Accounting Solution – Moving to the cloud

Hi Everyone, I'm the I.T Director at a medium sized non profit in Canada focused on the settlement and resettlement of newcomers to Canada. We have roughly a 5 mil a year budget made up of multiple funders and around 70 staff.

Out I.T department consists of just me, and our Accounting of just one Controller.

We're currently using Sage 50, and I would like to move away from it to a cloud solution for multiple reasons. Our controller is completely against this. We pay roughly $2550 / year for Sage licensing and support.

My case use for a new cloud solution is as follows:

  • Secure access from anywhere without needing to be physically located or VPN'd into our local network. (Covid has shown how necessary this really is)
  • Our servers are nearing end of life, and many of our other tools have been migrated to the cloud. I can significantly lower cost on new servers once everything, including Accounting software is cloud based.
  • We are in the progress of implementing ADP for both Payroll and HR (Controller was completely against this for unknown reasons). We have not fully rolled it out, but it's already proving to be beneficial. I would like a solution that can integrate with ADP rather than having to manually export then import payroll journal entries.
  • I'm looking for more budget transparency for the managers. Sage 50 only includes 2 users, and a local install to access. Most cloud solutions I see include multiple users that would allow all Managers to log in and view their budgets (with restrictions) Our current process is that the Controller provides a spreadsheet to them once a month, and often they don't understand it, or it has incorrect information.
  • Efficiency – looing for bank integration for quick and easy reconciliation. Again ADP integration for timesheets. Our controller currently prints out each and every staff timesheet and goes through them one by one.

So at this point I'm basically looking for guidance / suggestions on a couple things.

Our Controller – How do I convince him that this is necessary? He's so old school and seems to refuse to learn new things. His argument is always "well we can do that with excel" for example he wants to continue tracking vacation and timesheets in excel, even though we're implementing ADP.

New solution – What are other organizations of similar size using? What do you like / dislike about it? What are must haves? What should we stay away from? Two immediate affordable solutions that come up are QuickBooks online for Nonprofits, and Xero, however I don't know if they are the right choice. Again when I ask my controller about it, he simply responds with "All accounting software is the same".

I've recently learned what Fund Accounting is, and sounds like we should most certainly consider a solution that includes that. (My controller doesn't know what fund accounting is). Is it a must, or just nice to have?

Any help or input would be greatly appreciated and let me know if more details are needed.

Thank you for you time!

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