Cloud Software Helps Faith-Based Organizations Reach their Goals

Cloud Software Helps Faith-Based Organizations Reach their Goals

“Drowning in a sea of Excel spreadsheets.“

 

“Plagued by confusion, delays and lack of confidence in reporting.”

 

“Cost and headaches of on-premise accounting systems and IT infrastructure.”

 

“Need for a user-friendly cloud solution that would support anytime, anywhere access while minimizing IT efforts.”

These are just a few of the most common challenges that faith-based organizations struggle with. The good news is Intacct,the customer satisfaction leader in cloud ERP software, is the solution for those problems. And it is not just me saying so, below are a few examples of what leaders from churches around the country are saying about Intacct:

“Intacct has allowed us to bridge the gap between efficiency and being a people- oriented caring ministry.” Dennis Richards, Executive Pastor, Preston Trail Community Church, Frisco TX

 

“They (the ministry staff) wanted to know right away how they were doing in that new campus, What’s our attendance? What’s our giving? What are our expenses on capital expenditures? (With Intacct) we were able to provide that information, fast.” Randy Bell, Executive Pastor of Administration, Gateway Church, Dallas/Fort Worth TX

 

“With the efficiencies we’ve gained through Intacct, we’ve kept our staff size low even as we doubled in size. By using the system to manage all of our day-to-day bookkeeping, we’re saving $85,000 or more a year in salaries and benefits, while doing deeper analysis and reporting.” Aaron Goin, Finance Director at Faith Promise Church, Knoxville, TN

 

“QuickBooks was a good fit when we were starting out, but now we need a more robust financial management system. Intacct will enable us to double the productivity of our finance team while providing better overall control and visibility into the use of our funds. With Intacct, we can continue to grow without the need to immediately add headcount to our finance team—providing a nice savings to the church.” Gay Lynn Martin, Financial Director, Canyon Ridge Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV

Reasons Why Intacct Software is a Great Tool for Faith-based Organizations

  • It’s a cloud-based. Forget about needing an expensive on-premises system.
  • Like the staff at Gateway Church says, good data drives good ministry; Intacct frees up staff time that can be spent on ministry. For example, checks and payments can be reviewed and approved from anywhere via internet so events can be organized, budgeted and funded quickly and easily without running around for approvals.
  • With the Statistical Accounts and Journaling functionality, you can capture and track non-financial data such as attendance, baptisms, missions, members in small groups and volunteers. And then you can produce reports such as the Giving Scorecard in a blink. Just think of how quickly you can produce reports showing changes in worship attendance, variations in giving or average giving per attendee per week. All from one system!
    • You have easier, faster and more accurate reports using Intacct Dimensions. This functionality makes reporting a much simpler process. Gateway Church estimate they spend 25% less time preparing reports.
    • With Intuitive dashboards your church leaders have easy access to real-time key information such as revenue vs. expenses, giving by period, current cash position, attendance and more.
    • Budgeting is so much easier when you have reliable data and analytics.  Preston Trail Community Church reports that with Intacct, the 2015 budget was much easier and delivered ahead of time.
  • Intacct provides immediate access to important data and documents so decision-making is much easier and supporting documentation is easy to access for review.
  • Imagine your church’s executive office being completely paperless. Invoices are submitted electronically and payments are made the same way. Data on incoming funds is available to all pastors as soon as the amounts are posted.
  • Intacct provides open APIs so other software can easily interface with it. This is great for churches that outsource their payroll to a third-party processing company, use expense management software to track business travel expense or use church management software to track membership and giving. Also, with the APIs, data uploading using Excel .csv files is easy and time-efficient.

Lavoie is an Intacct business partner and we have an accounting and ERP implementation team dedicated to helping our clients get started on Intacct.  If you have any questions about how your church or nonprofit can benefit from our products and services, please contact us and we’d be happy to help.

Cloud Software – The Competitive Advantage

Cloud Software – The Competitive Advantage

Last summer, International Data Corporation reported that the cloud software market saw $48.8 billion in revenues in 2014, and will continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 18.8 percent through 2019. Small businesses have been a major driver of cloud-based software penetration, relying on the more advanced delivery option to keep capital expenditures down and functionality optimal.

Regardless of which industry a firm might be competing in, cloud-based accounting software can help to drive both the efficiency of processes in finance departments and their accuracy. Reporting is a challenging task, and software has been helping to reduce complexity while increasing the value of the data generated and stored. Recognizing the accounting challenges companies face that can be remedied by cloud-based software is the first step toward success.

