Stephan Duncan explains how not-for-profits can use dimensional accounting to engage donors and provide more insightful financial analysis

accounting for not-for-profitsWhile the world gravitates its attention and resources to solve the current pandemic, many other causes are being forgotten and left behind. With many people also feeling the financial strain of the global lockdown, not-for profits are not receiving the same level of financial support through donations. Not to mention also feeling the burden when it comes to volunteer support, which has been made near impossible due to social distancing.

In these turbulent times, it is becoming increasingly important for Australian not-for-profits to attract and retain donors. It is also a time where people are very conscious of their money and want to understand exactly how they invest it.

Something that many not-for-profit organisations do not realise is that dimensional, cloud-based, financial management technology can help track the life cycle of a donation and help convert donors.

Dimensional accounting as an easy flexible solution, that works better in the not-for-profit sector.

Dimensional reporting increases donor transparency

If you combine financial performance data with real-world outcome metrics, you can produce reports that show the successes you are having with your mission.

With multi-dimensional analysis, you can increase your transparency and visibility for your donors. You can tell donors the complete story of your not-for-profit organisation’s impact by bringing together financial, operational, and impact data.

Adding operational context to improve visibility

Not-for-profit organisations with the right cloud management software can take advantage of statistical features that allow you to bring on-financial operational data into your financial reporting.

Traditional general ledgers provide the information needed to create generally accepted accounting principle (GAAP) reports, but if you enhance the general ledger with non-GAAP statistical data, not-for-profit organisations can also track and report on operational outcomes.

You can create contextually rich reporting that includes critical outcome and performance metrics by applying dimensions to the operational data. This contextually rich reporting increases the overall visibility and provides organisational decision makers with a complete picture of performance.

Dimensional accounting helps you provide more insightful financial analysis

With a dimensional chart of accounts, you can organise information by the attributes that matter most for your not-for-profit organisation’s mission, empowering you to perform the meaningful analysis of your performance. With multi-dimensional analysis, you can increase visibility by, for example, enabling drill downs from a BI dashboard, providing granular transaction details.

With dimensions you can analyse financial performance across multiple entities through the power of real-time dashboards. By tagging projects in transactions, you can analyse business performance project by project. You can quickly compare expenses and revenue between programs and locations, for example.

Not only will dimensional accounting greatly simplify the lives of your finance team, but it will also empower you with greater insight, helping your organisation support its mission and build a story to compel existing and future donors.

Stephan Duncan is Product Marketing Manager at Sage Intacct.

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