Achieve Non-Profit Cost Control with this Proven 6-Step Spend Management System

Many of our non-profit clients had frustrations regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of their spend management processes before they started working with the Consultance Accounting non-profit accounting team. Some of our clients had no processes or systems at all!

After working with us to resolve their common non-profit spend management challenges, they are now more confident in their cash flow projections and in their ability to control spending and access to sensitive financial data throughout their organizations and within their teams.

If you need assistance, the team here at Consultance Accounting can help your non-profit get spending and expense management under control in the six simple steps outlined here:

1. Update and Sync Your Non-Profit Accounting Data

The most common spend management problem is using old data and expecting accurate results. Identifying legitimate expenses and forecasting your financial position accurately is difficult without real-time data.

Generally, expense management is most effective with spending information that is current so that you have a clear picture of what your non profit organization is committed to paying for rather than trying to manage for it after the fact. In addition, when you have accurate data it makes it easier to flag potential fraud or errors before they become larger issues.

For example, if an employee is using a company credit card when traveling for business and they go over budget or are making purchases that aren’t company approved, you will know right away. In another scenario, if they have unexpected expenses, you can increase their spend limit on the spot.

2. Link Your Non-Profit Spending to Specific Budgets

Working with our accounting team, your non-profit organization will have a systematic way to monitor and budget spending in real-time instead of trying to assign budgets or departments after the fact.

Implementing a systematic approach is necessary otherwise having budgets becomes irrelevant and your spending cannot be accurately tracked and analyzed which leaves your organization vulnerable to increased scrutiny. Instead, we will assign every expense a category before spending can occur, and expenses are immediately attributed to the appropriate budget.

3. Rein In and Reconcile Your Remote Team Spending

Spend management can be complicated when you deal with remote teams spread and if those team members travel and incur reimbursable expenses that can be even more challenging to try to get under control.

No matter where your employees live, or how they spend, you can manage every cent of your spend with complete control using a cloud-based system for tracking spending that ties directly into the monthly accounting for your non-profit organization that our team manages for you.

The best part is, you’ll have 24/7 online access to all of your key financial data so you can always answer questions which may arise and be proactive in your cash flow management.

4. Eliminate Surprise Expenses from All Areas of Your Non-profit

At the end of the month when you’re finally running the expense reports you can make some unpleasant discoveries. Your fundraising manager took some potential donors to lunch and spent $200 that you weren’t aware of. You didn’t realize that your software subscriptions were renewing this month. Your event team ordered materials for the entire year in one transaction.

Blowing through your budget can happen very easily unless you have a system in place for managing who can spend much and where your funds are going. This can be a very serious issue when it comes time to report to your board of directors, donors, or if you cannot meet your financial or other programmatic obligations due to a cash flow issue created by lack of expense and spending controls.

Instead of facing these surprises, intelligent spend management solutions can allow you to know immediately when an employee makes a purchase—and updates your budgets accordingly.

This is why Consultance Accounting is dedicated to helping your non-profit develop the systems that are critical for implementing spend management at your business. Combined with our system of analytics, you’ll have the insight you need to make critical financial decisions, and because all your data is real-time, you can make decisions that prevent shortfalls at the end of the month.

5. Implement Automated Systems for Non-Profit Cost Control

Using a spend management platform rather than manually tracking expenses will save you time and also provide visibility into your non-profit spending. It also enables all of your accounting and other financial data to be integrated into timely and accurate financial statements as well as allowing your Consultance Accounting team to provide actionable financial insights for your non-profit organization that can help you meet your financial and operational goals.

Having Consultance Accounting as your non-profit accounting partner means that you will always have up-to-date spending data and the ability to track spending habits as they happen with the latest cloud-based technology so you understand how your organization’s financial resources are being allocated. We can also help you identify ineffective and unnecessary costs, so you can make informed decisions about where you may be able to reallocate or reduce expenses.

6. Eliminate Ineffective Expense Management Processes

From the absence of systems or outdated systems, or no technology to support the process in a cost-effective manner, expense management must be treated like any other important finance function. You need to implement a spending and budgeting infrastructure.

Using a technology platform such as Divvy, which we recommend to our non-profit clients, helps you make these and other facets of spend management seamless:overall staff and organizational expense management, travel expense management, reimbursement, bill pay, bookkeeping systems, and manual processes, and replace them with one tool. This helps you consolidate the expense management function and eliminate the need for multiple systems.

Ready to Take the First Step Toward Effective Expense Control and Spend Management?

Although every non-profit organization is different, the six critical areas of spend management outlined above are ones that every organization needs to address to eliminate risk and maintain their financial health.

Get started by downloading the Consultance Accounting guide to simplifying non-profit spend management. This resource will help you systematize your spending and expense tracking so you can ensure that your non-profit remains financially healthy with tools like this and the professional accounting and advisory services that provide peace of mind and the proactive insights of a true non-profit partner.

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