The problem at hand

Earlier this year, AccountingWEB reported that issues with accounting can quickly lead to fraud, which cost the private sector about $2.9 trillion in 2015, a third of which traced back to small businesses. The source pointed out that errors are most often associated with an incorrect logging entry or some divergence from best practices, which represent 60 percent of the mistakes involved in these processes.

At the same time, the average small business owner will not always be able to expand training, hire more quality assurance professionals or take other expensive actions. Software that automates some of the stages involved and supports users will tend to reduce the error rate and maintain transparent, visible recordkeeping. Taking that a step further, the best options for software in the past were often outside of the budgets of smaller firms.

Cloud computing has increased the flexibility of IT provisioning and offered decision-makers an option that is more easily deployed, managed and upgraded than the contracts of the past. Tackling both the challenges associated with accounting and the cost of maintaining optimal performance management in this area, cloud-based software has opened the doors to a more intelligent future for many organizations.

Digital accounting’s strong suits

CPA Practical Advisor once listed the most common struggles of accounting in small business as accounts receivable, cash flow, managing paperwork, finalizing monthly reports and payroll. The news provider noted that about 83 percent of entrepreneurs who responded to one survey stated that they do not even have the ability to audit within their management systems.

When approaching accounting with antiquated processes and practices, these types of issues will often cost companies severely either in terms of budget constraints or noncompliance with industry standards.

Cloud-based accounting software such as Intacct can almost immediately change the ways in which the accounting wing of a business functions for the better. In fact, these solutions will tend to be far faster and efficient in accounting workflows than the technologies of the past, all the while improving user experiences and continuously evolving to keep up with the transformation of markets and operations.

This content was originally posted here by David Furth.

Interested in learning more? Download a free copy of the eBook below on why FP&A belongs in the cloud.

LEARN ABOUT FP&A IN THE CLOUD

A Solid Accounting Strategy Is Key to Your Success

A Solid Accounting Strategy Is Key to Your Success

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Challenges

Entrepreneurs have to cope with many unique factors that come along with running a startup firm, and many are directly related to financial management, accounting and reporting. Failing to get these matters right can lead to significant challenges such as compliance and budget. Thus, having a solid accounting strategy is key.

Fortunately, there are ample remedies available that are specifically targeted at helping entrepreneurs tackle these challenges. Many solutions come in the form of affordable cloud-based software solutions that are administered by an outsourcing firm. In order to discuss the benefits of cloud-based accounting and reporting and outsourcing, it is important to first identify the pain points and challenges that startups face.

No Foundation

Startups rarely have a strong foundation of accounting practices in place. Typically, they start from scratch. Building an accounting strategy from the ground up is challenging for financial professionals, much less for individuals with no financial training. Creating an accounting strategy without understanding what is required can seriously hinder growth of your business. Outsourcing your accounting work to a firm that utilizes a cloud-based accounting and financial management software, gives you real time access to all the information you need to react proactively to your changing business environment. Outsourcing the financial piece of your business to experts will allow you to focus on developing your product and getting it to market.

Related: Accounting Solutions for Early Stage Companies

Tight Cash Flow

New businesses tend to have a minimal safety net of funds to fall back upon if they experience an unexpected cash shortfall. If accounting experts are running your books and analyzing your financial performance with cloud-based solutions, you can be assured that you will have the information you need about your companies financial situation. Thus, you will then be ready to raise capital or obtain a line of credit to cover the shortfall or even avoid experiencing a shortfall at all.  For startups, adhering to a budget and managing cash are critical to your success

New to Compliance

The financial and accounting regulatory compliance statutes for startup companies can be extremely complex and difficult to meet. Entrepreneurs are often new to the matters involved, putting them at a disadvantage when trying to maintain compliance. Your outsourced accounting firm has the resources and experience to ensure that your company is in compliance so you can focus on what you do best.

No Accounting Department

Startups often begin with a small team of individuals who are passionate about a product or service, but who may not have experience running the financial side of things. But far too often, the founders end up shouldering these responsibilities anyhow, because they cannot afford to staff a financial team. By outsourcing your accounting and financial management needs to the experts, you mitigate errors and inefficiencies involved with doing it yourself, at a fraction of the cost of an in- house accounting team.  Services are scalable, so you utilize only what you need to get the job done.

Starting a new business is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Consider utilizing cloud-based accounting and financial solutions managed by experts so you and your team can spend all your time building something wonderful – your own business!

