Finance Technology Checklist for Your Foundation A Strategic Guide to Success

Finance Technology Checklist for Your Foundation

by Brenda Kahler
June 01, 2021
A Strategic Guide to Success

Building the right technology is essential to gaining better insight into your foundation’s performance. It enables your staff to be less transactional and more strategic by reducing the time spent on manual processes. It helps your finance team transform into a strategic partner that identifies productivity, cost reduction and controls environment security improvements. Our checklist can get you started.

  1. Identify a person or team responsible for building and driving your tech strategy.
    • They should have visibility over technology for the entire foundation, so you know what solutions are going in where and can leverage them across the organization to address pain points.
    • Meet with the individual or team on a regular cadence to review, adjust and plan.
    • Any strategic initiative should have a project manager, but there should also be an executive or board member championing it.
  2. Get stakeholder buy-in.
    • Up-front involvement will help your team adapt to the new technology and adopt the new processes.
    • Some employees may equate automation with job loss, so make sure staff knows the goal is to empower them to be more valuable by eliminating low-value, manual tasks.
  3. Identify key goals for today, transitional requirements and plans for increasing your impact.
    • Document all your organizational requirements and identify potential solutions that will best address your current and future needs. You want to build a technology system for the organization you are today and for the organization you want to be in 5-10 years.
    • Understand the KPIs required for your foundation’s leaders across the organization.
  4. Analyze your cybersecurity, data privacy and user access need.
    • Will the solution be on-premises, cloud-based or hybrid?
      • What kind of integrations will that entail?
      • Does that create data silos across your existing tech stack?
    • Consider access needs for a remote workforce.
      • How many employees need access to the solution remotely?
      • Do you have remote access documentation?
      • Do you have separate roles and permissions for different user types?
    • Evaluate your system-wide security requirements
  5. Research Solutions and Providers
    • Identify the best person(s) to do an evaluation for each solution.
    • Make sure the solution is agile enough to meet today’s and tomorrow’s plans.
    • Prioritize your solution needs.
    • Understand the ROI potential.
    • Is the solution supported internally or externally?
    • Identify what implementation partners are needed and research how they are ranked.
  6. Build a Finance Tech Stack Road Map
    • Outline the solutions you’ve chosen and how they cover your core processes.
      • Grant making and tracking
      • Online bill payment
      • Expense management
      • Donor management and tracking
      • ERP / Accounting Software
      • CRM
      • Financial Planning & Analysis
    • Continue with the following after outlining your solutions:
      • Identify the implementation timeline.
      • Does the order in which you plan to implement these systems make sense for the data they provide? Or will you have to re-implement technologies later?
      • Note the partners you’ve identified for service and support.
      • Determine which internal teams/departments will be involved.
      • Understand the interrelatedness of the various teams who will own the data and who can contribute to the database.
      • Identify the specific integrations needed.
      • Out of the box or custom.
      • Manual imports.
      • Set goals for implementations and go-lives.
      • Recognize sources for user adoption support for ongoing management.

Need some assistance? Armanino’s nonprofit experts can help you find the software and systems that best support your business goals.

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