6 Factors to Consider When Hiring an Accounting Service for Nonprofits

by | Sep 3, 2020

Are you a nonprofit organization that’s looking to take back control of your financial situation? Maybe you need help with how to budget for certain aspects of your organization. If so, then you need the help of professional accounting service.

Hiring an accounting service can help you receive the financial advice you need, get accessed to professional bookkeeping, and set up your nonprofit for success moving forward.

However, you want to make sure that you hire the right service for the job. Be sure to see below for several factors you should consider when hiring an accounting service for your nonprofit organization.

1. The Return on Investment

Too many nonprofits make the mistake of either attempting to perform accounting duties themselves or hiring the cheapest service possible to save on price. However, in doing so, you might be setting yourself up for failure in the future.

Your intent should never be to find the cheapest accounting service possible. It should be finding a service that gives you the highest return for your investment.

For example, find an accounting service that can help you just as much with your bookkeeping as it can with fundraising tips to kickstart your 501c3.

Any time that you reach out to an accounting firm, be sure to as about how much they charge and how they charge for their services. Some charge for each service they offer while others charge by the hour of work that those services require.

2. Communication With Their Clients

Hiring an accounting service for your needs isn’t just to perform the service, it’s an opportunity for you to learn! You’ll want to get an in-depth understanding of things like bookkeeping, fundraising, and so on.

To learn as much as you can, you need to find an accounting service that’s willing to teach you, not just perform the service. The more you learn, the better your nonprofit will be for it. 

An experienced accounting service can put complicated accounting aspects into layman’s terms for their clients. They can offer additional information and help give you tips on various aspects of your nonprofit’s costs.

3. Specialization in Nonprofit Accounting

Too many nonprofits make the mistake of hiring a business accounting service that doesn’t have experience working with nonprofits.

While there are a lot of similarities between nonprofits and for-profit businesses, there are also a lot of differences, and accounting is no exception. 

A nonprofit accounting service will have experience working with different programs that your organization is running. They’ll have an in-depth understanding of fundraising and how to maximize the donations that you receive.

They’ll understand the ins and outs of donor restrictions and how to keep your finances in accordance with the donor’s wishes. They’ll also help you delegate all funds you receive that are without restrictions and can be applied anywhere you have a need.

Make sure the accounting service you hire is dedicated to nonprofits. That way, you can ensure they will help you stay on-point with your funding and meet the expectations donors and volunteers have for your brand.

4. Variety of Services

If you’re hiring an accounting service for your nonprofit, then you want to make sure they can help you with several different aspects of your organization.

A reputable service will offer certified public accountants (CPAs) as well as bookkeepers to meet the requirements and requests of your donors. They’ll make it easy to track all the incoming and outgoing money for your nonprofit.

This all starts with the opportunity to reach out to an accounting service and tell them more about some of the accounting needs that you have. From there, they will sit down with you to discuss a game plan.

The plan that you and the accounting service put together will affect the pricing. They can outline the different solutions and services that they offer to meet your needs.

5. Check Online Reviews

For those of you that are planning to outsource your accounting needs, you’ll want to get a peek behind the curtain of what it’s like to work with them. There’s no better way to do that than checking the online reviews of previous and current clients.

They can give you insight into the accounting company’s process, communication, customer service, bookkeeping, and so much more.

Reading through their references and reviews can help you make an informed decision about which company to hire. 

Be sure to ask yourself some questions while you read through the comments. What services did those customers have the company perform? Were they happy with the service? What is the overall consensus of their customer support?

6. Goal-Setting Mindset

Your accounting troubles won’t be solved overnight. Remember, you want to find an accounting firm that helps you over the long haul.

For that reason, you should find a service that helps you set both short-term and long-term goals for your accounting.

You can tell them about your nonprofit’s five-year plan, and they can create an actionable set of goals to help you achieve it. 

“Your accounting troubles won’t be solved overnight. Remember, you want an accounting firm that helps you over the long haul.”

The Charity CFO

Use These Factors When Hiring an Accounting Service

Now that you’ve seen the several different factors that you need to consider when hiring an accounting service, be sure to use them to your advantage. 

Take the time to read this page to learn about how our services can help you with your nonprofit’s accounting and bookkeeping needs.

For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out on our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further!


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