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Accounting and Project Management: Two Unlikely Allies

By | Accounting, Grant Management, HR, Nonprofit, Uncategorized | No Comments

As an accounting professional, you know that you play an important role in your organization. Your team can help your organization achieve its goals more effectively by  working alongside project managers.

Project managers may be part of the marketing, creative services, information technology or any other department. Their job is to organize, guide, and as the name implies, manage a project from start to finish, ensuring that timelines, milestones, and budgets are met.

As you can imagine, accounting can best partner on the budget side of projects, however, accounting teams can help project managers with so much more. Here’s how the two can become unlikely but powerful allies to build organizational efficiency.

The Accounting Team Knows How It’s Done

Accounting teams have a special knack for understanding the workflow within an organization. Chalk it up to knowing where the money flows in and out, but the accounting team can be the organizational experts on who does what, when and how.

That information is essential for project managers struggling to align processes and people with project goals and milestones. The accounting staff understand the risks, controls, and other details that can help projects move smoothly through the organization. They know how work gets done internally and can guide project managers around any potential obstacles.

Project Management Methodology

Accountants who wish to add value to the project management team must, however, learn the language and methodology of successful project management.

Projects are mapped with a specific workflow in mind. There is a beginning,a middle (or milestones to reach), and a stated goal which marks the end.

The overall project map can be called a charter or project plan. Accountanting professionals, used to managing risk, can add value to the creation of a project plan or charter by objectively identifying potential risks from their unique perspective.  This can help the project managercorrect any faulty assumptions and keep projects on track.

Accounting Participates from the Start

Another helpful hint: Participate in project plans from the start. Don’t wait until the project is near completion and the project manager needs help finding additional funds in the budget to complete it. You can add the greatest value to a project by working alongside the project team from the start to advise on process and budgets.  Instead of coming in at the last minute, your guidance is essential near the project kickoff, in the middle when the project may need changes or additions, as well as with final budgeting.

Tips to Manage Project Risks

Accountants are risk managers. To add your greatest strength to the project management process, use these tips to help manage risks.

  • Help the project manager at the beginning of a project.
  • Stay involved with the project. Attend meetings of the project team and review any documents, emails or other materials promptly.
  • Ask questions like an auditor. Key stakeholders in project meetings can help identify the most important project milestones that deserve focus.
  • Be aware of workload dips and spikes, and accommodate the crunch periods with additional help.
  • Identify project scope creep, or when the work moves outside of the intended project. Gently guide it back into scope with the help of the project manager.

By asking the right questions and using your talents and strengths  in managing financial accounts, you can become a valuable ally and asset to the project management team in your organization.

Welter Consulting

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

Financial Transparency

By | Accounting, Audit, Budget, FASB, Grant Management, MIP Fund Accounting, Nonprofit, Uncategorized | No Comments

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions of “transparency” is “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices”.  Transparency in your financial statement means it should be user friendly, clear, easily understandable and everything should be properly disclosed.

Importance of transparent financial statements

  • Proactive transparency and communication are essential to organizational success. Stakeholder understanding and support  is a direct result of transparency and open communication.
  • A practice of continuous, transparent communication enables an organization to better respond to crises – such as physical disaster, fraud, or the sudden loss of a leader – and execute more robust crisis communication strategies.
  • Establishing a culture of transparency is critical for effective governance, constituent engagement, and responsive management.
  • Opening communication channels can help to establish meaningful and productive relationships with constituents. These relationships can have a significant impact on long-term performance.

Start with the Stakeholders

Know both internal stakeholders (board, committees, senior management, management team, staff, volunteer workers) and external stakeholders (customers, donors, funders, grantors, creditors, partners, government, public). It is imperative that you understand their needs and expectations. Information needs, communication methods, and information consumption patterns vary substantially from segment to segment. Meeting and exceeding the information needs for each of these groups is critical to delivering satisfaction. 

If that’s too overwhelming, start by identifying your top two to three stakeholders. Determine what they need/want and go from there.

Strategic messages with financial statements

Make the data you have today more understandable and relatable; enhance the story and improve disclosure. When we think about financial statements we think revenue inputs and expense outputs but we need to be thinking more about outcomes.

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

E-commerce Versus M-commerce

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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.

New Webinar Added to the Enrichment Series!

By | Accounting, Nonprofit, Nonprofit Enrichment Series, Uncategorized, Unclaimed Property, Webinar | No Comments

Unclaimed Property Requirements and Solutions

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
Click here to register

Ensuring compliance with unclaimed property state requirements and making the process less painful and cumbersome is key to this free webinar. Learn what constitutes “unclaimed property”, and the major changes to the Unclaimed Property Law that impacts all holders of unclaimed property. Receive an overview of the unclaimed property reporting process and some of the various techniques that auditors use to uncover unclaimed property. Understand the various types of property that may be claimed by the states as unclaimed property and learn various possible structuring techniques to reduce unclaimed property liabilities.