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Archive for the ‘Charity Accounting Software’ Category

How Technology Has Changed Philanthropy for the Better

October 1st, 2014 No comments

We live in a time when tech companies and computer savvy gurus have found a way to improve just about every professional field through the means of technology. Philanthropy, likewise, has changed immensely.MEGWARE.CLIC

The “old days” of philanthropy—before technology and social media had an impact on attracting donors—involved primarily the elite funding their favorite charities. Philanthropic giving was something a select few did at the end of their careers, after they were done amassing great wealth.

Now philanthropy is more egalitarian. It’s easy for nonprofits and NGOs to reach out (through tools such as smart phone apps and social media campaigns) to people from any socio-economic background, and enable them to donate easily and in small amounts. Philanthropy isn’t something you have to wait to do anymore—technology allows you to make donations in easy and often creative ways. Read more…

Empowering Democracy Through Transparency and Accountability

August 27th, 2014 No comments

Serenic Software’s tagline is “Empower Your Mission.” We believe that our software solutions are instrumental in helping nonprofits, NGOs, and public sector organizations pursue their missions throughout the world.

And while each of the organizations Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.18.53 PMwe work with has a unique mission, all share a passion for the democratic process, as exemplified by their strong desire to provide transparency and accountability to the people they serve. As Rick Cohen of Nonprofit Quarterly put it, “Nonprofits, we hope and believe, are the bedrock of democracy and mechanisms for democratic participation.”

In a world where the economic elite and special interest groups hold the greatest sway over politicians and policy decisions, nonprofits play a vital role in promoting democracy and empowering individuals to exercise their right to be heard.

Nonprofits and Philanthropies Can Exert Political Influence

The Encarta Dictionary defines a democracy as “the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people.”

Even though all nonprofits and philanthropies are not politically focused or motivated, all are perfectly suited to enhance democracy, in large part because they so often encourage people to participate in government. For example, Rock the Vote does an excellent job of fostering democracy without subscribing to any single political ideology.

The structure of nonprofits, NGOs, and public sector organizations is also decidedly democratic, allowing input and direction from all levels, along with a strong commitment to transparency and accountability. And because of the grassroots nature of nonprofits and philanthropies, change can be enacted swifter than in government and the for-profit business sector.

Technology Has Revolutionized Accountability

Advances in technology have given average citizens another set of tools they can use to demand greater accountability, not just from government, but also from private businesses and nonprofit organizations, thereby increasing their individual influence on the democratic process.

“Inside every device and every piece of software is the DNA of both democracy and transparency,” wrote Chris Gates, Executive Director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), in the forward to “Philanthropy and the Limits of Accountability: A Relationship of Respect and Clarity.”

By taking full advantage of nonprofit accounting software, nonprofits, NGOs, and public sector organizations can hold themselves to a higher, more democratic standard.

Accountability to the People Nonprofits Serve

Transparent reporting is vital to fostering relationships of trust with donors, but accountability is equally important to the very people nonprofits serve. Through transparent accounting, nonprofits can make themselves accountable not only to donors, but to the communities they operate in.

Accountability is perhaps the most important factor in a democracy—without it, citizens can’t effectively exercise their voting rights to enact change within their communities.

Accountability also helps nonprofits adjust and improve their own operations, ultimately empowering them to better achieve their mission. For more information about how Serenic can help “Empower Your Mission” with transparent accounting, explore our fund accounting resources.

Is Subscription Right for Your Nonprofit?

May 27th, 2014 No comments

Everything flows, nothing stands still. – Heraclitus, ~535 BC–475 BC

A couple of years ago, we wrote the original of this article about Serenic’s licensing models.  Well, all things change, so we think it’s time to update the article.

When considering nonprofit accounting software, the purchasing model adds an important dimension to the decision process.  Which is the best fit for your organization – purchasing a license and installing (either on premise or on leased servers), or making the leap into the cloud? which way to go

Perpetual License

Some nonprofits are most comfortable with their data stored locally and are willing and able to make a capital investment in the license, implementation, and necessary servers.  Additionally, they may prefer to pay their costs upfront, rather than a monthly subscription fee.

