When it comes to leveraging technology to strengthen the quality of financial reporting and analysis, the non-profit sector has traditionally been late to the table. But as we enter this fourth industrial revolution where advanced technology is now affordable by not-for-profit organizations, there’s been quick uptake of integrated systems that streamline data processing tasks and focus on financial reporting and analysis. Across every industry, internal systems have transformed. Everything that can be digitized – is being digitized. Digital tools automate transactional systems, weeks of manual data entry and processing is converted to hours thus shifting the focus on finance to analysis and strategic financial leadership. Technology is now faster, more accurate, and easier to use than ever. This transformation gives staff the data they need to make strategic, informed decisions and the time they need to focus on stewardship and resilience of programs.
This flip, from financial teams spending most of their time on collecting and collating information to spending most of their time analyzing that data to generate information and insights to steward the organization in the short and long-term, is the core of digital transformation. It enables benefits like more insights into the organization’s financial position; revenue, expense and net assets trends, and short and long-term forecasting. Ultimately, digital transformation helps steward not-for-profits and support effective mission fulfillment.
Digital transformation isn’t a matter of if — it’s a matter of when. Anything that can be digitized will be. Accounting and human resources information systems are moving toward digitization to allow organizations to benefit from more efficient data collection processes so that they can focus their time on analyzing information to create insights that will strengthen strategies focused on program and organizational resilience. Technology now allows not-for-profit organizations to digitize bookkeeping tasks that are manual and transactional in nature.
While not-for-profits have a number of challenges to overcome, like limited resources (both time and money), digitizing bookkeeping tasks will be a key leverage point in transforming a not-for-profit organization. We’re going to cover how to leverage technology to transform the finance function, the benefits and challenges of digital transformation efforts, review pathways to digitization and intelligization, and review the phases in a digital transformation project.
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