Manual Finance Tasks NPOs Should Automate

December 17, 2021

Many businesses are still stuck in the time-warp that is spreadsheets in order to store and manipulate numbers. Whilst this works for some, it is incredibly easy to make mistakes when performing mathematical calculations in this way. Manual tasks like this also become quite tedious, particularly when finances are involved. With lots of financial automation software available like Sage 200, it is worth considering swapping over.

Non-Profit organisations (NPOs) have unique challenges when it comes to finances, such as tax-exempt accounting, donation management and government funding. These all raise their own problems, and by investing in financial software this can help save both time and money. Ffinancial management software such as Sage 200 will help NPOs become compliant with government laws, and also help future-proof processes. Here are some manual finance tasks that should be automated in NPOs.

1. Currency conversions & basic financial tasks

Even the simplest tasks such as manual consolidation can be automated using the right software. With NPOs having various subsidiaries it can be a big task to reconcile all this data together, let alone thinking about currency conversion operations if subsidiaries are spread across the globe.

Many NPOs rely on manual spreadsheets with hundreds of different tabs, and this can significantly increase the risk of human error. These also don’t automatically create audit trails (which are necessary to ensure regulations are adhered to).

2. Reconciling data between different systems

Like most businesses, NPOs will have multiple data management systems for storing business-critical information. Not only does this take time to reconcile, but there is often the added challenge of requesting permission from individual departments. Having a cloud-based financial management system means that everyone who has permission will be able to access real-time reports and CRM data.

3. Making vendor payment approvals

For many NPOs, it isn’t just a case of transferring payments when they are due – there are often multiple stakeholders involved. Cloud-based financial management software can really help with this as it is easy to set up payment approval workflows. With real-time visibility of both the payment status and approvals, it is easy for everyone to see the financial status of the organisation using software.

4. Allocating cash transactions

Allocating cash within NPOs is often a very labour-intensive task, particularly when there are different administrative costs as well as direct/shared costs. ERP software such as Sage 200 can really help with cash allocation, as well as other critical aspects including revenue contributions, indirect costs and assets. Not only will automating cash allocations help save an NPO time, but will also improve the decision-making process too.

5. Performing financial audits

Financial audits are practically impossible to perform without automated financial software. Spreadsheets are all well and good for storing financial data, but when it comes to reviewing when certain payments were made, or dates when figures changed, they simply can’t provide that sort of information. Even the process of adding notes to each paper audit that is scanned, uploaded and emailed is extremely tedious.

Here are just a few benefits of using ERP software to perform audits:

You can create a 360-degree audit trail from transactions to reports and reconciliations.
Financial transactions can be easily traced from multiple sources.
Data can be easily organised and tracked, reducing the time needed to complete the audit.

6. Creating reports

Pulling lots of different financial data together from various systems in order to produce an overall report can be a costly operation (as well as a painful one!). To save time within NPOs, automating reports is a must. Financial management software such as Sage 200 will enable the creation of financial reports at the touch of a button. With real-time information available, it allows NPOs to make more informed decisions too.

If you are looking to upgrade your financial systems (whether you are an NPO or not), why not give the team at Reality Solutions a call to find out which system would be best for your business.

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