Running a non-profit organization isn’t easy. Time, money, and resources are often sparse, and this can lead to time consuming workarounds, stressed out staff members, and other issues that can cause drains on time and available resources. With increasing expectations from stakeholders, non-profits are stretched to the limit trying to stay on top of their various projects and missions.
Budgeting and finance professionals are under immense pressure to get their budgeting processes done quickly and efficiently, with minimal costs and difficulty. A great way to meet these goals is to use budgeting software, specifically solutions that are in the cloud.
So why is cloud-based budgeting software right for your team? Here are six reasons why.
Accessibility and collaboration: The workplace has changed dramatically over the last 10-15 years, and employees in the non-profit space are often spread out over sites and even countries. Employees often work from various places (home, office, on the road), using various devices (laptop, desktop, tablet, cellphone), and need to access their budgets wherever they are. If you’re working on spreadsheets, which might just be saved on one person’s computer, this affects your ability to access information when you need it. PowerPlan, by Questica can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection, and because the budget data is housed in once place, you don’t need to worry that you’ve accidently updated the wrong spreadsheet.
Collaboration is much easier too. If you’ve ever tried to get information from different teams and received 10 different spreadsheets which you’ve then had to painstakingly cobble together and make sense of, then you know that collaboration is one of the most important things when it comes to budgeting software. PowerPlan allows for your team to access and edit the same information, giving you and your team hours back to your day.
Affordability: Cloud-based software allows you to have multiple (or unlimited) users (or seats) under one monthly cost or license, which means your costs won’t change should you have to add or drop users. Any support or questions that users have will be answered and remedied by the support teams associated with the software, meaning your IT team is not burdened by another software package to maintain.
Scalability: Scalability is how your software grows and manages the increased demands of your users. If you suddenly had more usage of your budgeting system, would your on-premise hardware be able to cope with the increased activity? Or would it suddenly become very slow and difficult for your team to use? With on-premise software, scaling up would mean buying hardware, such as extra servers. With cloud-based software, no additional hardware is needed, and PowerPlan can easily upgrade your storage and/or CPU capacity so your team can continue working without interruptions to their service.
Reliability and disaster recovery: Reliability is one of the most important benefits of cloud software. If you have connectivity issues, something happens to your servers, or a natural disaster occurs, you could lose vital information. With cloud software like PowerPlan, various controls, agreements, and systems are put in place to make sure that you can access your software, including:
- Cloud Server Redundancy: Cloud server redundancy is when your cloud provider creates duplicate copies of your data and stores it securely. If needed, they can recreate your instance (and data contained within) quickly and easily.
- Guaranteed Uptime: Uptime is the amount of time that a service is online, available, and operational. Most cloud providers will establish their guaranteed uptime in an SLA (Service Level Agreement), and the industry standard is around 99.9%, which works out to about a minute and a half of downtime a day. By establishing this agreement, you have a guarantee that your cloud provider will make sure you always have access to your software, and your information.
Security: Security is of upmost importance for many non-profits who often have very sensitive client information which needs to be protected and kept private. Cloud IT service providers like PowerPlan provide higher levels of security than many companies can provide without having an extensive IT security team. PowerPlan’s hosting services are provided by Microsoft Azure, which provides more than ninety compliance certifications including FERPA, HIPAA, NIST CSF, NIST 800-171, and PCIDSS, and has undergone an SSAE 16 audit.
Environmentally friendly: For many non-profit organizations, it’s incredibly important to be environmentally conscious. If you’re looking for ways to become more sustainable, cloud budgeting software is a great way to do that:
- Reduces energy use: On premise data centres require lots of energy. Oftentimes you’ll not only require energy to power servers, you’ll also need energy to power cooling systems to stop your servers overheating. By using cloud software, you’ll not only decrease the amount of power being used, but you’ll also see a decrease in your energy bills.
- Reduces greenhouse gases and other waste: Every time you need to upgrade your on-premise software, the amount of greenhouse gases that your company produces increases. Servers need to be built (creation of raw materials), constructed (using energy to construct the servers), and even shipped to you (fuel and other emissions). Cloud computing eliminates this, allowing you to avoid a massive carbon footprint.
To learn more about budgeting and transparency tools that can help build your non-profit organization’s legacy, read one of our blog posts or white papers, or sign-up for one of our free monthly informational webinars.