Nonprofit Smart Budgeting – Let’s face it: nonprofits encounter a lot of hurdles with the budgeting process. Often the right systems aren’t set up, leaving the finance team scrambling to get accurate data reported on time.
It can be a struggle, especially if your nonprofit uses a spreadsheet-based budgeting system.
Technology is moving by leaps and bounds, and Smart Budgeting is an important emerging trend. Smart Budgeting embraces automation, making the budgeting and reporting process more efficient, especially for nonprofits.
With automation, data can be pulled seamlessly from various sources and populated into the general ledger. Nonprofits can drill down into their data to find the real numbers driving funding, spending and growth. And boards will get the information they need to become much more insightful, effective decision makers.
In this post you’ll see just a few of the significant benefits of a Smart Budgeting system.
Ready to take a look?
Benefits of Nonprofit Smart Budgeting
Discard clunky spreadsheets
Many nonprofits stick with spreadsheets because they’re easy—at least at first. However, as budgets and forecasts become more complex, a spreadsheet-based system can struggle to keep up. Growth hampers spreadsheets’ effectiveness.
You’ve likely felt this within your organization. It’s common to have multiple spreadsheets from different departments that need to be consolidated. Or to waste hours trying to find a number entered incorrectly and formulas that need to be updated—the list goes on.
A Smart Budgeting system gives nonprofits back their time. It provides advanced information automatically. With a few clicks, all of the data you need is there, seamlessly.
Speed up the budgeting process
The budgeting and forecasting process can take months—not exactly the best use of precious time when there are so many other aspects of the business to take care of or events to plan for during the year.
Spreadsheets can extend the budgeting process, leaving the finance team spending most of their days doing data entry. A tool that automates reduces the data entry process to minutes, dramatically cutting the time needed to create a budget. Nonprofits can finish their yearly or month-end close in a few days or hours, compared to weeks.
Freeing up this time allows for more analysis. The finance team can spend their days looking for potential opportunities or inefficiencies—a much better long-term benefit.
Prepare for the unexpected
With nonprofits there’s always uncertainty around donations or government funding. It can change in an instant. And organizations that haven’t planned for it can run into serious trouble trying to get their numbers to work.
Nonprofits that embrace Smart Budgeting can face some of this uncertainty head-on, helping to reduce risk. Running ‘what if’ scenario planning lets nonprofits test assumptions that could have the biggest impact on their financial health.
You can project changes to everything from personnel to funding allocations to determine how cash flow, revenues and expenses would be impacted. This insight is crucial to effective long-term planning.
Meet reporting requirements
Nonprofits face exacting reporting requirements, and their numbers must be accurate. After all, this information is submitted to the state and federal government and in many cases to boards as well. And some organizations go a step further with their financial transparency.
Because of these reporting responsibilities it’s incredibly important to have accurate data. On top of that, it’s crucial that reporting is delivered on time, hitting all deadlines.
For many nonprofits, it’s a struggle to efficiently provide everything needed with complete accuracy within the time constraints. However, embracing an automated Smart Budgeting system can help by generating reports that are ready to go.
If your nonprofit is struggling with budgeting, technology can make a big difference. Smart Budgeting is one way to improve your financial strategy and ensure you’re well prepared to plan for the future.
To learn more about Smart Budgeting and how it could help your nonprofit, sign up for a webinar to find out how you can get your 2018 budget off on the right foot. Click here to register.