Believe it or not, your organization is about to be part of an enormous wave of change in the next few years.

That’s because, if you’re like a lot of nonprofits, you’re using an on premise accounting application. And most likely that on premise solution is QuickBooks.

Fundraisers are embracing the speed, mobility and flexibility delivered through the cloud. But take a look around and you’ll see that most business offices are still using outdated accounting systems—though this is rapidly changing. Within a few years, your on premise accounting system will likely be as old hat as cassette tapes and roll-up car windows. You will be driven into the world of the cloud, like it or not, and there are a few key factors that will guide you there:

For starters, there’s explosive mobile growth.  There billions of mobile users around the world and consumers are demanding news, videos, driving directions and other content anytime, anywhere. And when they go to work, those same consumers are now demanding more information to help them do their jobs. They want to access reporting dashboards and other insights to inform mission decisions, all in one seamless, intuitive experience.

And the costs of cloud computing are declining significantly every year.  For example, in 1992 the cost to store a gigabyte of data was $569.  Today it’s two cents.  Yes, two cents.  Overall computing costs have declined 33% annually since 1992. As the costs continue to go down, it makes less and less sense to manage your systems internally, freeing up valuable resources to fuel you mission.

Which is what’s driving adoption.  The great majority of CFOs are planning to implement cloud services for their companies in 2015 and beyond, according to surveys from CFO Magazine, KPMG and Gartner.  In one survey, 71% say cloud computing savings have already exceeded expectations and 64% say that a complete cloud implementation would reduce operational costs by up to 20%.

Besides cost, it’s a data decision.  Not only will cloud-era financial data be highly accessible, but it will be leverage a new generation of reporting and integration tools, significantly changing the way we manage our business. Cloud-based financial systems speak better to your leadership, auditors and supporters, helping drive more transparency, stewardship and compliance.

Are there still concerns? Of course. Security is the one most mentioned. But ask yourself: who is best armed to deal with today’s complex hacker attacks and data breaches – a nonprofit’s limited internal IT resources or the dedicated software providers whose very business model depends on the security of their systems?

The nonprofit environment is perfect for cloud-based accounting applications. Join our nonprofit financial leadership webinar series to find out more.

The Financial Edge


Gene Marks is a CPA and President of The Marks Group PC, a 10 person technology consulting firm based outside of Philadelphia. Marks writes daily for The New York Times and weekly for Inc. Magazine, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox Business and Philadelphia Magazine.

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