Affordable Accounting Tips for Nonprofits

Ashley Sparks

Affordable accounting. Nonprofit finance committees and leadership teams continue to battle this issue. For small to mid-sized nonprofits, each full-time equivalent job description might as well say: jack-of-all trades, master of all.  The responsibility of the board and finance committee members to oversee accounting functions with proper controls constantly battles against the nonprofit teams’ limited budget and resources. Executive Directors and Presidents find themselves taking eight full-time equivalent job positions and dividing the responsibilities among three overworked, underpaid, in need of chardonnay employees. This is the cause for job titles such as “receptionist/bookkeeper/major gift officer” or “development director/accountant/human resources.” I am more likely to find a unicorn on my morning walk across the Stone Arch Bridge than you are to find the master of all business office functions.

Here are three tips to help gain efficiencies and put more money towards your mission:

  1. Out with the old, in with the new. Typically, to change anything in any organization is terrifying. But to suggest upgrading to a different accounting software? Yikes! This sort of change can be time consuming and a significant cost for the software and additional training. We have found QuickBooks Online to be a great option. Benefits such as connecting bank accounts for automatic download,  no data to manage, and never a cost to upgrade makes this option both efficient and cost effective.
  2. Additional applications are not just for an iPhone. Over the past few years, we have seen many applications that sync with a variety of accounting software including QuickBooks Online, Sage, and Netsuite. has been impressive as this automates bill pay, invoicing, and receiving payments. A bonus function our auditors support is the integrated approval tool.
  3. Outsourcing is an option. The list of myths of outsource accounting is vast and well known. Many clients we work with have chosen this option because it allows for flexibility, a variety of resources at your disposal and timely and reliable information. I may be biased; our business advisory services team is a group of unicorns.

The idea of change is scary, we know that. Our team offers QuickBooks implementation, building efficient business office practices and outsourced rock stars at any level.  Contact Ashley Lee, CPA at for additional information.



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