How new accounting software can help non-profits brave the difficult year ahead

It’s no secret that the world is headed for a difficult economic year. From rising inflation to the global energy crisis, businesses in almost every sector are bound to face mounting financial challenges.

However, non-profits could feel the squeeze even more intensely than others, especially if they rely on donations from the public to partially fund their work.

Individuals may be less likely to support charitable organizations when they themselves are struggling to put food on the table, which will rob many non-profits of the cash they need to help the most vulnerable in society. This means that many charitable companies will be facing increased costs alongside decreased revenue, putting them in a precarious position.

While there’s no easy solution to the problems that lie ahead, charities can benefit from upgrading their accounting solutions. Regardless of whether your non-profit currently uses an outdated form of accounting software or is even still relying on spreadsheets, cloud-based accounting software for nonprofit organizations could make all the difference to your daily operations.

Five problems cloud-based software can solve

Unsure whether cloud-based software is right for you? Here are five issues it could solve.

1) Rising server costs

If you’re currently storing your accounting data on a company server, you may have already realized that it won’t last forever. Servers need to be maintained and replaced as technology changes, otherwise, you run the risk of losing all the information you have stored there. However, changing your server can be expensive and may negatively impact your non-profit’s cash flow, especially if you’re already struggling with increased utilities.

Cloud accounting software removes the need for a server, as all your data will be stored securely online. You’ll pay a small subscription fee each month for access, making it much easier to manage your money and anticipate costs.

2) Expensive software updates

Technology is constantly moving and growing, which means the software solution you invested in a decade ago probably isn’t working as efficiently as it once was. However, installing updates costs money, especially if there’s a brand-new version of the system that you’re currently using. Eventually, you will have no choice but to upgrade your system, as it will be too slow and incompatible with your computer’s operating system.

Cloud-based accounting software is updated constantly at no extra cost to you. Because you’re already paying a subscription fee, you’ll always have access to the latest version available. Updates for desktop software can mount up to thousands of dollars over the years, but cloud solutions can be much more affordable as they spread costs in much more manageable increments.

3) Lack of a backup plan

It’s all too common for businesses to operate without backing up their data. If your accounting software is located on a single computer’s hard drive or an internal server, an IT failure, natural disaster, or theft could easily result in the loss of all your data. Backing up data onto an external hard drive poses similar issues, with the added problem of having to remember to back up your information regularly.

Storing your data in the cloud means that it will always be safe no matter what happens to your equipment or business premises. What’s more, data is saved automatically as soon as you make changes to your system. You’ll also benefit from state-of-the-art security features and encryption, which will protect your information from hackers. Data is no more at risk online than if it’s stored on your computer, as cybercriminals can access your desktop very easily. The cloud is actually much harder to hack into as long as you keep your passwords and security details safe.

4) Software that can’t be accessed by remote workers

Many businesses made the move to remote working during the pandemic, with a large number of them maintaining some degree of flexibility even now as the world goes back to normal. Having a remote office can be especially beneficial if businesses are struggling with costs, as letting staff work from home will decrease overheads.

If your non-profit allows staff to work from home or has a hybrid working model, you may need accounting software that can easily be accessed by employees that are outside the office.

Cloud accounting software can be used from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. But not only will staff be able to access historic data, they’ll also be able to see real-time updates as their co-workers make changes. As a result, everyone will always be up to speed and have the information they need.

5) Incompatible software

Some accounting software packages aren’t optimized for the needs of non-profit organizations. This might become apparent when your system struggles to process partial sales tax calculations and requires employees or volunteers to manually adjust the numbers.

Similarly, many non-profits need their accounting solutions to work seamlessly side-by-side with membership and funding software. If these systems can’t be integrated, it may put a significant strain on your workforce as they will have many more administrative tasks to complete. As a result, you’ll be paying more employees who may have to work longer hours, increasing your expenses.

There’s no guarantee that your cloud-based solution will provide the features you need, which is why you need to research your options carefully. However, there’s a much better chance that your cloud-based software will work seamlessly with the rest of your technology, especially if the other software packages you’re using are also in the cloud.

Cloud accounting software is the future

Ultimately, cloud accounting software will help non-profits to move much more confidently into a turbulent future. It can help them to save money, provide them with more security and stability, and adapt to changes in the way they work.

While holding onto an old, familiar accounting solution might seem like the safest option when the world is changing, this will only hinder growth and may even cause bigger problems such as increased admin, unexpected costs, and data loss.

New cloud-based accounting software makes the transition from an old system as smooth as possible, with many services offering step-by-step instructions on how to import all your old data quickly. Therefore, there’s no reason for non-profits to hold off any longer – it’s time to embrace change.