NFP Partners offers the benefits of experienced accounting professionals at a fraction of the in-house cost. Our outsourced accounting services range from total operation and management of the finance function to higher-level CFO support.
Managing your accounting department does not have to be a struggle that keeps your organization’s leadership awake at night and distracts from the main mission. Consider outsourcing some, or all, of your accounting functions to achieve strong financial management and enjoy peace of mind.
Find out how our outsourced accounting services can help your nonprofit organization and get your questions answered by exploring the topics below:
Are You a Good Candidate For Outsourced Accounting Services?
The fact that you are on this page probably pre-qualifies you as a candidate for outsourced accounting services. You may have overt evidence that your organization’s financial management is deficient, such as a critical audit report, the recent termination of your primary financial manager, or lost funding. On the contrary, you may be absent any immediate crisis and instead just have this intuitive sense that things are amiss and are not sure what to do about it.
Some of the general characteristics of nonprofit organizations are conducive to using outsourced accounting services as the primary strategy are:
- Some organizations, which are constrained by choice or circumstances, do not grow beyond a level where a full-time finance staff is required.
- The CEO and the Board want to control administrative overhead costs, but at the same time, understanding their fiscal responsibilities and risks, want to follow best practices and set a high standard for financial reporting.
- An organization is in the early growing stage with an operating budget of $500,000 to $4,000,000.
- The financial tracking and reporting requirements are at least moderately complex and require specialized nonprofit accounting expertise and software tools that otherwise may not be readily available or affordable.
- The organization requires an
audit orexpects to fairly soon.
- Management is focused on the mission, programs, and fundraising, leaving little time for attention to finance and accounting functions.
- Management is attuned to modern workplace practices that are facilitated by technology.
Why You Should Be Interested In Outsourced Nonprofit Accounting Services?
Nonprofit organizations in every growth phase – from startup to maturity – can benefit from expert outsourced accounting assistance. A CEO or executive director is generally focused on the organization’s mission, programs, and fundraising. Thus, managing in-house accounting, especially during the early and middle growth phases, often leads to weak financial management. This condition, unfortunately, characterizes too many nonprofit organizations. In spite of your efforts, here are a few of the reasons why your nonprofit’s financial management is dysfunctional:
- Your organization needs, at various times, multiple financial skills but can’t afford to hire a financial staff on a full-time basis.
- The organization may experience high turnover in finance and accounting positions resulting in an ongoing, on-the-job training program.
- You need stronger basic internal controls, such as having someone who handles your money separate from someone who accounts for it.
- There are problems in accounting and reporting on grants and restricted funds.
- Your organization is growing and you need to hire people who can raise money or deliver services, not finance.
- The nonprofit and its keyboard members may lack basic financial knowledge and are not getting support from your primary financial staff person.
- You simply don’t have reliable financial information, allowing you and your Board to make good decisions.
What Benefits Might You Experience Through Outsourced Accounting Services?
Outsourcing your accounting can result in significant cost savings. While results vary from organization to organization, the cost of outsourcing generally does not exceed the true cost of maintaining the function in-house. Likewise, outsourcing will result in a major lift in the quality of financial information and internal control. Some benefits you may expect are:
- Allow the CEO to focus on the mission and program delivery with minimal distractions.
- Provide relevant, accurate and timely financial information to the various stakeholders (internal managers, Board, donors, funders), resulting in better decisions.
- Operate within a system of internal control that reduces the risk of fraud and misallocation of assets, while satisfying audit requirements.
- Reduce the number of internal accounting staff through process standardization and training, allowing for greater productivity.
Additional benefits to expect are listed below:
- Defer the need for a full-time financial professional.
- Minimize internal staff distraction and external fees for audit preparation and support.
- Facilitate transition to a professional in-house staff when growth requires that step.
- Assure continuity of the finance function upon personnel turnover.
- Board and CEO receive knowledgeable advice and mentoring from a trusted financial professional.
- Eliminate the need for separate in-house installed accounting software and IT maintenance costs.
- Enjoy certainty and peace of mind that financial management is working.
Take this self-quiz. If you can answer yes to some of these you may be a perfect fit for our services.
Are You Ready To Explore Outsourced Accounting Services?
Do You Want to Take a Deeper Dive Into the Accounting Services Offered?
articles on outsourced nonprofit accounting servies
How to Communicate Your Nonprofit’s Financial Story
Let’s face it; nonprofit financial data has a reputation for being boring and can fill even the most devoted professionals with dread.
To change this perception, nonprofit organizations should create and convey a compelling financial story. The financial story should explain what the organization does with the money. What are the performance goals? What are the program goals? How does money support organizational goals? Once a nonprofit’s story is conveyed, stakeholders can then understand the impact of the organization.
Communicating your nonprofit’s story to the Board
While Board members typically bring a variety of talents and expertise to a nonprofit organization, they do not always have extensive experience with financial and accounting matters. Below are tips to help you communicate your financial story to the Board. The shared information should quickly assess if your nonprofit organization is on track, or if it needs to take corrective action. (more…)
Five Indicators Signaling Your Nonprofit is Ready for Outsourced Accounting Services
A common headache and time drain for growing nonprofit entities is how they manage their accounting functions. Trying to find, and maintain, reliable and timely employees, or higher-level accounting services, to handle bookkeeping can feel impossible in a competitive workforce.
As organizations and the need for supporting systems grow, the workload and responsibility often fall to one person. This can lead to a financial control crisis. A considerable amount of time needs to be spent on managing people, processes, and procedures to promote a quality financial structure.
Luckily, with today’s technological advances, significant benefits and efficiencies can be gained by outsourcing the accounting function in part or in whole. But, how do you know when it’s time to consider making a transition to outsourced accounting services? (more…)