Churches and Nonprofits: Making the S.M.A.R.T. Move to Cloud Accounting

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Smart loud Accounting for ChurchesAs a finance manager or administrator, you may have heard a lot of news about organizations are saving money by moving to the cloud. You may have even heard from us how beneficial cloud computing can be for your business. Moving to the cloud can save time, money, and headaches. However, we want to help you make a successful move to cloud computing that will allow you to justify this move and the related return on investment.

As a manager, you may have heard of the S.M.A.R.T. acronym, standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Made popular by George T. Doran, you should expect those goals from both your management team and your cloud provider.

Specific – target a specific area for improvement.

This goal is a great starting point for your cloud move. Your team knows what needs improvement and there is a specific option to meet these goals. Collaborate with your team to determine the needs of the organization and see what they would like to see out of a move.

  • Example: Your accounting department spent the last week of the month closing books and is seeing decreases in morale because they are spending too much time with processes that can be automated.
  • Example: You would like to gain deeper understanding of fundraising goals and their impact on your finances.

This is a specific department goal that you can put to action. Accounting, Storage, and Customer Relationship Management are all common goals that organizations easily and regularly move to the cloud.

Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.

The most common reason that companies move to the cloud is the monetary savings. Properly moving to the cloud will provide you measureable improvements in return on investment. For instance, the following are real life examples of measurable results from a move to the cloud:

  • Faith Promise Church reduces reporting and data entry time from 40% to 5%, saving over $50,000 each year and minimizing strain on IT department.
  • Great Books Foundation cut invoice days outstanding by 38% and through improved visibility reduced inventory by 33%.
  • Potential Church cut time spent reporting each month in half, accounts payable processing 33%, and saved $80,000 annually from reduced staffing needs.

Measuring your move to the cloud—reduced staffing, improved ROI, even the beauty of straightforward subscription pricing—all help business owners recognize progress.

Assignable – specify who will do it.

In a move to the cloud, it is important to choose a partner that will provide assistance and support in both implementation and throughout your product lifecycle. There are three main players in the cloud accounting market—direct from the seller, through an accountant, or through a value-added reseller.

Choosing a value added reseller means that you will always stay in contact with one single touch point throughout the implementation, and will receive a more personalized training and support plan built for your business. Value-added resellers know the technical aspects and the special needs of certain verticals, allowing better understanding and customization to meet the needs of businesses.

For example, you run a church or nonprofit organization. Wouldn’t it be best to work with an organization that has helped similar organizations?

Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.

Meeting expectations with realistic resources is one of the hardest parts of managing a church or nonprofit. Budgets are small and time is short, and you need to make a decision that fulfills both of those options.

  • What if—for a similarly priced option your current software—you could reduce the time spent reporting at the end of the month?
  • What if you could reduce your reliance on IT?
  • What if you had a surprise free subscription price?

When you can save real time and money, you can give back more to the people you chose to help.

Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Maybe you’re already in the market for financial management software. Maybe one of the biggest problems you face is the three to six month implementation process that comes with on-premises or hosted solutions.

With cloud accounting, specifically cloud accounting through Intacct, you can implement new software quickly and efficiently, with many implementations accomplished in six to eighteen weeks.

Timeliness is important to you, so it is important to us. At Altruas, we have helped churches and nonprofits implement software, get training, and start realizing the return on investment that comes with cloud accounting through Intacct. We welcome you to learn more by reading through the following resources:

When you are ready to make the move, contact us to realize the true value in cloud accounting for churches and nonprofits.