Accounting Today - - Technology - From page 33 From page 30

process of eval­u­a­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Scarano, “We are ex­plor­ing op­tions to in­cor­po­rate AI into our applications to make data en­try eas­ier for users based on his­tor­i­cal data en­tered into the sys­tem.”

Ac­cu­fund is some­where in the mid­dle on this topic. Scot­land said, “AI may seem like far-off tech­nol­ogy for non­prof­its, but it’s com­ing soon to a de­vel­op­ment of­fice near you. Ac­cu­fund’s in­te­gra­tion with Sales­force al­lows de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cers to use pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics to bet­ter un­der­stand the like­li­hood of ma­jor gifts, or the suc­cess of spe­cific cam­paigns. For our ac­count­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, we have added in­tel­li­gent au­toma­tion to com­po­nents and pro­cesses within Ac­cu­fund. It’s not quite AI, but it al­lows users to au­to­mate pro­cesses in ex­cit­ing new ways.”

How­ever, not all of the ven­dors we sur­veyed are as en­thu­si­as­tic. Red Wing’s Hil­ton noted that they haven’t had any in­ter­est in this tech­nol­ogy from their clients. And, ac­cord­ing to GMS’ Cas­sady, “We cur­rently do not have AI in our prod­ucts as we haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced the need in the non­profit sec­tor for this ca­pa­bil­ity.”

Noth­ing re­mains the same

Fi­nally, we asked our ven­dors where they think the in­dus­try is go­ing. GMS’S Cas­sady told us, “Non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions have be­come very re­sults-ori­ented re­gard­ing max­i­miz­ing the ser­vices they pro­vide. We see merg­ers be­tween sim­i­lar non­prof­its to pool re­sources and max­i­mize re­sults in a re­gion. They are also very con­scious as to make sure their fi­nan­cial re­ports pro­vide the most ac­cu­rate pic­ture of what a pro­gram costs the or­ga­ni­za­tion. They are still very budget-driven, be­cause in a lot of cases there is a de­fined amount of funds they will re­ceive through grants and awards, and not one dol­lar more. How­ever, the line be­tween bud­get­ing and re­port­ing is not as blurred as it used to be. Know­ing ex­actly where they stand fi­nan­cially is now a crit­i­cal is­sue.”

Ap­los’ Goetz said, “The fu­ture is look­ing bright for non­profit ac­count­ing. With in­creased adop­tion of the cloud, it is in­creas­ing the ease of track­ing ac­count­ing in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions, out­sourc­ing to ex­ter­nal pro­fes­sional book­keep­ers, and con­nect­ing data with other soft­ware so­lu­tions. Rather than get­ting by with a small-busi­ness ac­count­ing soft­ware, more non­prof­its are de­mand­ing cus­tom­ized, mod­ern so­lu­tions that con­nect with their other man­age­ment tools.”

And ac­cord­ing to Brandy Keller, di­rec­tor of prod­uct man­age­ment and prod­uct mar­ket­ing at Com­mu­nity Brands, a non­profit soft­ware provider cre­ated from the com­bi­na­tion of Abila, Ap­tify and Yourmem­ber­ship in 2017, “In­creas­ingly, non­profit fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als are look­ing for ways to mod­ern­ize their tech­nol­ogy and lever­age those tools to ac­cel­er­ate their mis­sions and min­i­mize time spent on ac­count­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Given re­cent changes in tax pol­icy and an evolv­ing do­na­tion land­scape, re­port­ing and trans­parency across or­ga­ni­za­tions are be­com­ing more im­por­tant than ever.”


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