Non-Profit Budgeting with Microsoft Dynamics AX
Budgeting is such an important process, regardless of whether you’re planning for your household or for an entire organization. In fact, if you’re a not-for-profit (NFP) organization, budgeting could be the primary reason you are surviving in any economy because you are ensuring that the organization is living within its means, so you can continue to serve the community. Rand Group has worked with NFP budget contributors over the years, and we’ve seen a lot of NFPs struggle with the confines of where technology has been in terms of meeting modern planning objectives. Excel might be fine for your personal budget, but it can be subpar for any healthy NFP. Since you’re reading this article you’re probably, at least, interested in finding an independent software vendor (ISV) budgeting tool that can include your historical Microsoft Dynamics AX numbers and/or maybe information from additional sources, like payroll from Kronos or ADP, to make your planning tasks more efficient. Modern planning software provides secure teamwork functionality for budgeting and forecasting, which makes collaboration simple so that your team can achieve a financial life within the organization’s means.
Budgeting almost always means that more than one employee will come together with historical actuals and projected figures for the coming year’s financial plan. Around the globe, Excel is still king in the finance world, but because you have to manually link spreadsheets together, it isn’t simple or secure. A majority of organizations still rely on Excel, so an ISV solution investment might be seen as a cost you can avoid. This article is going to discuss the benefits of modern budgeting tools, specifically the premier feature and functionality offerings, for NFPs utilizing Dynamics AX.
Third party budgeting software has only continued to grow in popularity with more business user-friendly, flexible, and collaborative functionality. Excel add-ins are popular because they take the familiarity of the spreadsheet program and turbo-charge it with powerful functionality in the form of a toolbar ribbon, empowering end-users to eliminate the manual process of linking separate worksheets. The top ISV solutions provide built-in automation and accounting logic for simple data management for business end users, as well as reusable templates.
At Rand Group, we know that because the amount of data, sensitive or not, is continuing to grow, you might have some concerns about logistics and security. Modern features, as in access right and password protection, are transforming collaboration into distributed ownership over budgets that each department has to work at meeting through the year. With today’s software, you can get away from lengthy e-mail threads that come with hefty spreadsheets attached. Budget managers can then facilitate an easy, collaborative, and inclusive planning process. You’re also able to see your return on investment in more than just dollars.
To continue learning more about budgeting for Not-for-Profit Organizations using Dynamics AX, see a demo of the budgeting application Rand Group implemented for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston here.
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