If you’ve ever owned a television or had access to the internet, you’ll know that there are all kinds of news organizations out there. Politically based and politically biased, religious, hard and soft--news attracts them all. News stations and sites range from the good to the incredibly terrible, offering everything from hot takes to real facts to breaking stories and in-depth reporting. Enter nonprofit news organizations which, until recently, lacked visibility.
Nonprofits often struggle with matters of money because they’re not always particularly concerned with it, so long as an organization’s basic needs are being met. They’re particularly susceptible to misinformation about money management, and this is especially pronounced when a non-accountant is performing accounting duties within an organization. Even a nonprofit board can get caught up in fallacies like that of sunk costs because nonprofit income can vary greatly and resources are often scarce.
While technology has infinitely decreased the amount of time and storage required for accounting, it brings with it its own set of challenges, including security, an endless amount of tools to choose from, and the ability of many to access what only a few people might need to see. Today’s accountants must filter through infinite technology choices, often with little to go on. If you’re performing accounting duties for your nonprofit organization, these risks can feel especially daunting, particularly when you’re not an expert accountant or when you’ve got too many responsibilities.
Accounting gets a bad wrap, especially with the influx of “accountants behaving badly” in the news. But, overall, it is a pretty uneventful field, at least in the criminal sense. Accountants perform valuable functions for their own companies and companies that choose to outsource these duties. Like everyone else, accountants are interesting people with complex lives and passions. Perhaps this is especially true of nonprofit accountants, who tend to have a different approach.
While you may choose to handle accounting with an outside organization, there are a number of accounting functions that require some level of in-house expertise. Like most things, these take time, which you’re probably short on. Ideally, administrative and accounting tasks will not take over the more important work of the nonprofit, which is in service of the mission. To save time on accounting tasks, there are some great ways to streamline things.