5 Signs You Have Outgrown Your Accounting System

As the size, complexity, and pace of your business grow, the frustrations can multiply. That accounting
system you relied on to manage finances and operations has, over time, gradually become a barrier to
growth and efficiency.

Have you outgrown your accounting system? Take a look at these signs to see if your accounting system
is holding you back:

1: You’re on an Old Accounting System Release
With so many pressing responsibilities, it’s no surprise that many finance departments aren’t necessarily laser-focused on the state of their software infrastructure. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find companies that haven’t touched their accounting systems for years. But that benign neglect can mask significant risks. An outdated—perhaps even unsupported—software platform can translate into reliability and downtime problems and security vulnerabilities. And the costs of maintaining a legacy system quickly increase.

2: You’re Held Back by Disconnected Systems and Processes
Finance works best when it works in seamless collaboration with other departments and functions.
Unfortunately, legacy accounting systems often aren’t well-integrated with other enterprise tools and
systems —including commercial applications and custom-developed software. That often leaves you
trapped in manual processes, spreadsheets, cumbersome workarounds, and slower workflows as you
manage conflicting formats and rekey the same data in multiple systems.

3: You Can’t Keep up with Business Expansion
As you add business units and expand into new markets and geographies—or even add entirely new
lines of business—the burden on finance can quickly become overwhelming. Soon enough, you’re
handling new subsidiaries with more currencies, tax jurisdictions, regulatory frameworks, sales channels,and product costs. And if you’re growing through acquisition, the added complexity isn’t
gradual—it’s immediate.

4: New Business Requirements and Regulatory Compliance Are Difficult Obstacles
To keep up with customer demands and expectations, many businesses are experimenting with new
revenue models and alternative business structures. One of the most important new developments is
the subscription business model, which is increasingly popular across many industries from software to
services. However, that’s placing new demands on finance, because the billing and revenue-recognition
requirements for subscription businesses are more complex.

5: You Aren’t Able to Fully Track Your Business
Business success depends on the ability to see what’s happening in all areas of your business, especially if your operations or market conditions are changing rapidly. You need a holistic view of everything from bookings to available capacity to inventory levels and, of course, financial metrics. But you can’t make informed, timely decisions if it takes weeks to assemble, present, and analyze that data.

For more information on these signs, you can download a whitepaper which fully explains these signs here.

3 Key Benefits of Reducing Spreadsheets in Finance

Using Success Metrics to Drive Your Non-Profit’s Mission and Impact

Do you find running your non-profit today is more challenging than it was five years ago?  If you said yes, many of our recent webinar attendees agree with you. Why?  Fundraising, which is the lifeblood of a successful non-profit, has become increasingly more difficult. Let’s look at some reasons why.

The Bernie Effect

Does anyone remember the Bernie Madoff scandal? Bernie Madoff, an investment advisor to large non-profit foundations and wealthy families, defrauded them of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme.  He promised huge returns and generated those returns from money that came in from new investors.

Charitable foundations, both large and small, lost millions. If you took a look at the list of his victims, many were household names.

As a result of losing all of this money, these foundations now had a lot less money to invest in good non-profits like yours.

The Rise of Crowdfunding

There are also new avenues for individuals to donate which increases the competition for donations.

Crowdfunding alternatives like GoFundMe, Razoo, Causes and Crowdrise compete with the same people that are your potential donors.

Non-Profit Excesses

Reading the news, you hear about non-profits paying executives large salaries, or spending a significant amount of their fundraising on administrative and marketing expenses, and a small percentage going to the people they were organized to help. The Wounded Warrior foundation threw lavish parties and paid their former executives handsomely.  As a result, potential donors are significantly more careful about who they give money to. They expect more information about who they are sending their hard-earned dollars to, and what results they are achieving. They want information beyond your 501c3 registration and certificate of good standing.

The Answer – Success Metrics

One way of making potential donors, members and volunteers more comfortable is to develop, and publish Success Metrics. How do we define Success Metrics?

  1. They clearly demonstrate an organization’s willingness to be accountable, and transparent
  2. Success metrics are outcome indicators (“What impact are my programs having?”) that go beyond financial performance (“What’s my cash balance?”)
  3. They balance organizational health, financial performance and stability

The Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) publishes a great success metric. 100% of all fundraising goes to the Jimmy Fund. This tells every potential donor that every dollar they raise or send them will go directly for cancer research.  It is this Success Metric that has allowed the PMC to raise more than $51 million dollars last year, which represents 50% of the Jimmy Funds total operating budget.

If you would like to learn how you organization can benefit from success metrics, please contact us.