  • You purchase concurrent users (full or limited access).
  • You install the product on your organization’s computers and servers (or on servers leased from a 3rd party).
  • Maintenance of the software is under your direction and control – for example, scheduling and applying upgrades.
  • Should your nonprofit need specialized functionality, you can contract to have the product customized to meet your specific needs. Read more…

Nonprofit Accounting Software Helps Association Convert to One System

March 31st, 2014 No comments

The American Psychological Association (APA) needed to update its older financial accounting software.  The APA is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. With more than 134,000 members and 600 employees, their mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.  They didn’t want to be spending extra time with their accounting software, but focus on this mission! American Psychological Association

So the search began.  The APA found what they wanted in Serenic Navigator, such as: workflow, and viewing balances in the system right away as opposed to waiting for a sub ledger to close for the month. Read more…

Is Your Cost of Compliance Exceeding Your Award Value?

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Part 2 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules

In this post, we address tracking allowable activities and costs for your federal awards, ensuring you are compliant and not increasing complicated business processes.
Federal Awards ebook

Activities Allowed

Federal award recipients must pay careful attention to application details and award requirements. It is the duty of the nonprofit to use funds only for allowable activities and to properly track and accumulate transactions related to these activities.  In many cases, an organization must not only be able to show compliance after the fact, it must also be able to show evidence of internal guidelines that foster an environment of compliance.

In addition to coding transactions appropriately, your nonprofit accounting software should provide ample notes and file attachment features that create a complete and accurate picture of expenditures.

Potential complication: The auditor will seek to identify the types of program activities which are either specifically allowed or prohibited by the laws, regulations, and the provisions of contract or grant agreements.   Read more…

Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?

February 17th, 2014 No comments

Federal Awards ebookFederal awards always come with strings attached. When awards exceed $500,000, they include a mandate that the recipient undergoes an A-133 audit. This audit has one primary purpose: to provide evidence that the recipient has complied with award requirements. For nonprofits that wait until the end of the year to create or accumulate records in support of their compliance efforts, preparing for the audit can be a nightmare. But for organizations that take a more proactive approach and rely on their financial software for help in streamlining processes, while also managing and documenting compliance for awards of all types, documentation is the easy part. These nonprofits and NGOs will spend more time at year-end trying to locate a free workspace than gathering evidence for the auditor.

Dealing with the federal government is complicated enough. Award recipients needn’t be in a position where the cost of compliance exceeds the value of the reward. With the right financial management software, staying compliant doesn’t have to mean increasingly complicated business processes.

Follow this blog series to learn how to streamline compliance with A-133 audit rules. Read more…

Nonprofits and Crisis Management: 4 Considerations

February 12th, 2014 1 comment

In a crisis, decisions must often be made quickly, and with accurate, up-to-the-minute information. With the changeable nature of nonprofit activities and projects, it is essential that a solid crisis management plan is in place. Here are four points for nonprofits to consider when tackling crisis management. Read more…

Time for a Technology Change?

February 10th, 2014 No comments

We recently spoke with Martin Lampner, President for Chimes International, who shared why they wanted to upgrade their nonprofit financial management software.

Chimes and its subsidiaries, the Chimes Family of Services, offer a wide range of support for people with disabilities and special needs – from employment and educational programs to residential and behavioral health services. For more than six decades, the organization has helped more than 17,000 people each year in six states, the District of Columbia and Israel by emphasizing and promoting the unique abilities of individuals while achieving and sustaining each person’s well-being and independence.

Read more…

Improve Grant Management Functions: Extend the Life of your Nonprofit

January 29th, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits are subject to high levels of scrutiny, not least from the government. In any one day a grant manager may interact with government agencies, private foundations and charitable organizations, each with their own set of rules, compliance and reporting requirements. How can grant managers meet the needs of all these different stakeholders? Using software that allows for meticulous and detailed grant tracking, while meeting the needs of both grantor organizations and grantees, is certainly one way to tackle the challenge.

Grant managers need access to information in real-time; information must be secure but easily accessible based on individual roles and access rights. Read more…

Empower Your Nonprofit with an Integrated Software Solution

January 22nd, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity and work smarter. This can be hard to do with many different software solutions and time-consuming manual processes prone to duplication errors, which can in turn lead to non-compliance. To ensure data integrity, project and expenditure tracking, and transparency, it is vital to integrate organizational processes with solutions tailored to the specific needs of the nonprofit. Read more…