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Accounting & Audit

Nonprofits Struggle with Reporting, Manual Processes

Faced with increased regulatory compliance issues, nonprofit organizations are struggling to keep up with reporting and often waste time manually configuring financials with non-financial software. That is among the findings of a new survey of nearly ...

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Faced with increased regulatory compliance issues, nonprofit organizations are struggling to keep up with reporting and often waste time manually configuring financials with non-financial software. That is among the findings of a new survey of nearly 300 nonprofit professionals for accounting and fundraising software maker AccuFund, Inc.

The survey was conducted by publisher Nonprofit PRO of its readers (nonprofit finance professionals and top organization management).

Key Findings Include:

  • More than half of all respondents struggle with reporting non-financial performance data.
  • Overall majority don’t enjoy the automation of reporting with 73% spending up to 5 hours a week manipulating data outside their financial system and 27% spend more than 6 hours per week.
  • 95% report having under 5 accounting staff members; the reporting bottleneck can’t be solved by manual intervention.

The 2015-2016 Nonprofit Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey sought information central to nonprofit financial management, including the amount of time spent inside and outside an organization’s financial system pulling and manipulating data, as well as specific software features used to manage nonprofits.

Nonprofits are not leveraging technology in a cost-effective way.
Capturing the right data that enables organizations to make important decisions is an ongoing challenge. The majority of respondents, 60% indicated their current financial software does not store and support reporting of non-financial performance data. “It’s impossible for program managers to manage their programs with optimal efficiency when they are waiting on reports. It’s more than an inconvenience, it’s thwarting the mission,” says AccuFund President, Peter Stam.

Additionally, 55% indicated their current financial software dashboard cannot be customized for individual users. “In today’s world, having data and accurate reporting at your fingertips is not only convenient, but crucial. Nonprofit managers need to make decisions with confidence, knowing the information they are relying on is accurate. Staff, managers, volunteers and board members thrive on using data to better understand trends and next steps,” explains Peter Stam, AccuFund’s President.
Well-meaning people may hesitate to push forward with technological tools that they need, but as staff spends more and more time inside and outside the system manipulating data, it’s costing the organization, in its lack of agility.

Other key findings of the 2015-2016 Nonprofit Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey include:

  • 81% spend up to 5 hours each week pulling data/reports within their financial system and 19% spend 6+ hours each week.
  • 55% cannot customize their dashboard for individual users and 51% cannot view a dashboard with graphical analytics.