Your finances need not be a source of worry. Rather, they should be a source of information and knowledge. With today’s technology, maintaining clean, accurate books is easier than ever.
If you’ve been worried about your finances, or just feel too overwhelmed, read-on.
Obvious benefits of keeping good books:
Help you create an accurate budget
See where you’re spending too much money
Keep payroll and other IRS stuff in check
Other important benefits:
Track revenue and expenses by program (fund accounting)
See ROI on different fundraising efforts
Keep track of budget to actual on a bi-weekly basis
Have grant application financials ready at your fingertips
Technology today allows you to generate memorized reports to show you any type of data that you wish. For example, at the beginning of each week you could see a summary of your actual expenses to date side by side with your budgeted expenses to date. You can note any discrepancies and take action. Also, you can glance at a summary of your different programs and see which ones are pulling in more donations than other.
“Sounds great, but it cant be that easy!” Actually, it is. Gone are the days when you had to enter every single transaction by hand and check it with a calculator. Today you can import your transactions directly from your bank accounts into your accounting software. QuickBooks Online, for example, will automatically pull your bank transactions and even memorize what accounts and classes they are likely to go in based on previous data.
Still sound like too much? Sure, I get it. You’ve got enough on your plate already. Fortunately accounting is one of those things that it is easy to outsource. Unlike grant writing, or direct program support, accounting doesn’t require a huge amount of internal knowledge regarding your organization. An external bookkeeper can do everything electronically and you get crisp, clean reports sent straight to your inbox. If you don't have the budget for an external bookkeeper, you can atleast get some help to get the systems set-up and take it from there.
I hope this article makes you feel hopeful at the very least, and hopefully excited. If you’re interested in an external bookkeeper don’t hesitate to call for a free consultation.
Joe Golinveaux is founder of Mighty Nonprofits, a company providing fundraising, communication and accounting services for small nonprofits.