Getting Grant Ready: Technology Considerations for Your Financial Systems

February 14, 2017


Guest Blog by Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Partners, Jennifer

, CPA and Ian Schuman, CPA 

Fundraising and development activities are not only critical to the success of any nonprofit; donors and grant makers are demanding more transparency than ever around organizations’ finances. With sites like Charity Navigator and the industry’s emphasis on maximizing the performance of the board of directors, it is important that nonprofits’ reporting mechanisms provide accurate and timely information enabled by the best technology.

Appropriate technologies and systems can become an important factor in alleviating the administrative burden of reporting to multiple end users (external and internal) as well as ensuring compliance with federal, governmental and donor requirements. However, while technology is the enabler, your process has to start with a hard look at your organization, the types of funding it receives, and its current technological capabilities. Are you able to adjust your current accounting and reporting systems to provide the information required from a compliance and reporting standpoint for government and foundation grants, or is it time to consider an investment in an entirely new system? Furthermore, what are the benefits and possible concerns related to transitioning to a cloud-based system versus the traditional on-sight software?

Grantors and management expect an organization to be able to report on an individual donor or programmatic basis, which means your accounting system should have the capabilities to address direct cost allocations, overhead allocations and reporting of expenses on a functional basis. This also becomes a key consideration when accounting for an organization’s largest and most scrutinized expense – salary. Will your systems allow for the accurate capture, allocation, and transfer of salary data in an efficient and secure manner?

Furthermore, what does your system offer in terms of tracking compliance with the requirements under the new Uniform Guidance such as

of performance and allowable costs? Ultimately, how does this correlate with your ongoing internal reporting of

to actual, monthly financial reports and organizational roll-up reporting for management and Board level review?

There are many technology solutions available to assist nonprofits with grant reporting but your organization’s leadership should first understand the correlation between compliance and accounting system functionality, as well as the pitfalls and opportunities that can be reasonably expected when considering current technology or an upgrade. Join Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Partners, Jennifer

, CPA and Ian Schuman, CPA for Getting

Grant Ready
:  Technology Considerations for Your Financial Systems
at Maryland Nonprofits’ Tech to Tell Your Story Conference on March 21, 2017
Participants will come away with a better understanding of the requirements under the current regulations and a CPA’s perspective on selecting the appropriate accounting system.  Attendees will be better prepared to have complex discussions with their board members and leadership about their plan for future compliance and reporting. 

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