As a nonprofit, you have many stakeholders who require accurate information on budget, grants, outcomes, and more – and their requests usually come with a need to have the information now. If this causes chaos and either a rejection of the request or hours of manual work on spreadsheets, your accounting system is outdated.

It’s time to closely examine new solutions and new technology. Cloud applications have matured. Feature sets are robust. Reporting and dashboard capabilities are impressive in their flexibility and accessibility. And, the benefits of cloud technology are such that your system requirements should include “cloud-based” at the top of the list.

5 Ways Nonprofits Benefit from the Cloud

Here are five benefits that we’ve seen nonprofits enjoy when replacing entry level or legacy on-premise solutions with Intacct:

1. Empowerment of Department Heads and Executive Team

Imagine being able to respond to reporting requests with a few clicks. Better yet, imagine delivering a real-time dashboard to various program managers, department heads, your executive team and even the board that display the particular data, budgets, expenses, funding allocations and comparisons to prior years.
With Intacct, they have the information they need to fine tune programs, assess program financials and outcomes, and zero in on the data they need to further the mission, serve constituents, and win more grant awards.

2. Ability to Track Funds, Cross Fiscal Year Reporting

With Intacct’s flexible chart of accounts and dimensional reporting, managing, tracking, and reporting on funds is easy – whether the funding period is a few months or extending over multiple fiscal years. There is no need to once again resort to spreadsheets, you are able to generate reports directly from the system. In fact is so easy, colleagues can access reports on their own if need be.
Every stakeholder can have the ability to quickly analyze assigned grants, funds, budgets, expenses and cash flows – regardless of the duration of the funding. With better reporting on existing funds, more time can be spent going after additional sources of funding. Armed with Intacct, you’ll have the history, data, and pattern of compliance and good stewardship.

3. Faster, More Accurate Reporting

Accurate reporting is the primary responsibility of Nonprofit accounting. It is the foundation for transparency and accountability. Intacct has helped hundreds of nonprofits automate their reporting for faster period-end closings, cross-fiscal year funding, budget management, and program analysis.

Intacct Dimensions allows you to slice and dice data to accommodate special requests from colleagues, executive management and the board. You don’t need to fire up Excel and create yet another spreadsheet. This is perhaps the most compelling reason to replace your accounting system with cloud-based Intacct – the ability to generate a staggering variety of reports directly from the system (complete with detail documentation).

4. Budget-friendly, Subscription-based Pricing

Since Intacct is paid for via subscription, the cost of the software is accounted for month by month. Many nonprofits prefer this subscription-based pricing to traditional on-premise one time licensing fees. There is an initial implementation fee with Intacct, but following your implementation, it’s a simple monthly fee based on the number of users you want accessing the system.

Most of the time, there is a significant cost savings for nonprofits moving to the cloud. With the cloud, organizations can dramatically reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by eliminating hardware costs and reducing software and IT costs. With cloud computing, nonprofits also get the benefit of reducing their technology risk with enterprise-class security, backups, and disaster recovery – at a much lower cost than doing it yourself.

5. Anytime, Anywhere Secure Access

Snow day? No problem. Flooding? No problem. Regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way, while you might be prevented from getting to the office, you can still access Intacct. All you need is a browser, access to the Internet, and your user name and password.

While weather-related closures are (thankfully) rare, there is still a high cost in lost productivity. With anytime, anywhere secure access to Intacct you won’t have that problem. Under more normal circumstances like business-related travel, off site meetings, or the need to work from home, you have access to the system. Another advantage of cloud-based Intacct is that it doesn’t matter what kind of device you have – PC or Mac, tablet or laptop, you can get to the system directly without any intermediate interface.

We have looked at 5 ways nonprofits can benefit from the cloud – but there are many more.  With cloud technology making robust applications more affordable and easier to deploy, it’s time to take a serious look at what the cloud can do for your finance department and your organization.

Other Nonprofit resources from Massey Consulting:

White paper ’13 Questions Nonprofits Need to Ask When Buying a New Accounting System