SOURCE: Xero

Xero

August 28, 2012 09:00 ET

Xero Offers Helping Hand to Lift Non-Profit Organizations to the Cloud

Leading Online Accounting Solution Offers Discounted Services to NPOs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 28, 2012) - Xero, a provider of online accounting software, today pledged its commitment to help organizations that help others. Xero is offering a 25% discount on its Business Edition accounting software through xero.com to better serve non-profits (NPOs) and help them stay fiscally organized. 

Xero, which serves customers in over 100 countries across the globe, recently reached out to a panel of non-profits and their accounting counterparts in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, to learn more about the business issues that impact them the most and how cloud accounting and Xero can help. Xero found the number one problem NPOs and their financial advisors face is the management (or mismanagement) of cash flow, often as a result of lack of financial capability.

Erica Mohan, Director of Community Education Partnerships, a Bay Area-based organization that supports the academic achievement of homeless youth, said non-profits face unique organizational challenges as they must balance a donation-based budget, manage a staff largely made up of volunteers, and serve a board of directors. 

"With all these moving parts it is very important for our finances to be tracked closely. Many NPOs do not have funds to employ a full-time accounting professional and lack financial planning knowledge. However, Xero is so user friendly even those with the least financial literacy can use it and the advantage of anytime, anywhere access has totally transformed how we keep track of our finances and work with our accountant."

Steve Chaney, Owner of Chaney & Associates, a CPA firm that specializes in working with non-profits said, "My non-profit clientele is a smart, hard-working group, but often they don't have backgrounds in financial management. I've been to witness to their empowerment through the use of Xero. It's been great to watch them gain control over their finances and see these organizations prosper."

Xero has compiled the following tips based on the series of questions they put forth to NPOs and their accounting professionals on how to manage their finances.

  • Standardize your non-profit's reporting system
    As most non-profit staff and volunteers likely will not have a background in accounting it is important to keep and use financial reports and systems that can be understood by all. Implement a standardized format that is easy to read. Keep reporting consistent over time so that anyone from a volunteer to a board member can pick up where the last person left off. 

  • Be transparent with your board
    Allow board members and senior managers full visibility into the numbers and educate them about how to read non-profit financial reports. Non-profits have a responsibility to inform their principals about their fundraising methods, how much is being raised, how it's spent and what is owed.

  • Diligence is critical for NPOs
    It is essential to keep good records no matter how small or large your organization, or how minor or major the amount of money. Non-profits cannot afford to be sloppy or inaccurate with financial records. Employ an easy-to-use, easy-to-read recordkeeping system to make record keeping more manageable.

  • Do your mission a favor, and budget for administration
    Put together a strategic plan, budget and monitor against it. Allocate for costs that might not appear to be directly associated with your 'mission', including financial administration, marketing and IT. Set aside a portion of funds to build in as a reserve from the beginning. 

  • Online accounting was made for non-profits
    Non-profits have multiple projects being managed and executed simultaneously by many different people (typically volunteers). The cloud makes it possible for users to submit expenses, track spending and run reports anytime, anywhere. The cloud also makes it easy for accounting professionals working offsite to provide timely and effective council for non-profits.

"We know staff members at non-profits may not be experienced accountants as they wear many different hats to keep admin costs down," said Jamie Sutherland, president of U.S. Operations, "Xero makes it super easy for anyone to get a handle on their cash and financials so they can focus on their cause, not their books."

To learn more about how Xero can directly help your NPO read our blog post:
http://blog.xero.com/2012/08/the-not-for-profit-high-wire-act
and visit our site at: http://www.xero.com/non-profit/

About Xero
Xero.com is beautiful, easy to use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has over 100,000 paying customers and 240,000 users in more than 100 countries around the world. Xero's U.S. team is based in San Francisco.
http://www.xero.com/

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