Monthly Archives

February 2017

E-commerce Versus M-commerce

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Difference Between E-commerce and M-commerce

E-commerce (electronic commerce) is generally considered to be any type of transaction that takes place using the internet. Many popular transactions are banking, paying bills, and shopping. These activities take place using desktop and laptop computers in the home or office.

M-commerce (mobile commerce) is also any type of e-commerce transaction, only access to the internet is not required because these activities now take place using smartphones and tablets as telecommunication devices. And, because these activities are mobile, they can take place just about anywhere: home, office, riding in a car, walking on the beach, etc.

Mobile Optimized Websites

As the e-commerce business model continues to evolve into m-commerce, optimizing the user experience with an easy-to-use mobile interface becomes key to the effort of ensuring that potential customers and users return for more.

Mobile optimization ensures that visitors who access your site from their smartphones or tablets enjoy an experience optimized for their specific device. This means that your site reformats navigation buttons, content, and images so they display correctly, no matter what device is used to view your site.

Besides being easy to read and navigate, the website must load quickly. A data hungry page that takes too much time to load is not going to attract a loyal, mobile user base.

Adoption Rate

What is driving the adoption rate of m-commerce?

Practically all top companies now have mobile apps for their customers that attract more users, make business much easier to do, and provide a better customer experience, all while saving the company money through better processes.

This includes:

* Taking mobile payments for goods and services

* Providing mobile banking services that facilitate deposits and transfers

* Allowing the filing of insurance claims

Constant Change

It’s becoming evident that technology has taken over and is necessary for any business to flourish. In this world, the only constant is change. Just when you think you’ve a full grasp on the internet and all things technology, along comes a paradigm shift that moves the game from the home or office. Whether it’s e-commerce through the internet or m-commerce through the entire global communication network, change will always be inevitable and Welter Consulting is here to help! To learn more about mobile technology for nonprofits check out our free webinar this summer on Mobility and Virtual Office Possibilities for Nonprofits. For a complete listing of our nonprofit training and events click here. At Welter Consulting we are committed to finding you the most affordable technology, the most powerful solution, and providing expert support. We are dedicated to assist you in achieving your mission by leveraging technology and superior reporting. We are passionate professionals who choose to work in the nonprofit sector for the same reason you do – helping others.

Millennials: Ready, Willing, and Able to Serve on Your Board

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Here’s How to Recruit this Dynamic Generation to Service

Experts predict that within 10 years, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2002) will comprise 74% of the workforce. These young people are the first generation to grow up with computers, a world connected by the internet, and all the changes that have rocked both the for profit and nonprofit worlds. Smart, independent, and service-minded, they are also ready and able to serve on the Board – if you know where you look. Here’s how you can find and recruit top Millennial talent to your Board.

The Five Traits of Millennials

In order to know where to look for Millennials, you have to understand what makes them tick, or what motivates and inspires them. There are five notable attributes of the Millennial generation:

1. Multitaskers: Millennials are quite capable of juggling multiple responsibilities at once. Don’t assume that your Millennial volunteers can’t handle a full-time job and more volunteer work. They’re experts at multitasking and proud of their abilities in this area.

2. Connected: Millennials love social media and its ability to help them remain connected to family, friends, and interests. They’re heavy social media users and that makes them great at gathering tribes for a cause. That also means you can find them hanging out on their favorite social media sites!

3. Team-oriented: Millennials love to work on teams and are great at collaborating. They engage easily with others on a team.

4. Work-life balance: Millennials know the importance of work-life balance. They grew up often with both parents working and a full schedule of activities. They’ll work hard, but they’ll also work hard at their volunteer work too.

5. Honesty and transparency: Millennials need to feel like you are being open and honest with them. They need to feel listened to and valued.

Recruiting Millennials to the Board

Recruiting Millennials to your Board starts with their volunteer work at your organization. Examining the five characteristics above, it becomes clear that Millennials are interested in volunteer work and will prioritize their work-life balance around things they’re passionate about. Millennials are volunteering for causes they promote and like to be part of a team working towards the common good.

Look around your nonprofit for Millennials who may be volunteers now. These are the people who your organization has helped or who know the organization well. Even though they seem busy, don’t be afraid to ask them about their interest in a Board position. Remember, Millennials are also multi-taskers.

Some ideas for recruiting Millennials to your board include:

* Find Board members from within your organization. They may be hiding in plain sight!

* Promote a Board “meet and greet” on social media where Millennials gather for information.

* Identify or create pathways for Millennials to grow throughout the ranks of volunteers so that they acquire a good combination of skills and experience to serve on the Board.

* Consider bringing a group of Millennials in together so that one single person doesn’t feel like an outsider.

Millennials are a hard-working and responsible generation. They may not work in exactly the same style as the previous Generation X or Baby Boomers did, but they bring an enormous amount of talent and experience into any organization. Learning to work with them is a skill that will serve your nonprofit in good stead. Learning how to recruit them to your Board will help your nonprofit grow and prosper.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you improve and streamline your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.

Improve Communications with the Right Accounting Software

By | Abila, Accounting, Fundraising, MIP Fund Accounting | No Comments

The right accounting software for your practice can help you improve communications among teams. Although it sometimes feels as if fundraising and accounting departments at nonprofit organizations are on opposite sides of the fence, software can be your bridge to connect them both so that they’re on equal footing. When both find they are getting what they need, relations between the two groups improve and productivity soars.

