Non profit organisations are all about doing good and bringing about radical changes. They are focused on fundraising, community service and volunteering. The key focus is to always make a difference in society. However they can only achieve this by making sure everything else within the organisation is status quo. One area that is often neglected is expense management. Unlike their counterparts, they do not work for profits, but they do still incur expenses. Expense management is just as important in a NGO as it is in any other company. People are likely to spend a lot more money when done for a humanitarian cause. It is vital to keep a track of these expenses to make sure employees are returned back money they spent for business purposes. Expense reports take days to make and submissions aren’t usually on time. Even though not voiced out often, your staff is probably unhappy about slow reimbursements. Non profits need an efficient expense management solution that outlines how staff or volunteers receive funds to make purchases on behalf of the organization.
Moreover, while trying to reduce the reimbursement time, expense tracking tools are providing a lot more to a non-profit. Let’s take a look at what an automated expense management solution can do for any NGO.
No wastage of resources
Transparency is key in a charitable organisation. NGOs are established with funds from various people and companies and it is necessary to ensure these funds are being used in the right place and for the right reasons. Hence, having a policy in place and making sure expenses are recorded according to those guidelines is of utmost importance. An expense management tool comes with automated policy violation checks to avoid wastage of resources. Organisations can set limits on expenses and volunteer and workers are immediately notified about compliance issues. Synchronous policy checks act as the gatekeeper to ensure there is no fraud and that non-compliance does not cost these organisations their ‘non profit’ title.
Travel made easy with per diem
Many NGO workers and volunteers tend to travel in order to assist communities and other social groups. Per diems help them claim reimbursements in one easy step instead of having to file every expense on a daily basis. Organisations must be sure to inform their workers about per diem guidelines and what it will and will not cover. Fyle’s per diem feature on the mobile app allows users to record per diem in real time and not have to worry about receipts storage. With multi-currency, the app will automatically detect the exchange rate and convert the expense amount to the default currency. Users never have to manually calculate conversions or worry about any errors.
Easy access for non-employees
NGOs often have people volunteering for a short period of time. In that time they may also incur costs and need to be reimbursed. Manual expense reporting is a pain point in cases like these as volunteers require training on how to make expense reports and knowledge on policies. Besides that they are also expected to keep a track of expenses manually. Surely, they didn’t think they were signing up for this. An automated solution permits new users to start reporting expenses with just a few steps. All they need to do is make an account which demands an email ID and a password. The user friendly smartphone app promotes flexibility, mobility and makes no use of paper.
Better categorisation and visibility
Expenses can be categorised under labels like food, travel and more or even custom labels according to what the organisation is likely to spend on. These reports along with the breakdown can be viewed by approvers at any time. Correlating to the above point on transparency, expense analytics gives NGOs better visibility into travel and operating spend. The expense data collected by the solution helps in making expense analytical reports. NGOs can get better visibility into worker expenses. They can gain statistics and trends on project wise expense to understand how successful they were with the project versus how they spent on it. Further giving them the opportunity to make changes to worker budgets and allocation of costs.
It is crucial for non profit organisations to make sure that a lion’s share of their funds are going into areas that need it the most. Travel and expense management tools can help keep fraud at bay and avoid unnecessary expenses. The availability of the automated solution at all times and even in remotest of areas, thanks to the offline feature, helps NGOs and their employees file expenses on the go. Expense reports are generated in one-click and with seamless accounting integration, NGOs can transfer expense data from their expense management system to their accounting setup. By making expense tracking and expense reports easier, nonprofits can maximize their resources and solve more challenges for the communities they serve.
We at Fyle understand that running a NGO is not easy. Teach For India uses Fyle and has made tremendous progress in slashing their reimbursement cycle from 18 days to just 6 days. Thanks to the automatic reminders and the use of the gmail plug-in, the NGO is able to make expense tracking easier for their staff. With employees constantly travelling to meet people, interact with communities and help solve social issues, expense reports may seem pale in comparison. Hence, we aim to make expense tracking easier for not only individuals and corporate, but also for non profit organisations.
Want to join the new standard in expense management?