Transforming Nonprofit Finance Departments to be Prepared for the Future - Automation & Artificial Intelligence

September 15, 2020

COVID-19 has changed our lives, our societies, and our businesses forever. No one was prepared for the drastic and overnight change it has brought us. Suddenly, we were working from home using tools and technology that we had never learned before.

 

As the third-largest employment sector in the US, nonprofits faced new challenges: employees worked remotely full time, new procedures were put in place that did not meet internal controls (i.e., single approval of invoices of all amounts, and no segregation of duties) and there was limited or no access to paper reports and trails required to perform daily activities (copies of checks, invoices and other accounting related support documents). While some nonprofits were more prepared than others as they had already practiced an automated and digital mindset, it was still challenging to adjust to the new conditions.

 

It is crucial for nonprofits to understand their financial health, have accurate cash flow models, and be able to perform scenario analysis to assist with strategic decisions. Timely information is essential, as is having the proper tools and workflows to best prepare for this dynamic environment. The rapid change in how we conduct business as a result of a global shutdown ends any lingering debates on whether or not technology is critical for nonprofits to thrive.

 

Where Are We Heading? 

Finance and accounting practices continue to evolve, and automation and artificial intelligence must be the center of this new environment. The diagram below displays a sample of many of our current technology ecosystems and the transformation that we will need to undertake. 

 

 

At Kiwi Partners, we know leveraging technology is essential, and we strive to bring our clients value-added advisory services that are possible through our commitment to automated workflows, reconciliation, and application programming interface (API), or import/export of transactions when this is not possible.

 

The importance of technology in our lives has never been more evident. It is integral that we adjust to the new circumstances, and continue to apply automation and implement new cloud applications that will support us through this time, and into the future! 

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