Accounting Software

Top 3 Challenges Faced by Nonprofit CFOs

By | Accounting, Accounting Software, Nonprofit | No Comments
woman standing at desk looking down at laptop computer

Nonprofit CFOs face many challenges, but the following three may not be ones that immediately come to mind. We often assume that our own challenges are unique—that no one else suffers from spreadsheet overuse, for example—or other organizations are more efficient than we are. But we can tell you from experience that nonprofit CFOs all face similar challenges. And the solutions to these challenges are similar, too.

Challenge 1: Over Reliance on Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are everywhere. They are easy to use and come with most office productivity suites. Most accounting and financial professionals know how to use them and are very comfortable with them. They enable nonprofits to get their accounting up and running quickly. We’re not knocking spreadsheets, but if your organization is past the startup phase, it’s time to think beyond spreadsheets and look for a more robust accounting solution.

They are myriad problems with using spreadsheets for complex accounting functions. Problems include:

  • Unless cloud hosted, spreadsheets are single user, meaning that only one person at a time can work with a spreadsheet. They must be emailed after updates.
  • Working with complex financial analysis across multiple spreadsheets can be extremely time-consuming and difficult.
  • Formulas are notoriously finicky—one mistaken input and suddenly the whole sheet is off. Worse, mistakes multiply if copied and pasted, making it very hard to find and fix them.
  • They aren’t secure. You can password protect a spreadsheet in some programs, but they can be shared and accessed easily. A compromised password can make them accessible. A computer virus can make them completely inaccessible. They are very risky.

Solution: Transition Your Team to an Accounting Program

It is vital to transition your team away from spreadsheets as soon as possible. Cloud accounting software made specifically for nonprofit organizations provides the structure and resources needed to handle the complex needs of nonprofit finances.

Sage Intacct is an excellent cloud-based accounting program for nonprofits. It offers a cloud-based solution that requires no special hardware to run. The chart of accounts can handle the often-complex reporting needs of nonprofits, and it includes multiple nonprofit-specific accounting functions, such as grant management, FASB accounting accommodations, and more.

Challenge 2: Reports Take Too Long to Produce

Another challenge many nonprofit CFOs face is producing accurate and timely reports. This challenge often goes together with reliance on spreadsheets which produce only limited reports.

Accurate and timely financial reports enable nonprofit managers to make smart decisions about using organizational resources. Without insight into the finances, managers lack an important piece of information.

The solution is to find a good nonprofit accounting program that enables on demand reports. Flexible, customized reporting would be ideal, since managers can then run the reports they need. Automating your accounting will shift the burden of producing reports from the CFO and enable more self-service reporting.

Challenge 3: Billing mistakes.

Nonprofits using spreadsheets often fail to account for their employees’ time properly. They may under- or over-count billable hours, miss expense reports, and generally struggle to adequately track billable time and projects. This can result in a significant shortfall over time and a huge, missed opportunity.

Using Sage Intacct and/or a time tracking software can help you more accurately track such expenses. And, by aligning staff time with specific programs, you can judge how effective specific programs are and whether such time is being used wisely.

Financial Software for Nonprofits

Although spreadsheets can adequately handle basic accounting, they quickly become inefficient as a nonprofit grows. The recent trend towards cloud accounting software has added additional value to software licenses, making them more affordable than ever. If the challenges outlined in this article resonate with you, we invite you to explore Sage Intacct or other cloud accounting solutions through Welter Consulting.

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.

Nonprofits Benefit by Automating Accounts Payable

By | Accounting, Accounting Software, Nonprofit | No Comments

The typical nonprofit accounts payable person spends their day processing invoices, reconciling them to the accounts, and ensuring the bills are paid on time. Manual processes are cumbersome and inefficient.

Areas of inefficiency include:

  1. Paper-intensive data entry process that relies on bills sent via the U.S. mail or electronically retrieved and printed.
  2. Manual data entry of bills into an accounting or spreadsheet program.
  3. Hand-writing checks, signing them, and placing them in an envelope to mail.
  4. Routing physical checks and invoice paperwork to managers for approval.
  5. Reconciling banking statements with accounting programs or spreadsheets.

Each of the five areas of inefficiency can be improved with software that streamlines and automates accounts payable. Such software also closes security gaps that may have occurred due to the pandemic when internal controls were lax given the uncertainty around in-person work. So, if another event occurs that forces the AP person to telecommute, they can still process invoices in a timely manner with a cloud-based system, that runs over the internet, and that can be accessed remotely,

Five Benefits of Automating Accounts Payable

There are many benefits nonprofits receive from automating accounts payable, but the following five are perhaps the most important.

