As another year comes to a close, I reflect on our accomplishments, our successes and things that we can improve upon. We have experienced slow but steady growth, particularly in the accounting services part of our practice.
We now provide outsourced accounting services, employing our collaborative model to about 20 nonprofit organizations, which is an increase of 50% from 2012. Most of the new business has come through word-of-mouth, which is a good situation. It is gratifying to see that our original assessment of the need for professional accounting services among smaller nonprofits has been validated. In what used to be a hit-or-miss proposition for many of our clients in managing their finances, they now enjoy the peace of mind that comes from operating under good internal controls and generating compliant, accurate, relevant and timely financial reports. Client satisfaction with our services is our reward and motivation to grow our business and improve our performance.
Looking ahead, we see several challenges that come with growth, the main one – no surprise – is getting the right people on the team and the best organizational model to deploy them. We feel fortunate to have a core of motivated and competent individuals, and also having learned about some of the human intangibles that make a difference. Making the right personnel choices is number one, but we also have to strengthen our infrastructure, especially streamlining and documenting our processes.
The accounting software sales (Abila MIP Fund Accounting) side of the business has been fairly flat over the recession years. We see the prospects improving significantly in the near future as nonprofits regain some of their financial footing. The initial cost of software licenses has become less of an obstacle as the Software as a Service (SaaS) model becomes more accepted by nonprofit organizations. Further, the move toward hosting application software in the ‘cloud’ carries the opportunity of further lowering the cost curve.
A fortunate aspect of our business is the integration of the accounting software side and accounting services. For some of the smaller organizations who acquired the MIP software solution because of challenging financial tracking and reporting requirements, we were able to step in and provide professional accounting services to supplement or replace internal resources at a lesser cost than the client acquiring the requisite staff with the skills, knowledge and experience. This experience only makes our team better equipped to handle software implementations and ongoing support.
Bottom line, we love what we are doing and are thankful for the trust and confidence our clients have shown in us.
We wish you all a joyous holiday.