Ideal Accounting Skills for Working with a Not-for-Profit

Needed across industries and sectors of the economy, accountants play vital roles in maintaining the financial success of any endeavor. In the not-for-profit world, accountants take on the job of securing resources and reducing operating costs to help task-driven organizations achieve more good in the world.

 

Many accountants likely see this as a good enough reason to pursue accounting as a career. Through managing nonprofit budgets and expenditures, an accountant can indirectly serve individuals and communities in need. Even ministers have switched careers to capitalize on the amount of good they could achieve through accounting.

 

But not-for-profit work isn’t the same as traditional accounting work. While many of the same skills apply, accountants in the nonprofit world must hone a unique set of talents. Here’s what you should know.

How Non-Profit Accounting Differs

Many accountants making the transition from work in the for-profit world face a steep learning curve when starting with a non-profit. These economic sectors differ, composed, and driven by different goals and overall missions. While for-profit companies will be more focused on bottom lines, not-for-profits look more at their overall goals and the ways they are using their resources.

 

Accountants in this new environment must be clear on these differences and explore how alternative goals affect accounting work in general. For instance, for-profit entities operate using an often singular ledger system that details revenues and expenditures in a self-balancing account. Not-for-profits, on the other hand, operate with a series of resources and ledgers that must be balanced for ideal application.

 

In conducting this work, there are all kinds of varying terms and practices for accountants to learn. For example, retained earnings become net assets and a net income means an excess of revenues. Rather than an income statement, non-profit accountants create a statement of operations.

 

While these differences may seem primarily semantic, they represent the different goals and practices that drive non-profits versus for-profit businesses. With a non-profit, you don’t want money left over: you want an organization that is doing the most with what it has.

 

That said, there are many useful skills that a not-for-profit accountant can hone to bring greater success to their organization.

Invaluable Skillsets for Not-for-Profit Accountants

First, while accountants can certainly specialize in non-profit work from their undergraduate program onward, any professional with an accounting degree can translate their skills into success with a not-for-profit organization. 

 

Then, it is simply a matter of learning the differences and finding methods to improve the flow of finances and resources towards non-profit goals. Aside from being adept at navigating the nuances of tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization, not-for-profit accountants require skills like the following:

Excellent Organizational Abilities

For any accountant, the ability to manage a ledger system complete with all its fluctuating account details is a must. For non-profits, however, the impetus for ideal organization is even stronger. Nonprofits depend on efficiently maintained records to prove their tax-exempt status and be able to highlight processes for investors and stakeholders.

 

Auditing experience is a highly desirable trait of a non-profit accountant as a result. With the ability to organize and review records to prove compliance with investor and governmental requirements, accountants can keep a non-profit smoothly functioning. 

Effective Management of Tight Budgets

The majority of not-for-profit organizations operate with budgets of less than $1 million. Because of this, accountants in the industry need to keep a sharp eye out for any place they can reduce operational costs while also guaranteeing that donor and grant money goes where it needs to go. 

 

Non-profits are often limited by money given with specific donor restrictions. It is the job of the accountant to ensure that these restrictions are being met and reported within financial documentation. This takes attention to detail and great problem-solving skills. 

Quality Communication

One of the most important qualities for any accountant is the ability to communicate financial information. This is even more important in the not-for-profit sector, where donors want specific things and your organization has a mission to fulfill. 

 

Honing your communication skills can be one of the best ways to excel as a non-profit accountant. This takes empathy and clarity, as well as a willingness to be open to questions and concerns. Any member of your organization should be able to come to you with a question and come away with a clear explanation. Teammates should also be able to contribute with useful feedback and clarify practices wherever necessary. 

 

Implementing these ideal skills into your own toolset can be a great way to maximize the potential of your not-for-profit. If you’re just getting started in the non-profit sector, demonstrating these skills can help get your foot in the door. 

Improving your Status as a Non-Profit Accountant

Getting started as a non-profit accountant requires proper networking and professional qualities. While improving your skills, you can adapt your work and academic experience to write a great accounting resume. In turn, you’ll be able to improve your status as a non-profit accountant and land work with your dream organization. 

 

Your ability to do so, however, will come down to how well you showcase your skills on your resume. Highlight your soft skills like listening and communicating effectively alongside harder skills like experience with certain accounting software. Translate relevant job experience into applicable traits for non-profit work, or express a willingness to learn and adapt. 

 

Not-for-profits need skilled and attentive accountants to streamline the effectiveness of their resources. Demonstrating effective organization, budget management, and communication skills can help you get in the door with the non-profit of your choice. 

 

Then, hone these skills to ensure that your organization does the most good that it is capable of doing. By implementing skillsets and strategies like these, accountants can make a real difference in the world.

Lastly, become a certified Professional Bookkeeper that is both trained and certified in both For-Profit & Non-Profit accounting.

Mitul Mehta, From a Kid Who Loved Numbers To CPA

Although his parents wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer Mitul Mehta was drawn to numbers. Imagine writing code before you were a teenager.

Although Mitul receeived his degree in accounting his career path went the route of technology and consulting. Imagine that background leading up to his wife starting her business and asking him to take care of the books.

Now Mitul has a thriving accounting business offering traditional accounting services coupled with technology and consulting.

