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Modernizing the finance function in nonprofit organizations


In a recently published article, Modernizing the finance function through finance transformation, RSM technology and management consulting specialists shared insights about the transformation of the finance function from a back-office recording and reporting function to a strategic enabler and insightful advisor for achieving business goals. While this concept is often associated with for-profit businesses, we also see a clear and relevant tie to the work nonprofit organizations are performing.

The nonprofit environment is changing just as rapidly as the private sector, albeit in slightly different ways:

  • The role of the chief financial officer (CFO) is expanding to include several new areas beyond core finance responsibilities. More and more, functions such as human resources, legal and compliance, and information technology (IT) are now falling on the desk of the CFO.
  • Rapid changes in the funding environment require nonprofits to innovate in order to remain relevant to their constituents and deliver on their mission.
  • An explosion in the availability of data requires the ability to transform that data into timely, relevant and actionable information, so that leaders can make informed and strategic decisions.
  • Nonprofit organizations are capitalizing on the opportunity to automate their stringent and specialty reporting with one source of truth–including grant, endowment, membership and donor reporting–as well as improved budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting capabilities.
  • Donor reporting is shifting the focus on outcome measurement and reporting capabilities to measure the value delivered in alignment with the organization’s mission, which requires new data structures and internal processes.
  • Technology and technology-related risks are evolving at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen. New opportunities exist to optimize current systems or invest in new technology to support strategy and mission, both for today and the longer term.

In addition to reviewing the article, Modernizing the finance function through finance transformation, make plans to join RSM’s nonprofit specialists for a webcast on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at noon EDT. During this event, we will discuss how these trends are affecting the industry, the challenges we see ahead, and ideas to transform your finance function into a strategic advisor that can help your organization and constituents execute your strategy and advance your mission.  Register for the webcast now.