Securing government funding and winning a major or minor grant is a time for celebration for many not-for-profit organisations.
Yet, managing the budget, reporting and acquittal components can take time and effort. Future funding evaluations also often draw on past activities, underscoring the importance of accurate reporting and getting it right the first time.
At Next Dimension Accounting, our team supports clients, helping them manage funding and reporting obligations effectively through our expertise and knowledge of the right technology.
In this article, we share our key tips for success:
1. Setting your NFP up for success
Effective accounting systems and processes can help prepare your organisation for funding and grants. Cloud accounting software like Xero can be readily integrated with various apps to streamline your processes and ensure high-quality data. Knowing your financial position before you apply for funding will also strengthen your success once new services or projects are integrated into current operations.
2. Collaboration on grant or funding budgeting
If you have the appropriate accounting systems and processes in place, you can easily draw on current information within your organisation to assist with developing a grant budget. This information will also help determine in-kind elements that could be part of the activities or project.
3. Understanding your reporting requirements
The reporting requirements for your funding will be detailed in your contract. Review all reporting requirements thoroughly to put in place a proactive plan for systems and processes that will ensure reporting and acquittals are submitted on time. A strong accounting system and professional advice will help you meet deadlines and timeframes.
4. Tracking and reporting
Tracking expenditure, cashflow, actual v budget, activities and outcomes can be assisted by the use of customised reports within Xero, or connecting to apps such as Power BI, Syft and Fathom. Timeframes for reporting can also be managed using technology so that acquittals are completed efficiently and on time. Keeping track of receipts that may need to be submitted can also be supported by the right technology such as DEXT and ApprovalMax.
5. Adjusting and reviewing
By using appropriate technology, activities can be regularly reviewed, and reports developed to measure activities’ success and/or cost. Any possible gaps or shortfalls can also be flagged before they become problematic. Board briefings and updates about projects and funding can be easily developed, providing real-time insight into activities.
6. Acquittals and final reporting
Acquittals and final reporting are assisted by experienced NFP accounting and technological systems and processes that have been in place to manage the activity or project. Drawing on historical information or running reports to compare actual v budget will ensure that acquittals are completed accurately and on time. Your success in completing these reports may boost your chances of more government funding based on your compliance record.
Next Dimension Accounting works with several NFPs that receive government funding. We are an experienced outsourced accounting team that can take pressure of NFPs to ensure they can carry out funded activities knowing they are on budget and on track to submit reports and acquittals accurately and on time.
Get in touch with us today for a free 30 minute consultation.