Budgeting and reporting for nonprofits

By - July 16, 2018

Nonprofits need to plan their finances in the same manner as any other business. Unlike a for-profit firm, a nonprofit organization receives funds from grants, membership fees and donations, and very often these funds are restricted for a certain programs or for use in the future. Budgeting and planning for a nonprofit organization can be tricky because of different income streams and compliance issues.

Many nonprofit organizations face instability in their revenue cycle. The main challenge is to estimate reasonable cash flows in a future that is not secure. Donors may stop making usual donations, foundations may stop making gifts and governments may cut grants. The key is for a nonprofit to react quickly to decreases of income and to be always on the lookout for extra-funds.

Many nonprofit organizations run with minimum staff and most managers are hands-on, involved in various areas and tasks with limited time to plan ahead. Financial planning and strategy require attention and too often, data is difficult to manage and manually compile, resulting in substandard financial planning.

We have helped multiple nonprofits reach their planning goals utilizing a unified and collaborative platform. They can easily make adjustments as donations, gifts, grants or memberships change over the course of the plan year or multiple years. Additionally, they can plan their resource needs in detail and adjust the resources as their needs change based on attendance, events or funding changes.

In addition to budgeting difficulties, many nonprofits deal with how to utilize and report on multiple sources of data. Our systems integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and data warehouses to pull in not only the financial data for budgeting and reporting but additionally allows for nonfinancial data to be integrated. The finance team can then spend their time analyzing data instead of compiling it together and validating the data for budgeting and reporting.

Utilization of dashboards and reports allows end users to access the data from their computer, tablet or phone based upon their security access. They can view the data in the dashboards and reports, but also have a fully interactive system that allows them to get all the way to the source system detail with a few clicks. These capabilities allow the finance department to offer a 24/7 self-service financial system.

Finally report books can be generated on demand or a scheduled basis from the system to provide their internal and external financial reporting users the details they need on a daily, weekly or monthly interval.

To find out more about how RSM can assist you with your business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.


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