In a Computing research paper for the not-for-profit sector, 87% of respondents said that a lack of systems resulted in poor communication between departments. The areas where this was most obvious was in budget tracking, departmental reporting, and visibility of commitments. This lack gave rise to difficulties in collecting accurate forecasting information and errors through the copying/pasting of data from one system to another. This state of affairs seems surprising given the availability of modern planning and reporting systems. But it’s also one that is not limited to the charity sector. Around 50% of organisations today seem to be stuck in their use of spreadsheets, which also give rise to the same issues outlined in the survey. But how does an organisation choose a modern system, when they all claim substantial improvements, and appear to be the same? The concern for most organisations is that they will end up spending a lot of time and money in implementation, with the result being too complex and expensive to operate.
Fortunately, cloud-based solutions such as Financial Driver, offer a ‘safe’ approach when moving away from spreadsheet-based planning/reporting systems. By making use of their ‘free trial’ offer, organisations can see for themselves what’s involved and what benefits they could obtain. For example, if you wanted to improve communication, Financial Driver are offering to take your existing budget and in a few days present it back through a secure Internet page. This link will support multiple users, with each only being able to access their ‘portion’ of the budget. From here, administrators can easily load actual data from the general ledger that is then instantly available to all users for reporting and analysis. With the same system, the administrator can request a forecast, with the system taking care of distributing data entry sheets and collecting tailored responses. Responses can then be reported alongside budget and actual results, which could well lead to making budget adjustments to cope with a changing business world. At no time will the administrator or users be expected to learn or develop ‘code’. And if the end result proves useful, then all the organisation has to do is to commit to a low-cost monthly charge. If they see no benefit then the system is switched off with no cost penalty.
Cloud-based applications are transforming the way organisations operate. There is no software to install and no hardware to maintain. This makes them attractive to smaller organizations that can take advantage of the benefits of modern planning systems but without the costs involved of previous generation applications. To request a free trial, contact us here.