What do outsourced nonprofit accounting and Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ have to do with one another?
To the outside observer, probably nothing other than both residing in the nonprofit finance and accounting community. As a purveyor of both, serving as an Abila Business Partner and providing outsourced accounting services to nonprofit organizations, we are experiencing a powerful synergy, something that we did not anticipate. Let me explain.
MIP Fund Accounting™ and Outsourced Nonprofit Accounting
First, a nonprofit that has acquired a MIP Fund Accounting™ license, particularly among smaller organizations, may choose to have its accounting outsourced to save money. For many nonprofits, this also improves overall financial management and reporting. Others, may choose to outsource part of the function temporarily because of a key personnel disruption.
Second, when nonprofits look for an outsourced accounting provider, they will find most take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Furthermore, they are often using QuickBooks™ as the primary software tool, though it may not be the best solution.
This is especially the case where there is more than a single fund entity. Another example is when grant tracking and reporting are challenging. If the nonprofit seeking to outsource its accounting does not already have capable on-premises or hosted nonprofit accounting software, it makes a lot of sense to move to MIP. Their current needs are amply met. Also, as the nonprofit grows and brings more of its accounting functions in-house, MIP will continue to serve their future needs.
NFP Partners and Outsourced Nonprofit Accounting
NFP Partners came to this realization in our practice. More specifically, we started out as selling only accounting technology (MIP) and related implementation services. We found MIP was a great solution for smaller nonprofits ($1M – $4M) with more complex accounting and reporting needs. But, their present accounting personnel were ill-equipped to learn the software. In some cases, the personnel lacked basic accounting skills. We saw this as a business opportunity to provide the outsourced services and a comfortable solution for the nonprofit’s management and the Board.
Fast forward to the present, NFP Partners provides outsourced accounting services to nonprofits across the country. For the majority, we use QuickBooks Enterprise hosted by a third-party. These clients are relatively small with uncomplicated accounting and reporting. However, for our larger clients, we graduate them into Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ at the start of the engagement or after gaining some experience.
Interestingly, nonprofits that use Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ are now finding us to provide outsourced accounting services either on an ongoing basis or temporarily during personnel transitions.
Lee Bengston, CPA