How Can Charities Implement A Better Finance Function?

by | Jul 4, 2023 | Finance

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Are you fed up with jumbled-up bookkeeping for your finance?

Chasing outstanding and missing pieces of paperwork?

Managing endless spreadsheets with a lot of missing parts?

We get it.

That’s why we work with small and medium-sized charities supporting your finance function to ensure that you, as charity manager produce accurate information and reports for your board of Trustees in a timely manner.

Information and reports help you to make more informed decisions, plan for the future, and forecast with a clearer vision of your charity’s finances.

This strong financial function is not a nice to have but a must to ensure sustainability – key to the continuity and growth of your charity.

Your finance function

Your charity’s finance function involves all of the day-to-day financial happenings of the charity. From managing cash flow, using the data and information you have to advise on future investments, making recommendations to the board, managing, and monitoring donations, paying salaries, and more, your finance function is a huge and essential part of your daily role.

However, …

Not all finance functions are perfect.

We understand for many small charities, there is a lot of work to do, and for many, there are only a few team members, including yourself, to help you do it all.

We also know that there can be several areas that can stop you in creating a better finance function.

Areas such as:

  • Getting accurate financial information to your partners and Trustees in a timely manner.
  • Having a clear understanding of unrestricted and restricted funds.
  • Capacity within your team is already highly stretched.
  • Team members don’t have the right skills or sound financial knowledge.
  • Lack of a designated finance person or using non-finance team members to fill the gap, so everything takes longer.
  • Spending so much time on one task that you don’t have time for anything else.

So, how can you implement a better finance function and combat some of the problems we’ve mentioned above?

Solutions to implementing a better finance function

Choose the right software

Complex tasks are impossible without the right software. Software like QuickBooks to help you with invoicing, expenses, payroll, and more. QuickBooks allows you to set up certain workflow automations, freeing up more of your time and allowing you to focus on other areas of the charity.

Think about how much time digital invoicing could save you. Where with the right software in place and the right template set up for you, you can create and send invoices via email, receiving those all-important funds asap.

What’s more, you can also connect your accounting software with bank accounts so you can view and access information and data in real-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Using the right technology can help you increase engagement, leading to an increase in donations.

Work with apps, not against them

There is an app for EVERYTHING. And for managing finances and accounting, bolt-Ons and apps that work alongside your software can free up your processing time, provide you with fewer data errors, and make you much more efficient.

For example, expense management apps let you manage your daily bookkeeping and allowances. At the same time, budget apps allow you to set clear budgets for your charity, with alerts sent once you have reached these.

Upskill your team

Does your team have basic accounting and bookkeeping knowledge where you could provide an opportunity to upskill and retain high-quality talent?

It may also be beneficial to provide training and coaching to non-financial staff, providing you with an additional pair of hands and support during busy periods or when staff absences occur.

Work with dedicated professionals

Could you outsource part of your finance function, freeing up your time and resources and ensuring that data is correct first-time every time?

For example, could you outsource payroll? Management of Trustee Accounts and Reports? Even your QuickBooks management?

If you don’t have confidence in your financial skills and don’t have the time to produce detailed financial reports for forecasting and planning due to monotonous everyday tasks such as bookkeeping and payroll, using dedicated professionals like the team at Beyond Profit could be the perfect solution for you.

Helping to make your finance function more proactive rather than reactive and providing you with peace of mind that specific finance areas are carried out effectively and to a high standard.

What’s more, working with a professional team can provide you with more valuable insights, enabling you to plan, forecast, and budget more effectively.

Beyond Profit

At Beyond Profit we believe that complete transparency is key to achieving the best finance function for your charity.

This means having a clear understanding of all of the data and information presented to you and using this to drive your charity forward, develop sustainability within plans, and give more of your time to the areas that really matter.

With a wealth of digital software and apps now available, it’s important to find the ones that will benefit you. Software you can work with, that you know, understand, and that will make your life easier.

We’re here to help support you with all your accounting needs, from providing a complete outsourced finance solution to QuickBooks consultancy; book a discovery call with us today and see how we can help you.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where does your finance function sit in terms of how good it is?

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