  1. Improved Security

During the pandemic, when much uncertainty remained about who would be in the office on any given day, internal controls at many nonprofits were relaxed. Additionally, nonprofits who did not have cloud systems in place found themselves adding solutions to enable workers to telecommute.

Unfortunately, lax security both with internal controls and digital materials enabled criminals to take advantage of the situation. Nonprofits are always at a high risk of cybercrime since they generally lack a dedicated IT infrastructure to prevent or remediate against attacks.

An automated accounts payable system improves security in many ways. It eliminates time-consuming paper routing of approvals, automating invoice and payment approvals through email which cuts down on delay and potential fraud. It also helps secure the AP system itself against cyberattacks through the added security provided by cloud-based servers and software.

Paper checks can be mostly eliminated, making automatic bank transfer payments and e-checks a simpler, faster solution. These payment methods are also highly secure, ensuring that potential criminals cannot forge signatures on paper checks, for example, to steal funds.

  • Enhances forecasting accuracy

Manual AP processing makes forecasting extremely challenging since cash flow and recorded bank balances may not be entirely up to date. With automated AP processing, the balance shown in the system is accurate, and improves the ability to forecast cash flow, receivables, and payables. It takes some of the uncertainty out of forecasting, which is a huge help during these continuing uncertain times.

  • Transparency into the organization’s finances

With automated AP processing, anyone at your organization logging into the system can view the current state of their budget and payables. This adds a layer of transparency and accountability into the budgeting and payment system that may be more challenging to reach with manual AP processing.

  • Access to accurate data

Organizations that can access and use their financial data can make better decisions around budgeting and expenditures. With manual processes, this information can be difficult to access and utilize. With automated AP systems, reports can be generated quickly to help you utilize the valuable data found in the system.

  •  Easier audit process

The annual audit process is time-consuming enough. Manual accounting practices extend the timeline. Automating AP means faster access to information the auditing team needs, as well as easier access for them if they are auditing remotely (a new trend that arose during the pandemic).

Sage Intacct Automates AP Easily

To automate AP, you need the right software. Sage Intacct easily automates AP and other workflows with no IT support required. It makes working remotely easier, offers excellent security, and improves efficiency throughout the AP process.

With Sage Intaact, your organization can:

  • Add a robust cloud solution to automate AP without costly hardware or infrastructure support
  • Handle complicated fund accounting and grant management easily
  • Segregate, budget, and report on restricted grant funds
  • Comply with strict new audit processes
  • Automate workflows
  • Connect Sage Intacct to other systems to extend and enhance systems and share data

Watch a video demonstration or schedule a demo and consultation with Welter Consulting today. Visit Welter’s Sage Intacct information center for details.

With the right software, AP automation can bring your organization to a whole new level of efficiency. It’s faster, and software such as Sage Intaact makes the process of adding and using the system easier.

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.

A New Approach to Accounting Collaboration

By | Accounting, Accounting Software, Nonprofit | No Comments

It seems like the world changed in the blink of an eye. Things we took for granted, like working on-site at a client’s office to conduct an audit, had to be changed. New ways of collaboration were discovered, tested, and refined. Today’s approach to accounting collaboration has changed dramatically.

If your firm still handles client relations as it did five or even three years ago, it’s time to get up to speed on new methods of accounting collaboration. Collaborating with clients and colleagues has moved to new methods, technologies, and resources, and each has its pros and cons. Together, however, they are forming a new way of working together that is meeting with approval from both accountants and their clients.

New Ways of Collecting and Sharing Information

In previous years, clients often dropped off USB memory sticks at their accountant’s office or envelopes full of documents.

Today, new ways of collecting and sharing information have made virtual collaboration easier. For example, many accounting firms are now using secure file transfer protocols to enable clients to upload data directly to their systems.

But what about large data files? Yet another change that’s occurred throughout the accounting world is the need to handle larger data files. Instead of a single general ledger file, organizations and companies may have large, complex data files requiring secure transfers.

This is the time when accounting firms should invest in new, secure technology to facilitate easier data uploads. Ensuring that your clients can collect and share information securely and quickly is essential to fostering good collaboration.

Audits Go Virtual

Another change happening in the accounting world is the shift to virtual audits. Instead of relying upon in-person audits, many accounting firms are now collaborating with their clients through virtual audits.

