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Reporting to Federal Agencies – Don’t be Tied up in Knots

March 24th, 2014 No comments

Part 6 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules.

In this last post, we address reporting, ensuring you are ready for federal agency requests and are allocating program funding properly.

Read more…

Can You Afford Not to Handle Your Award Restrictions with Confidence?

March 17th, 2014 No comments

Part 5 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 matching funds, service and expenditure levels, and earmarking;  ensuring your organization is in compliance with any and all award restrictions. Federal Awards ebook

Matching

When federal awards include a matching component, the recipient must be able to show that matching funds have been received and are from an allowable source.

Potential complication: The auditor must determine whether the minimum amount or percentage of contributions or matching funds was provided. They must also consider the value of any in-kind contributions that were received.

Streamlined: Use Serenic Navigator’s AwardVision to create rules to monitor matching requirements while ensuring matching costs are appropriately tallied on a recurring basis. By defining the matching requirements at the receipt of the award, organizations will have evidence of their guideline compliance over the life of the award. Read more…

International NGO Replaces Spreadsheets and Solves Problems in Real-Time

September 28th, 2012 No comments

In our latest accounting software video, Partners in Health VP of Finance, Ann Quandt, shares how accountability and transparency are becoming more and more critical to NGOs today.  She attributes this to donors becoming more educated and critical about where they are giving their money.

Partners in Health (PiH) is an international healthcare organization that builds and operates hospitals and health centers around the world.  When they were using Excel in their African sites, it was very difficult to see the full picture of all the data.

Many nonprofits will agree with Ann when she stresses how every NGO or nonprofit is focused on streamlining their processes and making sure they do it in a very efficient way.  PiH felt it was important to have an accounting system that was particularly geared towards nonprofits because they have so many donors across multiple currencies.  It was very important to have a flexible tool like Serenic Navigator to seamlessly get financial information from their field sites.

Every night the financial data is consolidated into a server in Boston. This real time information, not something they’ve had before, allowed them to see the big picture very quickly & easily.  It also helped confirm with donors that their money was being, “treated the way they wanted it to be treated.”

According to Ann, “Any nonprofit would benefit from Serenic Software. “  For PiH, Serenic helps them see what’s happening on the ground, so now they can solve problems in real-time.

Watch the video and share!

Partners in Health Serenic Software Video

Partners in Health solves problems in real-time with Serenic Software. Click to watch the video!

 

Serenic and Send IT South Sponsor InsideNGO Reception in South Africa

August 23rd, 2012 No comments

We recently enjoyed hosting the reception of the InsideNGO workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.  The event, USAID Rules & Regulations: Grants & Cooperative Agreements, focused on the regulations and compliance around USAID grants.  We had the opportunity to meet many international organizations and talked to several delegates about their unique financial requirements.  It was also good to see a couple of our NGO accounting software customers, mothers2mothers and FHI360.  And it is always a pleasure working with Send IT South, our local partner!

Many international organizations depend on USAID funding to support their programs.  Often times the rules and regulations associated with the funding are hard to manage.  The challenge is understanding and keeping up with the complex rules about managing the awards.  Plus, the rules change often, so keeping up-to-date is not easy.  During the workshop, attendees learned how to manage grants and cooperative agreements in accordance with all the regulations and policies.  Maintaining donor compliance is vital!

We look forward to sponsoring more InsideNGO events and following up with delegates.  The Serenic Navigator financial management suite, including AwardVision, are a good fit for international NGOs, making it easy to provide the accountability and transparency required by funders and donors, as well as the grant/award management tools necessary to ensure compliance.

 

InsideNGO Conference Includes Serenic Case Studies

August 14th, 2012 No comments

We recently attended the InsideNGO conference in DC.  It was a great opportunity to catch up with some of our nonprofit and NGO accounting software clients, including PACT and FHI360, as well as meet new organizations.  The show itself was very good and we were happy to participate.

