Back to Blog

VISIBILITY DOESN’T CURE BLINDNESS

It seems as if every day we are hearing the buzz word “visibility” more and more when it comes to financial management and analytical software.  And well we should as one of the key benefits of modern financial management solutions such as Intacct is the visibility they can provide to the finance team, the organization’s management team, and other key stakeholders. Visibility to how an organization’s grants and programs are doing, and how your nonprofit is moving towards accomplishing its mission.

 

We need to get past the marketing hype and buzz words to really understand the importance of visibility and cure the blindness that often exists to how your organization is really doing.   Visibility is not just about improving the timeliness of your monthly financial statements.  While important, static reports of last month’s numbers and year-to-date is simply a snapshot of a moment in time for revenue and expense dollars; it is not true visibility.  Visibility is real-time dollars and key business metrics side-by-side presented over a relevant timeline.  Only that way does an organization have true visibility to the reality of how it is doing, what’s getting better, and what’s getting worse.

 

Most organizations are taking care of getting some kind of financials out each month or quarter.  They may not be as timely as they should be, which is another problem altogether since their relevance diminishes every day past the end of the month.  But raw dollars alone do not tell the “story” of how your nonprofit is doing since there is no context to the numbers.  Context is only provided by the key metrics relevant to your organization and vertical.  Those metrics might be a number of clients or members, meals served, beds occupied, daily cost rates, the list is endless.  The metrics need to be visible so you can understand the trends that are happening within your organization and make strategic decisions accordingly.

 

Visibility is vital. Visibility that is both dollars and metrics presented in a format that resonates with the reader.  If you don’t have visibility at this level, you’re still flying blind.

 

By Jacqueline Tiso, CEO & Founder of JMT Consulting, a national consulting firm serving the needs of non-profit organizations in the United States.

Related Posts:
The True Costs of Nonprofit Budgeting with Excel
February 23, 2018
The True Costs of Nonprofit Budgeting with Excel

Excel is the go-to reporting and budgeting tool for countless finance teams, including financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals. In fact, there are more than one billion users worldwide—that’s about one in seven people! Excel is comfortable and familiar, but for growing nonprofits, it can be a real drag on your budgeting processes and productivity….

Top 5 Myths about Fund Accounting in the Cloud
January 15, 2018
Top 5 Myths about Fund Accounting in the Cloud

In the mission-driven nonprofit world, fund accounting software can sometimes slip down the priority list. It’s not always easy to allocate budget dollars to back-office infrastructure that doesn’t directly support the nonprofit agenda and harder to find the time and expertise to make it all work. Some of the obstacles include: Capital investment for software…

7 Steps to Nonprofit Risk Management
May 21, 2018
7 Steps to Nonprofit Risk Management

Nonprofits face risk on all sides. In a March 2016 report, Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners list some of the difficult conditions under which nonprofits must operate. Among these are: Tackling society’s hardest problems Limited funding Increasing costs for services Recruiting and retention Ever-changing operating environment These experts conclude, “It is no surprise that…

Reap the Benefits of Your Hard Work: Practical Strategies for Using Impact Data
June 29, 2018
Reap the Benefits of Your Hard Work: Practical Strategies for Using Impact Data

Can you imagine spending months tending to your garden, only to let the vegetables you’ve been growing rot before anyone can enjoy them? Hardly. Yet when it comes to data collection and use, many organizations do just that. They toil away setting up plans to deliver services and track results. They pour sweat and tears…

 Back to Blog