The inner workings of a not-for-profit organisation aren’t all that different to your typical, for-profit company. You’re still required to track money in and money out, you need to comply with various rules and regulations, and you’re beholden to a group of stakeholders.
So, with that in mind, the technology used to support the collection and analysis of financial and management information doesn’t have to be wildly different either. Which is why we recommend Xero as the first port of call for a charity looking to modernise and streamline their internal processes.
Here’s why we recommend Xero for charities:
Xero was created to simplify accounting, but its impressive suite of features extend beyond bookkeeping, payroll, and other key financial processes.
Once you introduce Xero to your charity, you’ll experience the following benefits:
1. Full Board Transparency
One of the core responsibilities of running a charity is to provide your board members with full transparency regarding fundraising, amounts raised, amounts spent, and operational expenses.
Xero makes this entire process a walk in the park. Simply add board members to the platform and allow them read-only access to the charity’s financial reports. And because they can access them anywhere, at any time, and on any device, you won’t have to hold nearly as many meetings to discuss current financial performance.
2. Standardised Reporting
Speaking of reports, it’s crucial that those created and used for the charity are clear and easy to understand. Once again, Xero rides to the rescue, allowing you to produce standardised reports in a format understood by all key stakeholders.
Given that charities often experience a higher than average staff turnover, and are reliant upon volunteers, it’s vital that duties can be picked up where someone else has left off. And a consistent reporting format will certainly smooth the way for that to happen.
3. Improved Record-keeping
No matter how much money you’re raising, or how many members of staff your charity has, you need to keep accurate and up-to-date records. As you will be well aware, there are certain thresholds that, once breached, will trigger a formal audit of your accounts. Although this threshold was raised to reduce the regulatory burden, it’s good practice to maintain your accounts in such a way that you do not fear external scrutiny.
Xero’s record-keeping capabilities allow you to operate in such a manner. You can raise invoices and purchase orders, attach receipts to expenses, and reconcile with your charity’s bank account, ensuring you have a tidy and real-time picture of your charity’s accounts at any given moment.
4. Track Multiple Projects
Most charities will undertake multiple fundraising activities throughout the year, with many of these events overlapping, or taking place simultaneously.
To make sure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your record keeping and cash flow management, you can delegate responsibility to the individuals running these events. They can submit receipts and track expenses using Xero’s smartphone app, keeping everything up-to-date and in one place.
5. Refocus Your Energy
Just as it’s true for those running for-profit companies, when you get bogged down in your charity’s financials, it can leave you feeling drained and unfocused. After all, you didn’t get involved in the charity sector to deal exclusively in admin.
Xero gives you the opportunity to crawl out from under a mountain of paperwork, bringing a semblance of calm and organisation to proceedings. You’ll feel re-energized knowing that you don’t need to manually enter each and every donation, send tax receipts, and monitor funds.
6. Strengthened Relationships
By collecting up-to-date financial data in Xero, you can strengthen relationships with existing donors, beneficiaries, board members, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.
How? Well, you’ll have the means of running accurate reports and accessing fresh information to communicate progress and inspire further action.
7. Better Standard of Advice
If you’re still making do with a somewhat unwieldy Excel spreadsheet, you might be wondering what
all the fuss is about when it comes to Xero and cloud accounting. But ask yourself, when was the last time you received advice from your accountant or FD based on the real-time financial position of the charity?
It’s close to impossible when working with spreadsheets, as they’re often weeks – or even months – out of date. Xero, on the other hand, gives your key advisors the chance to view current performance, and alert you to particular opportunities or threats in advance. And with a better quality of data comes a better standard of advice.
In short, Xero helps you spend more time delivering value to those who benefit from your charity’s activities, and less time dealing with financial admin.
Rediscover your passion for helping those you set out to help in the first place by embracing the cloud and all it has to offer.
Oh, and the best thing about Xero for not-for-profits?
You Get 25% Off When You Join Xero!
Once your not-for-profit status has been confirmed by Xero, you’ll receive 25% off the subscription cost.
So, if you’re ready to make the switch to Xero, we can help. As part of our Super 6 services, we can get your charity ready for the cloud, enhancing your overall approach to management, and improving your cash flow.
To find out more, speak with one of our friendly Xero experts. Contact us today