In addition to networking in our booth, we also attended a few sessions.  One session stood out for us, featuring case studies from two Serenic clients.  Management Sciences for Health discussed a SharePoint implementation in Nigeria, showing how it can be used in the management of a large country program.  Another client, TechnoServe, highlighted their experience implementing and supporting a Serenic Navigator application for financial management and reporting in remote parts of Africa.  Speakers included Clint Cuny and Joel Gachomo from Techno Brain and George Schutter from TechnoServe.  Using enterprise applications in remote regions is a hot topic amongst this group and the session was well received and attended!

We also had drawings for multiple “hip hop” laptop bags that were very popular with the InsideNGO crowd, given the amount of travel and luggage they go through with their worldly travels.

InsideNGO is a “collaborative community that strengthens the operational and management capacity of the international development and relief non-profit community in the pursuit of global development.”  According to their website, Inside NGO has nearly 300 members and hosts workshops, events, and roundtables across the globe.

Looking forward to the next conference!

Top Three Benefits of a Decentralized Accounting Model

August 7th, 2012 No comments

We’ve found many international charities and NGO’s often need a centralized solution, but with a decentralized deployment.  For organizations that operate in multiple countries in which the network environment may not support high speed remote access, stability is unreliable, or the cost of the network is prohibitive, a decentralized model is the appropriate solution!

The top three benefits of a decentralized model typically include:

  1. Independent operation – each country/region can operate independently. This guarantees that the operations of the country/region are able to continue regardless of external factors. Each country/region can utilize functionality that has been developed and maintained to support government regulations, statutory reporting, and local business processes. In addition, local languages can be provided to complete the user experience.
  2. Global business processes with centralized management – all business processes and setup can be managed based on a global perspective. Organizations are able to develop business processes that span the entire organization around the globe. Business rules enforce the type of data that is being monitored and tracked, while providing each country and region the flexibility to manage locally. This provides the organizations with consistent, timely, and accurate reporting on a global basis.
  3. Technology adoption – a decentralized model supports future growth as the network environment evolves around the world. Until network access is stabilized and bandwidth becomes affordable, a decentralized model provides the organization with a dynamic environment that allows it to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape. This model incorporates the flexibility of changing dynamics within nations and regions. For example, two neighboring countries may have entirely different access and communication capabilities due to dissimilar governmental requirements and infrastructure. One may allow remote access using web portals, while the neighboring country may still be disconnected and require a replication link to the main database.

There are many other benefits which can be found in our Decentralized Deployment technical white paper.  This document provides a technical overview of how to setup and maintain a decentralized solution so that it will evolve as network speed, stability and reliability become more consistent worldwide. Serenic Navigator, Powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV, can be deployed under various configurations, ranging from a centralized solution with remote access through the NAV role-tailored client, SaaS, terminal server/citrix, Microsoft Excel, or web portals providing a completely decentralized model.

Streamline your Nonprofit’s Budgeting and Board Reports

August 2nd, 2012 No comments

In a recent webcast we explored the challenges nonprofits face when managing their budgeting process.  The webcast first covered the importance of financial analysis and understanding financial statements.  Then we explored the pain points for budgeting and how Serenic Navigator and BudgetVision provide an integrated solution, eliminating the pain points.

In the webcast, we polled attending nonprofit accounting users and asked two questions.

“What are the biggest challenges with your current budget process?”   The top three challenges were:

  1. Ability to automate assumption and calculations
  2. Amount of time and effort required in managing the tool used
  3. Ability for non-finance staff to review budget vs. actual

“Are you currently able to provide real-time budget vs. actual reports?  If no, how frequently do you provide these reports?”

Our quick poll reported that 79% of nonprofit accounting users provided budget vs. actual reports monthly, 14% quarterly, and 7% provide real-time reports.

