Technology is the leading trend affecting fund accounting for nonprofits and foremost in organizations’ minds as they work toward their goals. Technology is constantly changing, and rapidly. New advances from the for-profit world are pushed into the nonprofit world almost immediately. These advances are changing operations and fund accounting for nonprofits. Let’s take a look at several major trends that are enhancing fund accounting for nonprofits now and in the future.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It’s not the rise of the machines exactly, but close. AI, or artificial intelligence, is making advancements into nearly every aspect of life today. It may not be noticeable, and you may be unaware of the AI surrounding you, but it is there. Chatbots that answer your questions on a website or phone trees may both be powered by AI bots that combine machine learning with language sensitivity to perform amazingly complex tasks.
Fund accounting for nonprofits may soon include AI in some capacity. Bots cannot and will not take the place of a smart CFO or director of finance, but they can be used for an array of tasks, including common accounting tasks.
AI cannot replace skilled financial managers, as AI is not good with gray areas. However, it is becoming a necessary technology and one that is creeping into and will become more prominent in the nonprofit world.
If your nonprofit has not been affected by a cyber-attack, phishing scandal, virus, or another cyber crime, consider yourself lucky. Most nonprofits are not so lucky. The Nonprofit Quarterly reported that cyber-attacks are on the rise. One example was of a small nonprofit that was hacked and had their data held for ransom at the high price of $43,000. The same article stated that in Los Angeles, a hospital had their data held for ransom at $14,000. If these stories do not alarm you, they should. When criminals are going after hospitals and small nonprofits, they will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Data stored on your nonprofit’s computers can be corrupted, stolen, or even held for ransom. It’s not just customer or donor data that’s at risk. Vendor data from your accounting systems can also be stolen and resold.
Many nonprofits make the mistake of not having someone on their team who specializes in cyber security. This team member would be hard to afford, let alone trust. Finding someone trustworthy to outsource cyber security is not only beneficial, but essential for your security, growth, and peace of mind.
Conveniently, cyber security and cloud computing go hand in hand. Cloud computing offers a high level of security for the average company or nonprofit. It also includes shared storage space, shared costs for software, and greater access to software than most companies can afford individually.
Cloud computing software includes both fund accounting for nonprofits and nonprofit financial management software. It also includes software to help track and manage grants, donations, donor relations, membership groups, and more. Cloud computing offers mobile interfaces, making it easy to access on the go, and offering more access to better software. It is worth digging deeper into the importance and ease of cloud computing for your nonprofit organization.
Technology Now and Later
Technology changes rapidly, and it can feel overwhelming when you must keep up with it. If you aren’t sure what to add to your tech slate now or if you should wait until a later time, speak with the experts at RBP Methods.
We are a nonprofit software and consulting firm that guides our clients into wise choices for now and in the future. Trends come and go, but technology is here to stay. Choose the right technology to support your organization’s growth and fulfillment of its mission.
RBP Methods is a nonprofit software and consulting firm that helps right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. We want to help you understand cloud-based fund accounting software for nonprofits. Whether you’re interested in AccuFund Nonprofit Accounting Suite, Abila MIP Fund Accounting, or other accounting software, we offer information, training, and support to help you manage your nonprofit accounting needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9054 for more information.