Being able to comply with FASB and funder guidelines for compliance reporting is a requirement for every nonprofit organization. To truly realize your nonprofit’s potential, you need the ability to plan, forecast, and deliver meaningful insight to the leaders of your organization.
In this post, I’ll discuss, reporting strategies and tools every Intacct user can leverage to maximize the management reporting and potential insights for their organization. I’ll also be presenting this material in my session at Sage Intacct’s upcoming Advantage conference, and you can view a catalogue of the event’s sessions here.
This post will outline the use of multiple budgets, review options for maintaining budget amounts and periods and examine options for including forecasts into management reports with Sage Intacct.
The Benefits of Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct provides robust, interactive reporting and the ability to create and maintain multiple “budget versions.” The software provides cloud-native, user-friendly software that’s fully integrated with the General Ledger system so you don’t need a separate budgeting tool. This allows nonprofits to make more informed decisions.
With Sage Intacct, you see reports and dashboards that highlight your performance with any combination of drivers and metrics you select. With their revolutionary general ledger system, users can users can access Sage Intacct’s dimension values—instead of old-fashioned account segments—to capture the business context of transactions, operational measures, and budgets. Intacct’s general ledger accounting software comes with 10 predefined dimensions, including projects, products, and employees. Easily add your own unique dimensions to track other business success factors.
The Creation of Multiple Budgets
Having multiple budget versions allows your nonprofit to conduct scenario-based budgeting. This gives you the ability to create and maintain “pessimistic”, “likely”, and “optimistic” forecasts for planning purposes.
While there are many reasons you might want to create multiple budgets, the three primary reasons are:
- To report on original and revised budget
- To enter a forecast
- To keep a grant/contract budget separate from the organization-wide budget
Dimensions Within Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct’s dimensions capability offers an effective means of tracking and reporting on financial and operational data while simplifying your chart of accounts. With this flexible financial foundation, you gain quick access to the insights that speed decision-making and help drive growth.
Dimensions are integrated into the user interface of Sage Intacct’s financial report writer, so it’s simple to view performance from any new angle you need. As you create reports, you can use drop-down lists to filter, group and organize your data by dimensions. If needed, you can go from a standard income statement to profitability by project — or revenue by geography with a few clicks of the mouse.
Determining the Level of Budget Reporting
To determine the level of budget reporting, start by deciding which Sage Intacct dimensions need to be used for budgeting. Next, make sure you have default codes for dimensions that you don’t need to budget to — but are requiring the GL code. For instance, if you are reporting budget to actual by Location or Project, make sure that your budget transactions include default values for those dimension codes.
Some clients want to generate budget to actual reports for Personal Expenses. In this case, you can enter budget transactions with the Employee code for specific General Ledgar (GL) codes that are payroll released. These GL codes are used to classify transactions, and they allow you distinguish different types of revenues and expenses. For example, a “GL Code” might refer to “Salaries Expense”.
Transactions get coded to this GL Code for which a budget is also established. This allows organizations to measure performance against that budget and identify whether or not you’re below budget on salaries for the period. Default codes are for the various dimensions set up under the GL Code. That is, they are there for use but not necessarily required.
Manual vs Import Budgeting
There are two ways to create a budget in Sage Intacct – Manual or Import. See the chart below for the differences.
There are five different column types for Budget Reports:
Budget — Shows budget entered for a given period
Budget variance (normalized) — Displays actual vs budget as a percentage
Budget difference (normalized) — Displays actual vs budget as a dollar amount
Budget Ratio — Displays ratio of actual to budget
Remaining budget — Calculates what is left in the budget
Comparing actuals to budget is useful for the current a prior period. By creating forecast budgets, you can model future performance by substituting one of your forecast budget versions for actual for future periods and forecast where you may end up relative to your actual budget at the end of the year.
Why does my Nonprofit need Sage Intacct?
Intacct allows nonprofits to increase visibility with flexible financial and business reporting while providing the ability to track performance based on multiple accounting standards. Multi-currency and multi-entity management are simple — allowing companies to grow without minimal resistance.
Users can also quickly adapt the general ledger system — without customization — to changing business requirements. Finally, users can greatly increase the efficiency of month-end by closing the sub-ledgers that are ready while leaving others open as needed.