Choosing the right financial dashboard is like choosing a dog to adopt: you want one that fits with your organization style and won’t chew up your funds (or your new shoes) in the process of getting used to each other. A strong financial dashboard provides a comprehensive view of your organization’s data and accessible, clear communication channels.
During a session at the AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference in Washington D.C., titled “Utilizing Financial Dashboards for Mission Critical Fundraising Effectiveness,” Joan Benson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Intacct, discussed different ways nonprofit organizations can best utilize and choose financial tools:
- Nonprofits are experiencing increased complexity through multiple funding streams, diverse stakeholders, and multiple locations or chapters. Accountability within the organization and to donors is essential.
- Your financial dashboard should utilize strong graphics and intuitive point and click functionality to create ease of use.
- A good financial dashboard will bridge connectivity gaps and aid in creating smooth communication in an organization. One way this can occur is through real-time communication within the platform of the financial dashboard.
- Access should vary based on user. Limiting access to “view only” for auditors and board members ensures important financial information is not compromised.
- Embracing statistical and financial metrics customized to your mission help illustrate results to donors.
- Key performance metrics indicate mission performance to board members and donors in a straightforward manner.
By embracing a comprehensive financial dashboard that suits your organization’s needs, you improve not only communication and clarity within your organization, but accountability to donors as well.