Insights and tips for association & nonprofit professionals


Association Accounting: 3 Great Tips to Save You Time

Accurate, detailed, and transparent accounting practices don’t have to burden your team with more work!

When it comes to saving time and avoiding data challenges throughout the accounting process, you have a secret weapon: your software solutions! We’re taking a look at how you can make accounting more efficient when you:

  1. Integrate your AMS and your accounting system.
  2. Use financial reporting features to stay up to date.
  3. Work with an expert team through your software.

Let’s start by taking a look at two key software solutions that are most effective when they work together—your association management system (AMS) and your accounting system.

1. Integrate your AMS and your accounting system.

If your association is already using or planning to use an AMS and specialized accounting software, you’ll benefit from integrating these systems so that they communicate with each other.

Look for association management software that integrates with major accounting software solutions such as QuickBooks to save your team the most time. You’ll be able to:

  • Eliminate the need for manual data entry. It’s 2019! You shouldn’t have to manually enter your member transactions from your AMS into your accounting software.
  • Increase accuracy. Every time data is touched by hand, it runs the risk of being corrupted. Modern API data connections reduce the risk of error.
  • Strengthen security. Implementing a system where your AMS seamlessly communicates with your accounting software is one of the fastest ways to improve the security of an association’s accounting protocols. When books are clean and transparent, there are fewer places for fraud to hide.  

Work with your team to choose an AMS that integrates with your accounting software.

2. Leverage your accounting software its reporting capabilities.

Once your Association Management System is fully integrated with your accounting system, you will be able to use the full capabilities of the accounting system’s reporting. Take Intuit’s QuickBooks Online for instance. Out-of-the-box subscriptions come with access to dozens of advanced financial reports.

Robust financial reporting features will allow you to see:

  • Easy reporting to your board. If you’re exporting financials into a spreadsheet so that you can clean them up for your board, you’re working too hard. Your AMS and accounting software should be doing that work for you. Find the right technology, and your workload could drop to the simple click of a “print” button.
  • Details. How many times has a board member asked you a random question about a seemingly insignificant detail in your financials? How nice would it have been to have simply double clicked on your association’s financial report to see all of the underlying details?  
  • Better categorization. Most modern accounting systems allow categorization by class, location, or department. Gone are the days of 500 options in your chart of accounts. When you work with an AMS that integrates with a system like QuickBooks, you’ll gain access to these newer standards so you can ultimately better understand your financials.

While the digital transformation of the accounting process makes it as easy as possible for your team, most of us can benefit from an expert’s perspective as well.

3. Leverage your software’s expert team

When your AMS is designed to facilitate accounting, its support team will be ready to answer your questions.

If your team doesn’t have much accounting experience, your AMS support team can help you answer fundamental questions and make the most of your integrated systems.

For associations with accountants or bookkeepers, support team members can cover more in-depth information. You can check out the Novi AMS guide to AMS functional tools to learn more about working with a support team.

Accounting doesn’t have to be a challenge for your association with the right software solutions! Integrations help make sure that all of your financial data is accurate and accessible.

Pete Zimek is the founder and CEO of Novi AMS. He has been an active participant in over a dozen associations, volunteering in roles ranging from committee chair through President.

Want to dive even deeper? Join Association TRENDS at AMS Fest in Washington, DC on November 6th-7th. This conference exists for association executives to discuss these systems with one another, AMS vendors, and AMS consultants. You’ll listen to sessions, join in discussions, preview eighteen AMS demos, and meet with seven industry partners and eight consultants who can help you determine which AMS is best for you and your organization. Click here to learn more!

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