7 Benefits Churches Receive Migrating to Intacct Cloud Accounting
July 14th-17th, 2014, was the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) Conference represented by over 300 churches. These are faith-based organizations where many want to be good stewards of their resources which includes money, personnel, equipment, etc. But because of their current accounting software limitations, they are not as effective as they could be. After having migrated many churches from various on-premise accounting software into Intacct’s cloud accounting software, I have observed and heard about the benefits the churches have experienced with their new cloud accounting software.
Benefit #1: Ministry Reporting
Churches still using on-premise accounting software have shared their frustration with their software’s reporting functionality and their need to export their financial data to Excel spreadsheets to compile the desired reports. With Intacct’s architectural accounting structural design, churches are reaping the benefits of powerful and ministry-specific reports that were either impossible to obtain or only possible after much time and effort. Intacct enables the business users to create their own reports, graphs, and dashboards without any programming, and they are accessible from their mobile devices. Therefore, the pastor, ministry leaders, those individuals at various satellite locations, board of directors, elders, etc., can access dashboards built specifically for their individual reporting needs, and they don’t have to be in the office to do so. Churches see the time-saving benefit because the same report does not have to be regenerated with new data within Excel, and the finance team does not have to spend their time retrieving the same information for a new time period.
Benefit #2: Reduced IT Issues & Costs
Churches no longer have to spend their money to upgrade hardware and software for a new version of their on-premise accounting software nor to allocate personnel resources to maintain the hardware and software. Much of the time churches have to pay outside contractors to perform the actual upgrades. With an on-premise software, there are unknown and unexpected costs that can arise. With Intacct’s cloud accounting software, churches are no longer responsible for the accounting software and hardware upgrades. Intacct provides 4 annual upgrades, handles all the server issues, has the disaster recovery plan, and more for their accounting software. Using Intacct provides certainty for the accounting software costs which helps churches with their budgets.
Benefit #3: Mobile Accessibility
With Intacct, church personnel are no longer tied to the office or need to install a remote application on their home computers. They are able to access their accounting software from anywhere with internet connection and an internet browser. The church’s staff can access their ministry budgets and actual data, and the church can implement electronic requisition and employee expense approval workflows that enable approvals to be performed on workstations, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. The individuals in the approval workflow process can also approve requisitions and expenses from their mobile devices using their personalized dashboards. Mobile accessibility has enabled churches to utilize their personnel and volunteer staff more effectively.
Benefit #4: Streamlining Budgeting Processing
Budgeting can be very time consuming and an involved process for churches. Intacct provides budget uploads and flexible reporting. Because of Intacct’s open architecture, other cloud software that is budget friendly can manage the budget input from the various ministries, and once the budget components are completed, they can be combined into a single budget and imported into Intacct.
Benefit #5: Streamlining Credit Card Processing
Many churches struggle with their credit card reconciliation processing within their current on-premise software. Intacct provides several different methods to manage credit cards, depending on the church’s business processes. Since Intacct is a best-in-class accounting software, it enables other best-in-class products to fully integrate with Intacct. There are expenses and credit card products that use mobile devices to capture receipts and update Intacct’s accounting software in real time.
Benefit #6: Engaging Non-Accounting Personnel in Business Processes
Instead of finance personnel being responsible to enter all the staff’s travel expenses, credit card purchases, manually approved purchase requisitions as invoices, budgets, donations, etc., the individuals who generate the activities can enter their own information and use Intacct’s approval workflows to channel the information to the finance team. This enablement creates a more unified environment and more involvement by the church’s personnel and volunteers.
Benefit #7: Scalability
Churches can experience both growth and contraction in personnel, in the number of 501©3s, in the number of site locations, and in international activities. Managing the growth within an on-premise system can be very challenging, but with Intacct’s multi-entity architectural design, churches can create an accounting software environment that will accommodate foundations, multiple locations, multiple 501©3s, and multiple currencies, as well as provide both consolidated and business-unit reports. Churches can also either increase or decrease the number of users who have relevant security access to the accounting software.
Many churches are discovering how migrating from their current accounting software to Intacct’s cloud accounting software is enabling them to be better stewards of their resources, have more control over their finances, involve more of their personnel in the financial processes, and provide superior dashboards with graphics and financial reports that can be accessed anywhere their personnel have the internet and internet browsers.