Nonprofits, Increasingly Eliminating the Pain and Cost of Grant Accounting

Maggie Tallman, Whole Offering Product Manager, Nonprofits

July 21, 2017

Most nonprofits depend heavily on grants from philanthropic foundations, corporations, government agencies and high-net-worth individuals. Accounting for how those grants are spent, however, is one of the biggest financial administration pain points facing these organizations.

Nonprofit accounting teams(opens in new tab) exhaust untold hours on painstaking spreadsheet labor to tie grants to donor-specified requirements with specific time and use restrictions. The result can be high administrative costs that divert limited resources from a nonprofit’s core mission. It can mean delays and manual errors in reporting back to donors, and in filing IRS 990 disclosures.

Ultimately, that can affect financial and accountability metrics on Charity Navigator and similar websites, frequently used by prospective donors to assess a nonprofit’s worthiness of funding. The nonprofit risks a vicious cycle of high costs, diminished trust and transparency, and declining grant revenue.

This week at the InsideNGO Annual Conference(opens in new tab) in Washington, D.C., NetSuite is showcasing powerful new capabilities that transform how nonprofits handle grant accounting(opens in new tab). Simply put, NetSuite is making it dramatically easier for nonprofits to track how, when and where a grant is spent on any given project, down to the line-item transactional level.

This helps nonprofits better manage complex revenue streams from multiple sources, and meet strict compliance, reporting and donor requirements.

SuiteSuccess for Nonprofits

New grant accounting capabilities are a focal point of SuiteSuccess for nonprofits(opens in new tab), a unified industry cloud solution that combines industry leading practices developed in 1,000+ NetSuite implementations at nonprofits, a new customer engagement model and business optimization methods. Out of the box, SuiteSuccess includes more than 250 industry-specific reports for better operations and decision-making right from the start.

In addition, a new capability called SuiteKey enables easy setup of segment combination codes to automate data entry of transactions against a particular grant, elevating efficiency and visibility into a grant’s lifecycle. Other grant accounting highlights include:

  • Grant records in NetSuite include all relevant terms, conditions and milestones so that vital information is in a single place.
  • Projects linking back to grant records allow for automated time and expense tracking for billable and nonbillable transactions.
  • Dashboards provide drill-down reporting into all transactions related to a grant record, including journal entries, vendor bills and expense reports.

SuiteSuccess for nonprofits embodies NetSuite’s long track record of leading practices and best-in-class functionality into a unified solution, with new grant accounting capabilities among the innovations that equip nonprofits to eliminate needless manual work and focus on excellence in achieving their core missions.

If you’re at InsideNGO, please stop by booth #44 to explore how these and other NetSuite capabilities can dramatically improve your financial and operational efficiency.

To learn more, our SuiteSuccess for nonprofits video series(opens in new tab) offers an overview of the solution and a deep dive into specific capabilities.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.