Call us at 888.368.2463    CONTACT US
 Back to Blog

Why Evaluating and Reconfiguring Your Financial Management Software is Critical

Why is everything so hard?

 

Things used to be great.  The data entry made sense.  The reports were all configured to give us exactly what we needed.  Month end processes were efficient, routine and predictable.   Now it seems like we’re doing more and more offline in Excel spreadsheets.  Coding is confusing.  Month end is painfully inefficient and reporting is time consuming compared to before.

What happened?

When you make a substantial investment of resources in a new financial management system, you have a justifiable expectation that the technology and tools will continue to provide benefits for years to come.  For some organizations that are on a relatively stable vector, this works out.  However, for many organizations, circumstances create a material shift in the assumptions underlying the design of the finance system.

There are a lot of things that can disrupt the effectiveness of your current system design:

  • Introduction of substantially more or different sources of funding
  • Substantial growth or contraction in operating revenues
  • Functional reorganization
  • Mergers with similar organizations
  • Introduction of substantially different programs or services
  • Key personnel turnover

Besides these factors, the march of time also introduces external pressures on the organization such as new regulatory requirements, technology shifts and new funder reporting expectations.

A common logical pitfall is to assume that the software in place is no longer the right fit for your organization’s requirements.  While this is sometimes true, most of the time it is not.  In order to realize the full potential of the tools at your disposal, it is essential to periodically reevaluate how you have deployed the system including:

  • Is the Chart of Accounts design optimized for your ideal operational and financial reporting structure?
  • Are you fully utilizing the applications and components that make up your current system?
  • Are there optional applications or 3rd party tools available that could materially improve your financial management effectiveness?
  • Is the finance system working well and seamlessly in the context of the entire back office application environment?
  • Is your team properly trained to take advantage of what you have?

JMT recommends that all organizations reevaluate their financial system at least every 3-4 years to ensure that the system is, in fact, optimized in the context of the unique requirements and business processes of the organization.  We routinely help our clients through this process and what most have found is that it has breathed new life into their systems without having to go through the cost and painful process of evaluating and converting to another system unnecessarily.

Related Posts:
Event Recap: How Vena Can Help You Optimize Your Back Office
November 6, 2019
Event Recap: How Vena Can Help You Optimize Your Back Office

In many cases, time spent on manual processes within finance can amount to a third or even half of a full-time employee per year. For resource-strapped nonprofits, this can be a huge obstacle in the way of planning and making strategic decisions for the future of their organizations. On October 30th, 2019, JMT Consulting and…

Cloud vs. Traditional Fund Accounting Software: Comparing the True Costs
January 17, 2018
Cloud vs. Traditional Fund Accounting Software: Comparing the True Costs

In the good old days, comparing the cost between different financial management solutions was fairly straightforward. They were built on similar technology platforms and were going to be deployed in roughly the same fashion. The only considerations were subtle differences in system requirements and pricing. The advent of subscription-based (SaaS) cloud applications for fund accounting…

4 Ways AP Automation Can Help Nonprofit Accounting Teams During Year-End Close
December 10, 2019
4 Ways AP Automation Can Help Nonprofit Accounting Teams During Year-End Close

With more than 20 years of accounts payable (AP) experience in various roles, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transition from paper-based processes to completely automated AP and payment processes. I know how hard it can be for those of us in the accounting space to warm up to the idea of implementing new systems and practices,…

Technology Matters to Nonprofits: The Impact of Falling Behind the Technology Curve
October 29, 2019
Technology Matters to Nonprofits: The Impact of Falling Behind the Technology Curve

My wife was recently notified by our wireless provider that her smartphone will no longer be supported. A couple of years ago, when she needed a new cell phone, we made the decision to save some money by buying an older, but not obsolete, model phone. “There’s no reason to spend all that extra money…

 Back to Blog