American nonprofit organizations have gained an exciting new tool designed to help them amplify their capabilities through improved financial transparency. Recently, Sage Intacct debuted a new fiscal management solution, called the Nonprofit Financial Board Book, that’s tailored to tax-exempt groups, Accounting Today reported. Sage Intacct developed the product in conjunction with GuideStar, a nonprofit reporting service provider. The two companies announced the forthcoming product this past October, hinting at an early 2018 release date, according to a press release. Watch a demo for the Nonprofit Financial Board Book, here.
“With critical revenue, funding, and expense data at their fingertips, nonprofit finance executives have real-time insights into the health of their organization and can make the important decisions that will shape their future,” Dan Miller, vice president of product for Sage Intacct, explained. “GuideStar is a natural partner to work with when developing the Nonprofit Financial Board Book.”
Navigating a unique financial environment
Nonprofits are mission-driven groups that sustain their operations through fundraising. More than 1.5 million of these organizations work within the U.S., according to the researchers at the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Nonprofits take in huge amounts annually. For instance, these groups brought in almost $400 billion in 2016, the latest year for which data is available, analysts at Give USA found. Most leverage these funds to provide programs that contribute hundreds of billions to the U.S. economy. The Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofit and Philanthropy found that nonprofits generated more than $905 billion in services in 2015.
Despite this obvious success, the organizations in this unique space continually come up against serious challenges, most of which revolve around finances. While some nonprofits maintain robust budgets, most must navigate razor-thin margins, teetering on the brink of shutdown. In fact, approximately 75 percent of these groups have budgets of $1 million or less, according to Nonprofit Finance Fund. This state of affairs requires extreme financial vigilance, as boards and operations staff must carefully track how they allocate funding while also diligently working to locate new donors. Unfortunately, a significant portion of these organizations are most likely using traditional accounting methods to track spending and fundraising, as technology effectiveness rates are relatively low, according to researchers for the Nonprofit Technology Network. These individuals surveyed more than 250 nonprofit information technology leaders and created composite technology effectiveness scores based on their responses. The average score was 19 out of a possible 30 points.
In short, organizations in the nonprofit space are in need of easy-to-deploy accounting tools tailored to their unique operational needs. Without such resources, many important groups may not survive.
Addressing an extensive issue
Sage Intacct and GuideStar have answered the call with the Nonprofit Financial Board Book. This solution facilitates three mission-critical capabilities:
- Accounting visibility: Users can view real-time data related to revenue composition, allowing them to gain full funding pictures and effectively orchestrate fundraising activities.
- Operational effectiveness tracking: The solution gives nonprofit stakeholders the power to view how their resources are deployed on the ground and includes filters that facilitate granular budgeting for the smallest events or campaigns.
- Organizational intelligence gathering: The platform integrates directly with GuideStar, which gives users the ability to navigate directly onto the website to collect information from other nonprofits. Additionally, the software offers “questions to consider,” or system-generated prompts that leverage data to guide users.
All of these customized features sit atop the core Sage Intacct components, including accounts payable, cash management, general ledger and purchasing modules. Both Sage Intacct and GuideStar believe the Nonprofit Financial Board Book will help modern nonprofit organizations more effectively manage their finances and find the budgetary space needed to launch new internal and external initiatives designed to facilitate sustainability.
“With the Sage Intacct Nonprofit Financial Board Book, organizations can get a more complete picture of their financial health and easily align their efforts with the key metrics GuideStar has identified for nonprofit success,” Adrian Bordone, GuideStar vice president for strategic partnerships, told Accounting Today. “We aim to ensure organizations have the financial capacity to deliver on their missions in an increasingly competitive funding environment.”
Nonprofits looking to unlock the power of the Nonprofit Financial Board Book should consider connecting with The TM Group. The TM Group offers robust Sage Intacct implementation services designed to empower organizations of all kinds with bleeding-edge financial management technology. Contact The TM Group today to learn more about their offerings.