In the webcast, we demonstrated how Serenic Navigator’s timely, flexible reports can automate the entire budget process. Along with BudgetVision, our integrated software helps you to:

  • Provide your board with the critical information they need, based on real-time, integrated data.
  • Ensure reports are easy to read and understand by adding graphical charts and graphs.
  • Enable sound decisions with reports that compare budget to actual expenses across multiple periods or fiscal years.
  • Improve accountability with integrated budget preparations and monitoring tools.

For more information, or to request the webcast recording, contact marketing@serenic.com.

Financial Statements, Analysis and the Budget Process

July 27th, 2012 No comments

We recently hosted a webcast regarding financial statements, analysis and budgeting.  Thanks to our guest presenter, Marie Brilmyer, CPA M. Acc. from SS&G, for her expertise and tips.

We know that tailoring reports for your board of directors and streamlining your budgeting process is important for any nonprofit or NGO. In the webcast, Marie shared with attendees real-world examples of how to effectively communicate a nonprofit’s financial position.

The webcast gave tips on producing financial statements that others can actually understand.  Marie also pointed out the importance of who should understand them, why they should understand them, and what you can do to help staff members gain the appropriate understanding.

Marie discussed the highlights of the financial statements and the importance of financial analysis.  Finally, she addressed how you can make sure your budget process is smooth, accurate and easily maintained.

Here are just a few of the budget process tips for nonprofits, NGOs, and the public sector:

  • Involve your staff, don’t just ask for information, but meet w/ them to discuss
  • Provide organization-wide budget information
  • Be realistic – make reasonable assumptions about the future based on the current year’s operations, and build in reasonable projections like new hires or possible new funding
  • Review and approve the budget with the board and share the approved budget with others
  • Clarify who is responsible for monitoring the budget and how often
  • Determine “why” there are any significant variances

View this webcast on financial statements and budgeting for nonprofits, or the entire library of on-demand webcasts, on our website.

Deliver Efficient and Effective HR Management in the Cloud

July 24th, 2012 No comments

From hiring the right staff and analyzing pertinent information to tracking absences and salary administration, Serenic’s cloud-based HR solution  helps get the job done with minimal effort and maximum control.  It ultimately allows internal HR staff to focus on the strength and satisfaction of employees by streamlining data tracking and communication and ensuring accurate management reporting.

Key benefits include:

■ Enjoy full integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

■ Avoid staff shortages with applicant recruiting, tracking and analysis.

■ Ease the hiring process with position management.

■ Add user-defined fields to match your unique requirements.

■ Customize absence tracking to meet your needs.

■ Seamless integration with Serenic HCM Online Payroll.

Because the HR solultion is available under a subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) model, minimizing your initial investment and resulting in a lower approval threshold and risk profile and providing you with a consistent monthly operating expense and cash outlay.

For more information, download the Online Advanced Human Resources fact sheet from our website.

Serenic’s SaaS Solution Brings the Power of the Cloud to Payroll

July 16th, 2012 No comments

We all know that payroll is a critical component of every nonprofit and business.  Sometimes it can often be complex as well at critical.  We’re happy to roll out a new powerful, SaaS (software as a service) integrated payroll software solution that can improve labor productivity and labor efficiencies, as well as help control labor related costs – all of which directly contribute to your bottom line.

Serenic Human Capital Management (HCM) Online Payroll is a flexible, cloud-based solution designed to meet the individual needs of industries, including manufacturing, wholesale/retail, trade, services, distribution, construction and nonprofit organizations, to name a few. A flexible system allowing for in-depth data analysis, HCM Online Payroll utilizes Microsoft NAV’s database for processing large numbers of employees – adding up to a powerful payroll offering for Enterprise Resource Management (ERM). Track payroll information against jobs, define unique pay cycles, track and calculate commissions and more.

Key benefits include:

  • Full integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • All entries posted directly to Microsoft NAV General Ledger
  • Post liabilities automatically to NAV Purchases and Payables
  • Automatically post employer expenses to jobs or departments
  • Define an unlimited number of payroll controls (earnings, expenses, hours, accruals, etc.).

To find out more, download the Online Payroll fact sheet on our website.