep access to data offers some relief from the need for additional staff.
- Security: If you thought that cybersecurity is only for the for-profit world, think again. Your organization must safeguard and secure its data against criminals who are willing to attack small nonprofits as well as large ones to access data they can sell or hold for ransom. Nonprofits have been the subject of many ransomware attacks lately, some of which can cost thousands of dollars to clean up or fix. Improving cybersecurity is an important trend which nonprofit organizations must monitor and act upon to safeguard important information.
- Outsourcing services: Whether it’s outsourcing your IT function or outsourcing accounting services, nonprofit organizations are finding it more expedient to outsource services than to try to add additional talent in-house. It’s becoming commonplace to outsource IT services, including routine maintenance, security, trouble shooting and help desk functions that were once the sole purview of your staff.
- Artificial intelligence: AI sounds too futuristic and sci-fi to impact the world of nonprofits, but it is gradually entering into many areas. Chatbots, for instance, can answer questions online and may be deployed on nonprofit websites to answer questions about activities, events, and services. And although AIs won’t be entering the world of nonprofit accounting software anytime soon, they are able to answer simple queries, route documents, and perform other routine tasks. Too many gray areas in the world of nonprofit accounting will keep the robots at bay – for now.
Although these are the top trends affecting nonprofit accounting software and services, your service area may experience other changes. Education nonprofits may find that online testing, shifts in homeschooling opportunities and more make technology changes more apparent than in the realm of other nonprofits.
One way to keep abreast of the changes in technology is to interact frequently with colleagues at other nonprofits. Joining industry groups, attending trade shows, and attending online webinars, such as the September 14th one mentioned at the beginning of this article, are great ways to keep up to date with trends impacting nonprofit accounting software.
RBP Methods helps right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. We offer nonprofit software and consulting services. We’d love to talk to you about your online fundraising or other needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.