What Causes Miscommunications?

In every relationship, there’s a chance of miscommunications. But between finance and fundraising there tends to be many miscommunications. Some of this stems from not understand what each party does in the organization at large. There are some things that each group would like you to know about their work.

Fundraising wishes that finance could…

* Respect how challenging fundraising can be.

* Understand that to make money for the organization, you must spend money.

* Trust the process of donor relationships to come to fruition and provide funds for the organization

* Be more flexible with deadlines, requirements, and requests.

* Appreciate the effort that goes into fundraising.

And finance wishes that the fundraising team could…

* Respect that their job is complex and demanding, often dictated by legal requirements that have no flexibility.

* Seek their expertise and help in accounting and finance matters.

* Provide information proactively so that finance can do its job easily.

* Learn basic accounting practices so that we “speak the same language.”

* Respect and adhere to deadlines.

It’s easier to come to consensus when mutual respect underscores the relationship. Knowing what the other party needs, why they need it, and how your actions impact their work can go a long way towards creating mutual respect and clear communications.

Similar Challenges Face Fundraising and Finance

Although the fundraising and finance teams each perform different functions in an organization, they face similar challenges. Data helps both do their jobs better and provides a mutual starting point for much of their work.

With the right data, each team can work more effectively. Finance no longer has to chase down information from fundraising, and fundraising can access information without pestering finance. The two can also collaborate on many projects using shared data sources.

Yet both seem to experience similar challenges when it comes to data and information. Ways in which both departments can help each other overcome their shared challenges include:

* Collaborate on budgets and tracking.

* Improve reports and reconciliation of financial information.

* Jointly plan and set goals.

* Establish frequent, timely communications.

* Identify ideal processes and procedures.

* Integrate fundraising and accounting software.

Resolving the Challenges

The right software can help you resolve such challenges. Cloud-based systems make sharing data easier. Software such as MIP Fund Accounting and software for fundraising, grand management and other tasks provide a good starting point.

Fundraising and finance may often feel like competing teams, but they should be both rooting for the home team, or working towards their company’s overall goals. By understanding one another’s work, sharing data, and experiencing the benefits of shared data and systems, the two teams can work more effectively and help your nonprofit achieve its mission. Earn CPE credit and dive deeper into this topic by attending our free webinar, How to Bridge the Communication Gap between Fundraising and Fund Accounting. You can also take a look at the complete listing of upcoming training and webinars, including the free Nonprofit Enrichment Series.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you improve and grow your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.

Apps that Make Accounting Easier

By | Accounting, Data | No Comments

While you’ve probably downloaded plenty of apps for your personal smartphone, there’s a wealth of apps for accountants and accounting support staff that can make everyone more productive. These include apps for communications, file sharing, and note taking that enhance all areas of your practice.

Charlie: Prepare for Client Meetings

Preparation before an important client meeting helps you learn more about who you’ll meet with and how you can build rapport. Knowing that your client likes golf, you can schedule a golf outing, or at least have some news from the world of sports as an icebreaker for the meeting.

Charlie, a free app, does this homework for you. Charlie scours the web to find out more about people you’re meeting with and prepare a report with publicly available information. It can tell you which mutual friends you have in common and items of interest that make it easier to begin conversations with new clients. Charlie is currently available for iOS only.

Skype Your Next Meeting

Perhaps you’re traveling and need to meet with your team to brief them on the results of an important client meeting. Or your assistant needs to work with a freelancer on the design of a new brochure for your accounting office. Skype is the app of choice for many people. It features video, audio, and text-only messages, allowing you to choose the level of contact you wish for your meeting. Calling within the Skype network (a “Skype to Skype call”) is free no matter where the two parties reside; there are charges for calling from Skype to a landline. The charges vary according to location. Skype can be used on any smartphone, tablet or computer. It is free to download and use.

Sweeten Your Cloud Storage with SugarSync

SugarSync brings cloud computing to a new level. This app backs up all of your files so that you can access them remotely. Unlike DropBox and other file-storage or cloud-based sharing sites, you don’t have to upload the files; SugarSync does it for you. And it keeps them in the same configuration you had them on your main device. SugarSync is available for Android and Apple devices.

Noteworthy: Notability

If you or other members of your team take a lot of notes during meetings, Notability may be an appealing tool. This app lets you scribble notes on your smartphone as if you were using a pen, and you can also type notes into Notability. Use it to take notes during meetings, calls, or simply while working on accounts. It’s a great tool for everyone in your accounting office.

Notability may be downloaded for Apple devices from Ginger Labs.

Explore Other Apps

Don’t forget to explore other apps for your accounting practice. If you’re on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, there are convenient apps you can download to your smartphone that enable you to check and respond to messages, post images and content, and update your account. Many clients use social media to communicate with their accountants and it is helpful to be able to respond quickly via this channel if someone communicates with you.

Calculator apps are plentiful, but these newer apps can help accountants be ever more productive than ever before. Notetaking, cloud storage, communications and meeting preparation apps can help you become more efficient and benefit your accounting practice.

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. Check out our complete listing of free webinars on nonprofit technology. We offer software and services that can help you improve and grow your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.