The success of a virtual audit depends on how easily and transparently information can be shared between accountants and clients. Ensuring that clients can share information securely is essential. Some cloud-based accounting and finance systems offer the ability to share information directly with third-party systems or users. Auditors can be added to a system or, depending on the technology, information may be obtained directly from the organization’s accounting program.

Reliance on Videoconferencing

Collaboration between accounting firms and clients has also changed in the area of meetings. Annual, quarterly, and monthly meetings have mostly shifted to videconferences. This shift makes meetings more convenient but can add complexity when juggling multiple calendars and schedules to find suitable meeting times. Technological hurdles, such as unstable internet signals, can also make videoconferences less effective than in-person meetings.

To make videoconferencing more collaborative, consider using two tools in one, such as a video conference tool with chat function integrated into the software. This enables users to ask spontaneous questions as they would during an in-person meeting without disrupting the flow of conversation.

Two other ways to make videoconferencing more collaborative is using a recording function, which keeps a record of the call that can be shared for future reference or with participants who were unable to attend in person. A transcript can be made from the recording too, either by working with a transcription service through popular tools such as Fiverr or utilizing transcription software such as

No matter where you turn, the shift towards virtual work is in full swing. Some feel it is long overdue, while others believe that the spontaneity and comradery of working in person is lost. To enhance collaboration with their clients, accountants must use all the resources at their disposal.

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.

Automation That Makes Your Life Easier—Excel Tips and Automated Meeting Notes

By | Accounting Software, Microsoft Office | No Comments

Whether you have a love-hate relationship with technology or are a fan of all things gadgets and geeky, we guarantee you’ll appreciate these ideas to make your workdays easier. From automated meeting tasks to Excel tips to recover unsaved files, these time-saving tips are sure to make your workday easier and more productive.

Automated Meeting Tools Help You Focus

Video conferencing has become the new normal, both in part to the pandemic and to the prevalence of the technology in the workplace. With almost all new computers issued with excellent webcams, it makes sense to meet via a video conference with many clients and coworkers.

But with video conferencing comes so-called “Zoom fatigue” (or GoToMeeting, WebEx, or whatever video conferencing technology you’re using). It’s exhausting to stare at a screen for hours on end, focusing on participants’ information and taking copious notes. Task switching, such as stopping to take notes during a meeting, results in lost attention and focus. According to Psychology Today, the average person can lose up to 40% of their productivity from rapid task switching.

The solution? Automated meeting tools take some of the pressure off you to take copious notes during calls. These tools can:

  • Sync with Google and Outlook to automatically record meetings on your calendar
  • Transcribe the dialogue from a meeting
  • Assign a speaker to the dialogue (with your help to identify the names of the speakers at the start of the call).
  • Highlight, edit, and add images to transcripts, such as charts and graphs
  • Share the output as Word documents or PDFs

Call transcripts enable you to focus on the speaker rather than on taking down what’s being said. It’s a game-changer for busy professionals who conduct many videoconferences each week.

A few technology solutions for meetings we invite you to explore include:

  • Rev
  • Sonix

Note that some offer a free trial or free basic service while others are paid plans., for example, allows a certain number of minutes of recorded meeting transcription per month, then prompts you to bump up to the paid plan.

Excel Tips to Recover Unsaved Files

Oh no, it’s happened again! You’ve been working on the end-of-quarter budget when bam—the power blinks out. It’s just for a moment, but long enough to reboot your computer. When you log back into Excel, the file you’ve worked on for the past hour seems to be gone.

Autosave, a feature in many Microsoft programs (including Excel), can be a lifesaver for those times when computers act up or power goes out. You’ll need to toggle it to “on” within the particular program you are using—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or others.

But what if you accidentally closed the Excel file before ever hitting “save”? Here’s how to recover the file:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel.
  2. Click the File tab on the task ribbon at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Recent.
  4. Scroll to the end of the list. Click on Recover Unsaved Workbooks.
  5. The Open window appears. Click Open. You will see the file contents.
  6. Click on Save, name your file, and save it to the desired destination.

Another common scenario is closing a file before saving the last changes you made to it. The file may already be saved to your computer, but the last changes weren’t saved.

You can recover those changes by following these steps:

  1. Open Excel.
  2. A Document Recovery pane should appear. Within that pane should be the name of the document you were working on with unsaved changes.
  3. Choose the file you wish to recover.
  4. Open the file. Check to make sure the changes are on the document.
  5. If the changes you made are there, click Save.

Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and finish that report.

The Right Software Makes a Big Difference

The right software can make a big difference to your productivity. 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.