Many businesses have had to think on their feet in the past year as a result of COVID-19, but none more so than those in the charitable sector. The pandemic has provided new challenges, not only in providing core services to those in need but also in keeping on top of the day-to-day finances.
Fundraising has been hit heavily as events are cancelled across the country which often provide much needed funds to charities. Therefore, keeping on top of budgets and cashflow have never been more important. Often when applying for government funding or grants charities are being asked to provide information on what has been lost by COVID-19, but how is that possible? We often see charities that rely on paper records and on key members of staff for knowledge. What the pandemic has shown us is that we need to be adaptable and easily able to change with sometimes less than one day’s notice.
But how can this be achieved when the records are held at head-office and staff are all currently working in different locations? Perhaps processing of financial information has fallen behind and you do not have sight of the funds available to you.
Our Virtual Finance Function (VFF) can provide the solution by offering the following:
- One-off systems review and implementation to put bespoke cloud systems in place and financial information up to date. This allows the finance team to access the system from any location and operate in a paperless fashion. (No trips needed to the office to collect paperwork!);
- Time saved on the day-to-day processing by utilising direct bank feeds so transactions no longer have to be manually input;
- Use of apps to assist in the recording of fundraising information, which can link directly to fundraising sites such as Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving;
- Taking charge running the finance department if your charity doesn’t have a dedicated finance team. This can include everything from a finance assistant all the way up to a virtual CFO;
- Creation and import of budgets into cloud accounting software, so real-time budget-to-actual information is available, allowing shortfalls to be identified before they become an issue;
- Tracking the profit and loss of individual projects at the click of a button so shortfalls can be easily identified and steps can be put in place to address them.
The above can give you peace of mind that your charity has the infrastructure in place to navigate 2021 and beyond. There really is no time like the present to use technology to your advantage.
Technology is enabling and equipping charities to be adaptable and agile in an ever changing world but ensuring that the oversight and governance is strengthened not weakened.
If you would like to find out more about how our VFF service, please contact Lauren McIlroy or your usual AAB contact.