I know a lot of you out there run programs and services as a means of fulfilling your mission and generating revenue. Providing these services is your core, right? But, managing billing and collections can get complicated quickly and can impact your organization financially – not to mention, programs and services may be covered by additional regulatory or financial tracking laws. Add in grants, designated to fund certain programs, and things become even more complex. So, what can you do to keep up and still manage your fee-for-service programs?
The best way to manage your revenue and grants – and keep up with regulatory and financial tracking laws – is to make sure your accounting is accurate to the penny, while not causing delays in cash flow. For fee-for-service billing, you need a segmented account structure that can:
- Track by program and recipient to ensure timely and accurate billing
- Report on exactly which services have been provided to each client
- Have the ability to respond quickly to billing inquiries
- Integrate with third-party billing services to prevent time-consuming duplicate data entry
You also need to properly allocate, track, and report on grant and government funding of your programs and services, which means you need to:
- Create segments to allocate grant money across multiple programs and fiscal years, reflecting the way money is actually being spent
- Track eligibility for services and dollars at the client and program levels
- Use budget-to-actual reporting to ensure you’re optimizing the funds allocated to each program and participant
- Keep cash flow on track by ensuring that invoicing to programs is accurate
And, if your organization is growing, you’ll start adding more programs and services, which compounds the complexity of your accounting. If you’re thinking about expanding your mission, keep in mind the new programs, billing sources, and even locations, trigger new reporting requirements. You’ll want to have a solid financial system in place before you start expanding, or you’ll drown in spreadsheets.
We’ve put together a short paper that can help you determine if your financial software is up to the task. “Managing the Challenges of Nonprofit Programs and Services,” covers the issues many nonprofits face and how your fund accounting software should be able to help you. If you’d like to learn more, register for our live webinar, “Nonprofit Programs and Services: Managing the Challenges,” presented next Tuesday, January 30 at 1 p.m. CT.