Five Signs Your Nonprofit Is Ready for Fund Accounting Software

There are many basic accounting programs that work great for a period of time. After awhile, data entry can become cumbersome and you may not be able to pull the information you need. These are signs your organization may be ready to move on to more advanced fund accounting software. Here are five signs your nonprofit is ready to move from a basic application to fund accounting software.

You have to pull fund information from several different databases.

Are you tired of inputting information several times and into many different databases? This can become work intensive when you are using a basic accounting software system. Many fund accounting systems allow you to maintain all of your funds in the same database. This still allows you to report on each fund separately, but allows for sharing some setup information such as vendors, customers, and more, without having to set them up in each fund.

Terminology and reports seem inappropriate for your nonprofit.

Nonprofits customarily deal with specific terminology which basic programs do not address, such as fund vs. company, department vs. profit center. Also, reporting in basic systems is intended for general business and does not provide the reporting and budgeting capabilities specific to nonprofits. For instance, the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures is more suited to a nonprofit than an income statement. By providing your software users the tools they can understand and relate to, you can ensure they really understand what they are doing, increasing system performance and accuracy.

Department heads are not getting the information they need.

Are managers requesting department details that are not available, whether for accounting transactions or payroll? Is it difficult to track revenues and expenditures? Basic systems cannot typically handle the detailed information tracking needs provided by fund accounting software. By moving to fund accounting software, you gain the ability to track revenues and expenditures, as well as payroll by department, location and project.

You want a better audit trail.

Are you worried about the possibility of fraudulent measures by personnel within your accounting system? Some of the more basic accounting systems do not offer a solid audit trail, leaving you open to corrupt information. Many fund accounting systems will offer a sound audit trail, where the history of each and every transaction is recorded.

You need more budgeting flexibility.

If you are like most nonprofit organizations, the budget you start with goes through changes. Many people want to view financial statements against the original, or have the choice of comparing it against one or all of the revised budget versions. A good fund accounting system allows you to keep your original budget intact, as well as revised versions, so you can compare to the version of your choice.

Moving from your basic accounting system to a nonprofit fund accounting system can provide more detailed tracking, reduced margin for error, detailed reports for those who need them, and peace of mind, knowing that the information your nonprofit needs is always available when you need it.

Tips for Handling Payroll for Multiple Companies

Managing payroll seems fairly simple when a business starts up, but once a company grows and must manage the payroll for multiple locations, things become exponentially more complex. There are several locations, employee types, departments, and more that must be managed and maintained. And then there is the method of distributing pay to employees at all locations. Payroll software can help you manage this process and make multiple company payroll run like a top. Consider these tips for handling payroll for multiple companies.

Track employee locations.

Set up your payroll software system to track employee locations by profit centers, departments, companies, or a combination of these. Then when it's time to run payroll reports, you can filter out the area(s) you have tracked. For example, you could see the pay by department in one location, or your payroll costs by profit center, etc. This is also helpful for check printing, since you can print all your pay checks and sort by department and employee, or print paychecks for employees by the company they work in, which makes distribution much simpler.

Run payroll for multiple departments under one company.

If you are a single employer with multiple locations and want to run payroll for each location, setting them up as companies under one employer or by department can be extremely useful. This allows you to post the payroll data to the appropriate account, so you can keep track of expenses by location, and more. For instance, departments could be used across companies, so you could have an "office" department that could be used by all companies. Then when you process payroll, you can filter out and pay all office departments from all companies and pay them in the same pay run.

Pay employees via direct deposit.

By setting up your employees to be paid via direct deposit, you eliminate the worry of having to mail or deliver paychecks to multiple locations. Pay is simply deposited into employee accounts on pay day, and they receive a direct deposit pay advice, which is a sheet of paper representing their pay stub. Make things even more efficient by offering your employees the option of receiving and accessing pay advices electronically.

Take the time to learn more about what your payroll software has to offer, and you may just find ways to make your job of running payroll for multiple companies a simpler and faster process.

What is Content Marketing?

By now, most of us have heard more than enough about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites for business. But have you heard the newly popular buzzword “Content Marketing”? This new marketing trend might just be your key to bringing in more Web traffic and leads for your organization, and can also enhance your public image.

Content marketing is basically the creation and distribution of useful information on the internet, in order to generate more good traffic to your Web site, and position you and your business as a thought leader. The information can be in the form of articles, white papers, videos, newsletters, webinars, blogs, podcasts, emails, and more.

These days, the majority of people research products on the internet. If they find the helpful information they are looking for in the content you have written or provided, free of charge, the customer can begin to view you as a useful source, rather than someone who just wants to push their product on you.

The idea behind content marketing is that as more and more prospects or customers view you as a useful informational source, good feelings are generated, brand awareness is enhanced, and you soon have a loyal, purchasing customer.

In order to be effective, content marketing cannot include sales-type text that is focused on the features your business offers. Instead, the information you provide should give them something of value, information that cannot be found just anywhere, but rather from you because of your expertise.

Not only do people appreciate your information, but so do Google and other search engines. Google just loves unique and original information, and will reward you for it with better rankings.

Here are some examples of how different companies could start up content marketing. (The best method will vary by business type!)

    • Heating and Air Conditioning Business:

      Create a newsletter where you provide monthly tips on how to maintain your furnace and air conditioner and tips on keeping heating and cooling bills down.

    • Retail Pet Store:

      Create a monthly e-mail marketing campaign, using the e-mails you collect from your customers, and send a monthly email about trends in pet care and ways to ensure the health of a pet.

    • Agricultural Products Distributor:

      Create a blog where you post one or two times a week about new technology available in your industry to farmers. Talk about how the new technology will (or won’t) help your customers. Let customers jump in and provide feedback on your comments.

Building a content marketing program takes time, but the rewards can be great, and you have to start somewhere! You might just be surprised how many people really want and need the information you have to offer.