If you ask 100 nonprofit heads what they like least about running an organization, chances are good that bookkeeping will rank high on the list. It’s an annoying and frustrating chore that takes up a lot of time and is easy to put off until tomorrow.
Avoiding your bookkeeping is dangerous, however. Not knowing your organization’s financial situation can result in a series of missteps that could ultimately cost you your nonprofit.
Here are three consequences of not keeping up with your bookkeeping.
1. You’ll make poor decisions
You can only make informed decisions about your organization when you have a full picture of your current financial situation, including how much money is in your accounts, what your cash flow forecast predicts, and how much money you owe. Without that information, it’s much more difficult to know when you can afford to spend money or when you need to hold back.
Without proper booking, your decisions will be based on how you think things are going, and that isn’t always accurate.
Maintaining your books ensures you have your organization’s full financial picture available to you so you can make smart decisions.
2. You’ll make financial mistakes
Your staff, contractors, and lenders all rely on you to make your payments on time, every time. Payroll itself requires considerable attention to ensure your staff receive their benefits properly.
Not keeping track of your financial books can result in expensive errors being made, including benefits being missed, bills not being paid on time, or over- or under-payments. This could cost you extra in fees for late payments or rushed payments, which also affects your books.
On top of all this, financial mistakes can lead to a lack of trust. You need a trusting relationship with your staff, contractors and lenders. Payment errors can erode that relationship quickly.
3. You’ll lose money
In addition to losing money in unnecessary late fees and payment charges, not keeping track of your books can result in lost money that your organization desperately needs.
You could be paying too much in expenses and if you don’t reconcile your books you’ll have no idea that money is being wasted. Perhaps you purchased a software program to enhance productivity in the early days of your organization. Maybe you stopped using it but forgot to cancel it, so each month for the past few years, you’ve been paying for a service you don’t use.
Those payments add up and affect your overall financial position.
Bookkeeping might be many organizations’ least enjoyable task, but it’s an important one. If you find yourself putting off bookkeeping or dreading doing it, it’s a good idea to look into hiring someone to do it for you. Bookkeepers are trained and knowledgeable in the process, and they can save you valuable time and money in the long run.
Otherwise, be prepared to set aside time regularly to do your books yourself and don’t let yourself put the task off. It’s too important to the future of your business.
Want to get your books in order without adding more work to your plate? Get in touch with us today.