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Grant Management System in Rotary Clubs: In-house or Outsourced?

Effective management of district grants, global grants, disaster response grants, and others is paramount for the success of humanitarian projects, scholarships, support relief and recovery programs, and vocational training programs.

To gain measurable outcomes for these programs, it’s imperative for you to maintain a standard set of accounts, including a complete record of all invoices, receipts and disbursements. Also, there is a need for good stewardship and constant monitoring of grant funds.

To increase mission impact and get the credit that you deserve for your hard work, you should be more data driven. By documenting the key metrics, reconciling accounts, and updating monthly financial, you get a clear financial visibility.

But measuring impact can be challenging, because there is no one-size-fits-all methodology.

“Rotary Clubs are trying to solve a problem. The question is, is there any solution to track and manage grants efficiently when you are solving that problem?”

Although you have a standardized system for transparency and proper oversight of restricted and unrestricted grants, it is requisite to understand the intricacies of fund accounting, eliminate financial hiccups, gain real-time financial visibility and reduce administration burden and cost. However, the question is – is it good to develop the grant management system in-house or outsource to a trusted accounting partner?

The Winning Strategy: In-house vs Outsourced Grant Management

When you record and track grants in-house, certainly you have increased control and proximity. You get the opportunity to set up tailored internal processes and operations that align with your specific needs. After all, it’s your internal team, and no one can have a better understanding of internal processes than your team, which makes an in-house approach to manage grants more tempting and sensible. Also, it enables you to take instant action in case of changing priorities.

Sounds great, right? Well, with great power comes great responsibilities. There is a constant struggle of hiring and retaining specialized talent and staying up to date with cutting-edge technology. Also, you need to be vigilant and stay abreast with changing regulations to maintain your tax-exempt status.

Me trying to understand grant regulations.

Given the risks and vulnerabilities of managing grant accounting in-house, forwarding thinking Rotarians like you outsource accounting and reporting. It enables you to streamline grant accounting, optimize resource allocation, and enhance financial transparency, addressing challenges tied to in-house teams’ costs and specialized skillsets.

Efficiency and Impact: Outsourced Accounting Advantages for Rotary Clubs

Through outsourced accounting, you achieve the fastest turnaround, with bookkeeping tasks completed overnight. By the next morning, funds are segregated based on programs and events, bills are accurately recorded as per the details shared, sales receipts are matched with bank deposits, and more. And why not? You tap into the expertise of certified nonprofit accounting professionals having accounting experience and technology know-how.

The ideal outsourcing partner follows standardized outsourced accounting procedures that simplify the job of a treasurer. Your partner is well-versed in the nuances of the clubs’ operations and seamlessly handles complex reporting, monthly board financials, actual vs budget analysis, prepaid and amortization, and financial statement analysis.

As Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win, said “We’re multifaceted human beings with different elements and different personality traits, and there’s vulnerabilities that we don’t see. Even if the final accounting shows the funds were eventually spent on legitimate items, there is always a scope of errors and discrepancies.

The secret to being more resilient and maximizing mission impact is to delegate critical and time-consuming grant accounting to an outsourcing partner. It’s not about comparing ourselves to others. It’s about thinking big, taking bold moves, and closing the gap between aspirations and where you are today.

Nothing fazes me because I am confident my books are always audit-ready as I have partnered with a trusted outsourced accounting firm.

Outsourced nonprofit accounting companies are the guardian of rigorous internal controls, establishing a fortified financial infrastructure that safeguards against errors, fraud, and non-compliance. They provide scalability and flexibility, allowing you to adapt swiftly to market changes and manage costs more effectively. And finally, you can direct more resources toward achieving your goals and expanding programs.

No longer need to drag the team through complex grant tracking, cash flow management, and preparation of financials, accrual-based accounting and monthly reconciliations. You can ensure operational consistency, prompt document retrieval, elevated quality of board and donor deliverables, and enhanced credibility among stakeholders.

By John Bugh

John Bugh is Chief Revenue Officer for Pacific Accounting and Business Services (PABS), responsible for the strategic direction, planning, vision, growth, and performance of the company’s marketing, branding, and revenue streams.

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