Ideas To Help You Support Your Organization’s Internal Accounting Function
For the last decade and a half, I’ve worked with clients in almost all of the industries Rea serves. Suffice it to say – I’ve seen a lot. And what I’ve witnessed and come to understand is that every industry has its complexities in both operations and accounting.
Accounting becomes complex when transactions and events involve judgement, multi-step calculations, allocations, and so on. And in my experience, I have found that no industry has more complexities than not-for-profit (NFP) … mostly due to the vast amount of revenue sources (i.e., grants, contracts, donations), which can have non-standard terms. Ironically, NFPs oftentimes have the least amount of resources available for internal accounting and finance functions.
What You Should Expect From Your Accounting and Finance Function
Despite all the challenges your industry faces, as a leader in your organization, you should still expect the basics (and beyond) from your organization’s internal finance team. These basics include:
- Timely reconciliations (bank and investment accounts)
- A predictable/scheduled monthly closing process
- Monthly financial reporting
- Including budget vs. actual analysis
- Cash flow reporting (seasonality analysis, if significant)
Listen to episode 178, “Your Business’s Back Office: Take It Or Leave It,” on unsuitable on Rea Radio, to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your organization’s accounting needs.
How You and Your Board Can Support Your Finance Department
If you recognize your internal finance team is struggling to provide you and your board with the pertinent financial data and budget analysis you need, here are some ways you can support your staff:
- Simplify your reporting requirements: Limit your requirements until your team can deliver what information you’re looking for.
- Evaluate your organization’s CFO/controller/accountant job responsibilities: Oftentimes as employees gain experience and build relationships within your organization, they are tasked with responsibilities from other departments that can be identified and allocated back to the appropriate staff.
- Consider outsourcing accounting support: When only marginal hours and support is needed to get the accounting function operating effectively, perhaps rather than recruiting more in-house accountants, you should consider hiring professional accountants to fill that need.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
If, after following the recommendations above, you’re still struggling to get the information you need, outsourcing may be an option for you. Choosing to outsource some of your organization’s accounting/finance function may provide you with a wide variety of benefits, including.
Access to Expert Advice
Outsourcing some of your accounting function can give you access to a team of certified public accountants and technology specialists for NFP industry guidance. These professionals are trained to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and are dedicated to helping your business find continued success.
Outsourcing this work can help you complete your accounting work in an efficient, accurate and timely fashion. Furthermore, outsourcing accounting can open your organization up to advanced financial reporting capabilities that streamline business functions to increase efficiency and better results. Increased efficiency and accurate reporting provides you with the tools you need to analyze your organization’s performance at a deeper level than ever before.
Outsourcing accounting can open your organization up to advanced financial reporting capabilities that streamline business functions to increase efficiency and better results.
When you receive support for your organization’s accounting responsibilities, you may notice how much easier it is to manage your workload. Moreover, your team’s workload may become more manageable as well, providing you with the opportunity to delegate more effectively.
To be a successful organization, you must have a firm understanding of your organization’s accounting functions. Outsourced accounting could be a simple and valuable solution that enables you to run your organization more effectively and efficiently. Discover how accessible and affordable this option really is by contacting our NFP accounting team.
By Ben Antonelli, CPA (Dublin office)