Charity and not-for-profit organisations come under heavy scrutiny from governing bodies, due to the very nature of their business. As they rely heavily on public donations and volunteers, disclosure requirements and government regulation demand that they are ‘accountable and transparent’ – providing in depth detail into how they are run and where the money is spent.
Financial reporting is a major aspect of this transparency with organisations having to provide detailed accounts to The Charity Commission each year, which is then added to the charity’s entry on the public online register.
At the same time, organisations have to deliver and convince the public that the organisation is running as smoothly as possible – the money is being spent wisely and not being bled dry by administrative costs.
Real time information and CRM
Most charities and not-for-profit organisations usually have a basic accounting solution, plus, maybe, a bolt-on donation/CRM system, or handle the donation and reporting elements via Excel. Larger organisations may also have an additional CRM system that will handle donations, gift aid, event management, fund management (restricted and unrestricted) and legacies etc.
The issue that many of these organisations suffer from is that these solutions are largely disparate and do not provide a complete, joined-up overview of the organisation’s data. Budget holders rarely have access to real time information, there is little dynamic analysis of income streams, data is generally re-entered several times and reporting is invariably manual, time-consuming and late.
Integrated accounting and business management
SAP Business One Charities is a bespoke solution that provides a fully integrated accounting and business management environment including accounts, banking, budgeting, customer relationship management, administration and reporting. The product is extremely easy to use and can be fully adapted and customised to the needs of the organisation to deliver a truly bespoke system that can streamline each and every process.
With fundraising essential to charities, SAP Business One has the ability to optimise income streams through better analysis, provide web integration and therefore provide in-depth analysis of the funds that have been raised and available to distribute. Data entered once, at source, will be available across the organisation immediately.
The accounting and management tools can then help deliver automated reporting and production of statutory reports, handle partial VAT, as well as provide visibility of spend against budget. This will hopefully reduce overheads through tighter procurement authorisation and pricing processes.