Many fundraisers have their head in the cloud these days, a trend that appears to be continuing. As with any new development, utilizing the cloud can involve changes: it’s something new, meaning that old procedures might require tweaking or might not work at all.
During the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, Joan Benson of Intacct Corporation and Celine Okoh of the White Ribbon Alliance talked about the challenges facing nonprofits and solutions offered by the cloud. They emphasized that it is imperative to remember to focus on mission, not on running software.
Using experiences gained by the White Ribbon Alliance, they offered the following suggestions:
- Know your organization’s business process and discuss with implementing manager.
- Be open to changing some of the organization’s business process – some might be inefficient. Be open to sharing and discussing challenges, big or small.
- Plan with key stakeholders to meet global needs, not just accounting and finance needs.
- Devote time and effort to conversion and implementation.
- Streamline the chart of accounts.
- Capitalize on the dimensions. It saves time. Manual data entry is streamlined.
- Think strategically and build for a bigger picture. Do not automate on the same challenges and bottlenecks.
- Invest resources and time. Set money aside for continued process and reporting improvement.