Why not-for-profits and charities need unified ledgers

Ledgers have been used in one form or another for centuries to track financial accounts. As organisations’ accounting and financial processes have become more complicated, so too have the ledger systems they use, and most not-for-profits keep several books and accounts for different purposes.

Sheldon Gillmore

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However, as we enter a digital age, most financial software has struggled to evolve past a three-book ledger system. Not-for-profit organisations need total accountability and reliable reporting of transactions, but their financial data exists in several locations at once, making it a long and arduous process to make sense of the information.

With a modular three-book system, ledger entries are compared and reconciled with one another between books as part of a time-consuming and often confusing process. When you consider the vast amount of data sets that a not-for-profit organisation manages daily, this eats up hours of finance team’s time. That’s before you even consider the margin for human error.

Enter the Unified Ledger

In direct contrast, a unified or single ledger system does away with modular ledgers and instead records all transactions into a single book. There’s no opportunity for your books to become unbalanced, as there’s nothing to copy over; everything exists as part of the same record.

With a unified ledger system such as PS Financials, you can add data tags to identify and filter entries for quick, deep analysis. You can even add dynamic tags that update in the background as information is added to the ledger. For example, you could track all entries by a particular product manager, and the list will be updated with their entries in real time as they work.

Break Free from Tradition

Unified ledgers aren’t restricted by the three-book system. Add as many or as few ledgers as you need.

If your charity has multiple outlets, functions, or fundraising opportunities, each of these could be consigned to its own ledger for easy reporting or combined for a comprehensive overview. For example, you could view asset costs across your organisation or just at a specific location at the click of a button, enabling organisation-wide reporting.

You can also create an unlimited number of budgets and forecasts against financial and non-financial data.

Provide Stakeholders with Accurate Reporting

Unified ledgers enable flexible analysis. Rather than being constrained by a limited structured set of analysis options, you can set your own variables, enabling a clear and concise overview of project performance and fund distribution.

Reporting and analysis aren’t restrained by the limitations of the software, but can instead be configured to meet the needs of your charity, empowering you to provide accurate trustee and donor reporting.

Unified Ledgers Integrate Seamlessly

PS Financials integrates with leading not-for-profit systems, including Donorflex, Raisers Edge, Care CRM, Salesforce and ThankQ. It also supports feeds in from your payroll provider, bank and Excel, making the transition to a unified ledger painless.

“PS Financials has allowed us to do complex reporting directly from the system that we could not even dream about before.”
The Fairtrade Foundation

As a leading provider of financial and back-office management software for over 4,000 not-for-profit organisations worldwide, PS Financials offers your organisation the tools you need to succeed and grow.

Discover how PS Financials can aid your not-for-profit organisation today.

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