Since the early days of online accounting, I’ve preached that some of the obvious beneficiaries of this technology are nonprofit groups. One primary advantage is decentralization of information. In the past only the Treasurer might have had access. Board members might be updated at periodic meetings. Now all board members with access to the online books of even a small nonprofit can view data anytime.
Regrettably, this blog post is triggered by yet another story in the local news about a girl scout troop being defrauded for $10,000 by a parent who mismanaged bank funds. This could easily have been prevented through the use of an online banking system and basic fraud controls.
Full time access – no need to wait for a report; management decisions might be made anytime
Time Savings – Treasurer does not have to respond to board member requests for information
Customized information and reports – each authorized person can see the information they need specifically laid out how they can use it best
Fraud protection – controls are built into the system that can be customized and expanded upon by the accountant, Officers can be automatically alerted to specific account activity.
Lower accounting costs – data necessary for a Form 990 report flows naturally at the touch of a button
Now with the cost of online accounting services falling, I think every nonprofit with more than one key director and more than a few thousand dollars annual budget should be using an online accounting system. See my article “When Quickbooks is a no-brainer” for more details.
For more information on improving performance of nonprofit organizations, request a copy of my booklet “What every nonprofit board member should know”. It is free to officers and directors of nonprofit organizations.