Chapter 2 – “I couldn’t wait for my CFO to retire”
Sometimes the truth of the matter needs to remain anonymous. This is a fictionalized account of some very real experiences.
This is an excerpt from the eBook ‘Confessions of Nonprofit Executive Directors – Seven Unspoken (but All Too Familiar) Reasons for Outsourcing Accounting‘
Amanda Y. (not her real name), sighs and then hesitantly describes the series of events that led to her decision to outsource, and the long seven months she waited before she could make the change.
“I was at a conference. Another Executive Director, Carol, was presenting. She led another organization in my city and I knew of her,” recalls Amanda. “Carol was showing how her organization used dashboards to display key financial and other data to help her and her team understand exactly where they were in accomplishing their goals. I was blown away.”
When Amanda returned from the conference, she shared her experience with her CFO. He dismissed the idea of upgrading the accounting tools. “Mike said that technology could do most anything, but whether we could afford it and whether anyone could understand it well enough to implement and use it – was another question.”
Amanda returned to her office, disappointed. “But as I was driving home that night, it occurred to me that Carol’s organization was a lot smaller than ours. How was she able to afford it?” Amanda decided to call her the next day.
Carol invited Amanda to visit – she showed Amanda how she used her dashboards and the customized dashboards her program managers and her development director used.
“I was green with jealousy,” admits Amanda. “At one point I was thinking ‘I wonder if I could come and work here?’ Carol and her managers had everything they needed to make the most informed decision possible. Program managers didn’t have to guess how much of the grant quarterly funding had been spent and if there was enough funding left to take on new cases.”
“Finally, I blurted out, ‘How can you afford all of this?’ says Amanda. Carol leaned back in her chair and smiled, “It’s a wash. We had a full-time person leave. We decided to outsource rather than hire. I wish I had done this years ago,” Carol revealed.
“Driving home, all I could think about was that Mike would be retiring at the end of March,” Amanda recalls. “I could do my research and if we could make the move as easily as Carol’s organization did, I was going to present it to the board.”
Amanda completed her research within a month. She met with the team at Qbix, did her due diligence and then made her presentation to the board. “The transformation is remarkable. We are all better agents of the organization because we have the real-time information we need to make better decisions,” notes Amanda. “And, I can’t emphasize this enough, it was so easy!”
To read all seven chapters, download our eBook ‘Confessions of Nonprofit Executive Directors Seven Unspoken (but All Too Familiar) Reasons for Outsourcing Accounting‘
Rocky Davidson Macon, GA