Successful non-profits rely on the synthesis of people, processes, and technology to accomplish objectives with speed, efficiency, and accuracy. When talented people follow proven processes, empowered by modern, cloud financial tools, non-profits can adopt a data-driven strategy, becoming more proactive and improving stewardship of financial resources.
This article provides an explanation of the people, processes, and technology (PPT) framework and how it can help organisations improve non-profit financial management. We’ve also gathered tips in each of these areas from non-profit leaders who have used Sage Intacct to transform and streamline the financial management processes.
The people, process, technology (PPT) framework refers to the methodology in which the balance of people, process, and technology drives action: People perform a specific type of work for an organisation using processes (and often, technology) to streamline and improve these processes. To drive strategic decision-making within your non-profit, you will need:
People: Your finance team needs curious, creative, analytical, people who will monitor data, identify trends, and hypothesise how to achieve success and improve mission impact.
Processes: Well-documented, effective methods of accomplishing key tasks will help organisations train employees and make effective use of technology.
Technology: Organisations need three technological capabilities to become a more data-driven, strategic finance team:
It’s important to note that people, processes, and technology must be kept in relative balance in order to optimize success. Without enough people, work does not get accomplished, and your team burns out. Without creative people, innovation suffers. Inefficient processes frustrate employees, partners and donors, either delaying or derailing progress. Lacking the right technology, organisations spend too much time on low-value, manual tasks and decision makers do not have the advantage of real time insights.
Are your people, processes, and financial tools (technology) aligned properly to optimise your finance organisation’s performance? Let’s look at some tips for each area.
Employees and volunteers deliver on the mission of any non-profit. Without the right people, organisations simply don’t succeed. Today, there is strong competition for talent and a very tight labour market. So, it has never been more difficult or more important to find non-profit financial professionals with the right mix of creativity and analytical skills.
Glenn Wood is the Church Administrator at Seacoast Church, a multiple location church operating in North and South Carolina as well as online. Its mission is to help people find God, grow their faith, discover their purpose, and make a difference. Glenn has been with Seacoast Church since 1995 where he oversees administration, IT/AV departments, legal work, campus leases, forecasting, and more. He has been using Sage Intacct for over 4 years.
Glenn provided these tips for making sure your organisation offers a culture and opportunities that will help you recruit and retain great employees:
Good processes make the most of both your people and your technology. Process drives the interaction between employees and financial tools, enabling organisations to get more done with fewer resources. Without well-documented, efficient processes, both organisations and employees will suffer from inconsistent performance.
Braam du Plooy is the Controller at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) which helps to bring over 42 million visitors to Georgia each year. In support of its mission to drive tourism, ACVB runs a non-profit chamber of commerce and arts foundation, as well as for-profit publications. Braam has been with ACVB since 2005 and has used Sage Intacct for over 5 years.
Describing himself as “an optimistic futurist,” Braam enjoys automation and integrating processes and the challenge of finding new and more efficient ways of being productive. He offered these insights for improving processes through the use of technology:
Technology empowers your people and transforms all of the data collected across your organisation into something meaningful—valuable real-time insights for leaders and key performance indicators.
Kote Lomidze is the Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO of World Learning, an NGO focused on international development, education and exchange programs. In addition to his years at World Learning, Kote held financial leadership positions at Project Concern International based in San Diego and at World Vision.
Kote has exceptional talent with financial management technology. He has been using Sage Intacct since 2014 and has developed more than ten custom applications on the Sage Intacct platform that eliminated every internal paper-based process and leveraged efficiencies to save thousands of staff hours each year. Here are his tips for aligning technology with people and processes to achieve mission success:
As you can see, the PPT framework provides a helpful way of examining your organisation’s performance. When people, processes, and technology are properly aligned and in balance with one another, your finance team’s efficiency and effectiveness can soar.
The Akuna Solutions Team