Kiva Focuses on Core Mission of Alleviating Poverty with NetSuite

David Geilhufe, Program Manager, 

May 31, 2017

Founded in 2005, the non-profit(opens in new tab) organization Kiva has been remarkably successful in its mission to help alleviate poverty by facilitating microfinance loans to entrepreneurs in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Growing steadily each year, the San Francisco-based non-profit has connected nearly 850,000 lenders and $377 million to borrowers around the world since its launch. With a 99 percent repayment rate, Kiva is making a genuine difference in economic conditions and quality of life in some of the world’s neediest regions, as testimonials on its in new tab) website show.

But until 2010, Kiva financial(opens in new tab) managers suffered a challenge of their own—a lack of timely, accessible and comprehensive information needed to manage expenses and payables, generate dozens of financial reports and comply with IRS regulations governing non-profits.

The problem was that Kiva’s growth outstripped the capabilities of the  applications it had
been using for five years. It found a solution with NetSuite through a partnership with the corporate citizenship program, which offers no-cost and discounted software licensing to qualified charities and social enterprises.

Replacing multiple on-premise applications, NetSuite has helped Kiva focus on its core mission by streamlining operations, improving financial speed and precision while supporting auditing and regulatory compliance.

“NetSuite allows our finance managers to engage more with our products and systems as opposed to simply dealing with manual data entry, processing and reporting,” said Kiva Acting CFO/Finance Director Stefanie Madrid. “Now we can get information in five minutes that would take days with our previous applications.”

“We have real-time finances vs. dealing with a lag-time in fund-raising and programmatic tracking and reporting,” she added. "'s product grant helps Kiva keep administrative overhead low even as our lending portfolio has grown substantially.”

Since implementing NetSuite, budget vs. actuals reporting time has been reduced to hours compared to the days required with previous applications. Time to review and approve per diem expense reports from about 60 employees who are traveling in some 60 countries has been reduced from a week to a day, and the NetSuite cloud lets globe-trotting workers access the system anywhere that Internet is available.

Powered by the NetSuite Employee Center, the system supports clear, informative expense categorization and automatically displays Kiva's approved per diem rates based on territory, adding clarity to the process.

Sound accounting and financial transparency is particularly important for non-profits to earn high ratings on websites that monitor and rank charities, thereby influencing funding, and Kiva ranks highly on leading charity sites. Additionally, Kiva’s use of NetSuite to effectively support its core mission won the organization a SUITEY Award for “Best Non-Profit Company Solutions” at SuiteWorld 2012.

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