How to take financial control of your Nonprofit’s grants and projects

Budgeting, tracking, reporting, and managing grants and projects can be challenging and time-consuming for your nonprofit’s financial team, pulling both time and resources away from your organisation’s core mission.

Whether your nonprofit manages several grant awards or relies on just a few for funding, managing and tracking grants and projects effectively is essential for achieving mission success. However, with unique and varied needs, rising costs, and financial skill shortages in the nonprofit sector, tracking, reporting, and managing grants often becomes a complex and challenging task for charities and nonprofit organisations.

Without the right tools or guidance, it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to capture costs, process reimbursements, and create clear audit trails. Financial transformation experts ION, aim to relieve the difficulties of grant management for nonprofits by pairing their expertise in financial infrastructure with a new cloud-based accounting solution, Sage Intacct Nonprofit.

Together, ION and Sage Intacct offer nonprofits the tools and guidance required to take full financial control of their grants and projects. 

Why you should optimise your grant management processes

Budgeting, tracking, reporting, and managing grants and projects can be challenging and time-consuming for your nonprofit’s financial team, pulling both time and resources away from your organisation’s core mission. Optimising and streamlining this process will not only improve your nonprofit’s financial performance and increase compliance, but will also give your team the time, resources, and freedom they need to focus on purposeful, growth-driven work and lasting change.

Investing in the right solutions and a technology partner like ION, will streamline your grant management processes and allow your finance team to spend less time chasing costs, correcting errors, or compiling reports, and more time on higher value mission-driven tasks. 

How can ION and Sage Intacct help your nonprofit master grant management?

1. Improving visibility with a centralised and automated system

When it comes to taking full ownership of grants and projects, the importance of good visibility is often overlooked. A disorganised grant tracking process with spreadsheets and documents scattered across various systems can cause team members to lose hours of their time just looking for the data or documents that they need.

Centralising and automating your grant data and documents is a swift and effective solution that will not only boost your team’s efficiency, but improve overall visibility into the progress of individual projects and mission success. 

Sage Intacct Nonprofit, a cloud-based accounting software, features a comprehensive range of financial management tools with a purpose-built grant tracking and billing system. Centralised and automated in one secure place, Sage Intacct’s Grant Tracking and Billing offers nonprofits comprehensive views of their grants and awards regardless of the funding source.

Offering a single place for managing and tracking grants and projects, staff and auditors will benefit from a single shared source of truth that can be accessed in just a few clicks. With the help of integration experts, ION, Sage Intacct’s customisable dashboards and views can also be tailored to directly suit the individual needs of your organisation and give a clear overview of every grant and project.

With a centralised and tailor-made system, your nonprofit will gain the clarity and visibility needed to effectively monitor grants, track progress, flag potential issues, and maximise opportunities for growth. 

2. Increasing control with modern budget planning

One of the most crucial steps in grant and project management, effectively planning and monitoring budgets, will protect and promote your organisation’s financial performance. Every project or campaign should have its own dedicated fund and corresponding budget to ensure the programme remains on track, but knowing how to portion funds and construct the ideal budget can be challenging for nonprofits — particularly those juggling multiple grants and projects. The solution is to implement a modern planning process that will allow you to easily see the whole financial picture and make the budgeting process quick and effective.

Investing in the right technology can end your team’s planning and budgeting spreadsheet nightmares and deliver financial insights faster than ever before. With Sage Intacct’s budget planner, budgets can be created ahead of time and overspending can be avoided to ensure every project is successful in preparation, launch, and delivery. Using this easy and impactful planning software will enable your nonprofit to make better, faster, and more informed decisions through improved budgeting, forecasting, and data visualisation.

With IONs seamless integration services, you can quickly and easily get up-and-running with Sage Intacct’s intuitive modern planning tools. Using spreadsheet-like formulas and intuitive functionality, you can take control of your budget planning and reduce budgeting and forecasting time by 50%. 

3. Increasing accuracy in cost capturing

With the ever increasing need for compliance and transparency in the nonprofit sector, organisations face pressure from funders to accurately demonstrate how grant awards have been put to their intended use. Capturing costs accurately is essential for providing auditors with a clear audit trail and minimising the risk of reimbursement issues.

With varied costs unique to their individual programmes, capturing costs is not always a simple or straightforward task for a nonprofit’s financial team. Upgrading to financial management tools that boost accuracy and automate cost capturing processes will help your nonprofit effectively and precisely track grants, strengthen its financial data, and increase compliance.

Upgrading the financial management tools your nonprofit uses to capture costs is the key to accurate and effective grant tracking. A modernised and automated system will reduce errors, increase compliance, and strengthen your overall financial data to ensure that you always remain compliant and in control of your finances. 

ION’s new Sage Intacct Nonprofit solution offers smart grant tracking tools that will help your nonprofit capture costs for reimbursement accurately and ensure you never miss a charge or overstate amounts. Accounting entries can be associated with grants and flagged for reimbursement at entry, and eligible charges can be gathered for reporting and billing with just the click of a button.

Customisable to suit the unique details of your programme delivery, grant records can be configured to include individual programme details which can then be searched and reported on. Every cost and resource can easily be captured and associated with a grant; indirect costs can be billed based on specific rates, and even employee efforts can be tracked and approved with integrated timekeeping data.

With Sage Intacct’s modernised and automated cost tracking tools, ION can help your nonprofit increase accuracy in grant tracking and reporting and help your organisation get the most for your mission. 

4. Boost compliance with audit-ready reports

Alongside increasing accuracy and reducing billing errors, nonprofits can boost compliance by ensuring they remain audit-ready at all times. With a disorganised grant management system, compiling reports for auditors can be both time-consuming and stressful for your team. Fortunately for your financial officers, advancements in real-time reporting solutions mean that your books can remain up-to-date and audit ready 24/7. 

Understanding that control, visibility, and compliance are fundamental in successful grant and project management, ION’s nonprofit solution features a robust range of tools that will give you real-time visibility into every aspect of your project. Sage Intacct centralises your projects to provide a clear audit trail for qualified expenses, tracks funding details, and ties deliverables to tasks in real-time.

With real-time tracking and the ability to compile trusted and accurate reports with just a few clicks, Sage Intacct ensures that your nonprofit knows exactly where it stands in relation at that very moment. For example, actuals can quickly and easily be compared to budgets and reported instantly, empowering your team with the real-time insights they need to make data-driven decisions for growth and mission success. With Sage Intacct’s automated data configuration and reporting capabilities, ION can help your nonprofit ensure that it remains compliant and audit-ready at all times, close the books in record time, and free up time and resources for your team to focus on their mission, not the numbers. 

In summary, nonprofit organisations should take control of their grant tracking and management processes in order to boost efficiency, increase compliance, and magnify growth. By upgrading to ION’s modernised Sage Intacct Nonprofit Solution, nonprofits will gain the visibility needed to make agile and data-driven decisions, increase control over their budgeting and planning, and boost their compliance with accurate, real-time insights and reports. With ION’s expert guidance, your nonprofits can implement Sage Intacct’s advanced software solutions seamlessly and tailor them to fit your programme’s unique needs. This contemporary and customisable grant management system will ensure that you have the tools and the specialist advice you need to achieve greater financial control than ever before. 

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