Read these 7 Fund Accounting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Accounting Software tips and hundreds of other topics.
Management of fundraising is a huge part of becoming a successful non profit organization. Fund accounting software needs to be able to track multiple donors and contributions so that your non profit can maximize your donor base.
Your fund accounting software should also be able to track gifts and acknowledge their receipt and your organization's appreciation.
A fund accounting tip: if your company engages in pledge drives or in matching programs, you want to make sure you select a software package that can incorporate these aspects of fund accounting so you can maximize efficiency and eliminate excess costs.
Non-profit accounting is as complex as commercial accounting, although different. Owners and managers of not-for-profits need to cut the amount of time they spend worrying about accounts and ensuring that their accounting meets federal regulations.
A fund accounting tip: As with commercial businesses, accounting software can be used by non-profits to increase income, by determining where the most funding comes from and goes to. Being able to determine who are your best customers or sources of donation, means that you will be able to develop a better idea of the most profitable way to approach your market.
Choosing non-profit accounting software depends upon the nature of your non-profit business.
You need to consider several factors, including:
* Basic accounting features including general ledger and reporting
* Fundraising tracking
* Seperate grant tracking or Fund Tracking
* Government fund management and maintenance
* The ability to report on different fiscal years with any date range
Since fundraising is crucial to the success of a non profit, you need to have a systemized approach to your solicitation campaigns. By using fund accounting software you will be able to track:
• Solicitations Sent Out
• Rate and level of responses from the solicitation
• Track your fundraising campaign success whether mail, phone or fundraising event
• Assess the cost of the funds raised by measuring the rate of campaign expenditure against the return of donations
A non-profit organization's objective is not to generate profit like a traditional commercial corporation. Non profits are usually funded through a combination of private and public donations (some of which may be from government sources. Non profit organizations can generate income through commercial activities, but the degree to which they are allowed to do this may be limited by federal or state regulations.
Non-profit accounting, or fund accounting, differs from commercial accounting because they have different purposes and goals. Non profit accounting software needs to offer the most effective means of recording and tracking sources of funding, and the distribution of the funds.
Hiring a professional accountant is a imperitive for a non profit. Therefore when you are choosing your fund accounting software, you need to check with your accountant and ensure that you will be able to download information for your taxes that they can use in their own application.
A fund accounting software tip: this doesn't mean that you are locked in to Peachtree or Quickbooks since many accounting software products sell modules that crossover between various accounting products.
MIP Non-profit, Fund Accounting, and Fundraising software are good examples of the types of fund accounting software solutions recommended for non profit businesses.
These tools offer scalable fundraising solutions that vary in technology and performance offering software for start up non for profit businesses to large organizations.
The key to choosing a fund accounting software solution is ensuring that the software is FASB compliant and ensuring that you can use the software for all of your fund, donation and income for your non profit. You want to ensure that your accountant can work with your platform because if you ever get audited you want your records to be as organized and transparent as possible.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|