The Rise of Cloud Computing

The Rise of Cloud Computing

Business Wish They Made the Shift 2 Years Ago

According to Intacct, 89% of firms who have already shifted to cloud-based technology wish that they had made the move two years earlier. The rise of cloud computing is arguably the single most important technology story of the past decade. During that time, countless companies have moved some or all of their IT into cloud environments.

Why?

Because quite simply, cloud computing has a lot of advantages over traditional on-premise accounting. With the cloud, a company can shift a lot of its IT responsibilities to a third-party vendor, while enjoying greater performance. Additionally, the cloud is the less expensive solution, since organizations don’t have to purchase hardware and only pay for the services they use as they go.

Related: 5 Top Benefits of Cloud Technology

In addition to requiring fewer human and financial resources to operate, business leaders are looking to cloud based accounting solutions because of the deep insights into financial performance that these solutions provide. Today, firms want to look beyond basic measurements and take into account operational metrics as a means to a far better view of how the business as a whole is performing. And to get that level of insight and awareness, more advanced accounting solutions are absolutely essential.

What Metrics Are Businesses Looking to Measure?

Cloud based accounting solutions can keep track of retention rates, customer acquisition costs, customer life time value, fluctuations in monthly recurring revenue and much more, all in addition to accounting basics. With information in hand that is tailored to the specifics of their businesses, leaders have a 360 degree view of the organization and how it is interacting with customers and clients. That depth of information enables more informed decision making and a nimbleness that leads to a serious competitive advantage.

Related: Data-Drive Approaches Guide Businesses

Why Are Businesses Not Making the Shift?

Clearly, vastly superior information is available to companies who use cloud based accounting and financial solutions, but not everyone has made the change.  Why??? Because change is difficult. We fear disrupting our business routine, we are comfortable with Excel and Quickbooks, we don’t want to bother with training, etc. But switching to a cloud based accounting solution really isn’t that difficult.

We have transitioned countless companies, both large and small, to cloud based solutions, and the one thing each transition has had in common is that EVERYONE has exclaimed over the ease of  implementation and staff training. Don’t worry! Go for it! The transition will be over before you know it, and like 89% of companies already utilizing the cloud, you will be wishing you had made the change years ago!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about financial planning and analysis in the cloud, check out our eBook below!

LEARN ABOUT FP&A IN THE CLOUD

Time Management and Discipline are Key for Success

Time Management and Discipline are Key for Success

There are a number of important elements that ensure that a company’s accounting efforts are effective and efficient, and support growth and viability. Today, I want to take a closer look at two more key components: time management and discipline. Only by committing to both can a business leader make sure the company’s financial situation stays on track.

Time Matters

Dedicating the appropriate amount of time to various tasks can be challenging as decision makers have a lot on their plates on a daily basis. With so much going on, and with so few hours in the day, it is possible that some things can get pushed to the side. One task, in particular, that many business owners struggle with is managing the accounting work required to run business efficiently. Most owners are not accountants, so they naturally focus on tasks that inspired them to start the business in the first place. Without a good accounting support and detailed information, challenges wind up unaddressed, and can snowball over time.

One of the best ways to avoid looming accounting debacles is to set aside a specific time each week to focus solely on accounting matters. When owners have dedicated time each week, they will able to address issues early, before they become big problems. In addition to getting the jump on problems, decision makers will have insight into the firm’s financial situation at all times. This is essential for ensuring that companies take advantage of opportunities as they arise. There is no way for leaders to make the best choices for their organizations if they don’t have a clear and accurate view of their financials.

Related: 3 Ways to Drive Business Growth

Discipline is Needed

Obviously, setting aside time to focus on accounting issues is only effective if business leaders actually stick with that plan. Additionally, owners need to have access to accurate budgets and be able to regularly compare their actual results and make adjustments as circumstances change. Accounting software can make a big difference here. Comprehensive, cloud based accounting solutions allow the business owner and team to do the detailed analysis needed. This in in turn allows them to develop short, medium and long term strategies and track progress over time.

Dedicating the time necessary to manage financial matters, coupled with the discipline to adhere to a schedule and enjoy meaningful access to information, are critical for long term success. The companies that choose to tackle the hard work of time management and financial discipline are always better positioned for success than those that make accounting and financial management a low priority.

Can you think of any other key components that business leaders need to commit to in order to keep track of the financial position of the company?

SIX BEST PRACTICES OF TOP CONTROLLERS

Financial controllers are increasingly taking on the role of financial operating officer. You’re ensuring that finance runs smoothly and that there are not surprises on audit day.

But what does “running smoothly” really mean?

Download this eBook to learn six ways that today’s best-in-class controllers follow to successfully meet and overcome challenges in the profession.