Listen as Roger Knecht, president of Universal Accounting Center and Mitul Mehta (https://www.cpa-mehta.com/) discuss his business, the advice he has for others as well as the future of accounting.

Learn more about becoming a Profit First Professional

Become a Profit & Growth Expert

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Donna Parsons, A career worth pursing, and now she has a successful bookkeeping business

Donna Parsons started young and walked the path to become an accounting professional. Following a traditional path she attended school to receive her degrees and then employment. Soon the desire was intense enough to act and start her accounting business.

First she started with a few clients supplementing her income and then it was too much to resist so she quit and went full-time. Now she is “all in” and things are good.

Donna is both happy and busy.

Take a moment and hear her story and what insights she has to share.

Consider having your own successful accounting business:

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Get the confidence to offer quality accounting services:

Accountant Certification Programs

Get the support you need to be in business for yourself but not by yourself:

Power Coaching & Training Program

Consider the success stories of so many others:

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Why Accounting Firms Need Influencer Marketing in their Digital Strategy

Times are changing. Even the most unexpected industries are adopting intricate digital marketing strategies. Because more and more businesses and accounting firms are realizing the importance of a solid online presence in raising awareness and attracting clients.

However, the saturation of businesses and various marketing ploys makes it hard for accounting firms to penetrate the online space and establish their brand. This, in turn, makes it harder for them to acquire clients.

This is where influencer marketing comes in, helping accounting brands, like yours, amplify their digital presence and get their message across to the right audience.

Most challenges companies face today have to do with a lack of communication between the firm and their clients. So getting the correct message across is extremely important. Some clients are not aware of the services offered, failing to retain information that they might need in the future. Most of them are focused on specific problems and fail to look at the bigger picture.

Your marketing strategy must integrate constant reminders about what you do and what you have to offer. However, the competition between accounting firms can easily drown your message. With the help of influencers whose voices are considered authoritative in the industry, you will be able to properly communicate your message and increase your audience retention.

Influencers are ordinary folks who create valuable content and have amassed a strong online following. Their authenticity, relatability, and honesty set them apart from traditional endorsers. For one, online users tend to trust influencers more than celebrities, relying on them for product recommendations.

Why should you integrate influencer marketing into your firm’s digital strategy?

Increase Brand Awareness

Expanding your audience reach can be made easier with the help of influencers. They have the credibility needed to convince your target market to take notice of your brand. With their voice of authority, their followers won’t only listen to them, but they will absorb your message as well. Followers will also learn to trust the influencer, which will eventually lead them to trust your firm.

Improve Audience Engagement

Sometimes it’s important to start conversations about your brand in order to have a higher chance of convincing your audience members to become your clients. Influencers can advocate for your brand by creating content that will resonate with your desired audience.

This will help improve your engagement and build a lasting relationship with your potential clients. It will also be easier for you to provide a better customer experience because your audience won’t hesitate to go to you when they need answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.

Boost Conversion and Revenues

While most influencers tend to focus more on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, there is no reason why influencer marketing can’t be applied to the accounting industry. Influencer marketing has tremendous power when it comes to drawing the right audience and ushering in favorable results.

In fact, when done right, influencer-marketing content can deliver an ROI 11 times higher compared to traditional forms of marketing. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand and achieve a good return on investment.

Final Notes

The nature of an accounting business is more formal than most industries. Therefore, it needs influencers who are credible, knowledgeable and respected in the field of accounting.

Most of these influencers are thought leaders whose knowledge not only stands out but is also authoritative in the industry. Teaming up with them to produce quality content can do a lot to enhance your firm’s reputation and solidify your place in the accounting circle.

Just remember to choose the right influencers who are relevant and suitable for your accounting business. Make sure that their vision and creative content are in line with your own firm’s vision, whether it is offering quality service or providing valuable information for potential clients. Otherwise, your efforts could go to waste because there will be a disconnect between your influencers’ followers and your own target audience.

To learn more about these principles and apply this in your business become a Profit & Growth Expert (PGE).

Infographic URL: https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/influencer-marketing-statistics/

Why Bookkeeping Courses Lead to Great Work From Home Jobs

How a Bookkeeping Course Can Enable You to Work From Home

A professional bookkeeping career can be both lucrative and rewarding, especially if you take the time to investigate available bookkeeping courses online that could empower you to be your own boss and work from home. Every business in the United States, big or small, needs an accurate and detailed set of financial books. While many companies have in-house accounting teams, other businesses may outsource their bookkeeping to professional bookkeepers, many of whom work from home.

Whether you already work as a bookkeeper or want to start a new career, the right bookkeeping courses online can streamline your career path and help you build the accounting career you’ve always wanted. If working from home sounds like an attractive way to build your bookkeeping experience, consider how online bookkeeping courses can help.

 

Why You Should Consider Bookkeeping Courses Online

Establishing yourself as a professional bookkeeper and finding employment opportunities is more difficult than you might expect without the proper qualifications. Completing typical courses at a local school while maintaining your current job can be extremely challenging, especially if you have a family. Bookkeeping classes online can make it easier to obtain the qualifications for the type of job you want to have in the future; you can complete your coursework in a matter of weeks instead of months.

Online courses from Universal Accounting are streamlined and flexible enough to fit your current schedule, but robust enough to provide with the tools and guidance to build a professional bookkeeping business you can manage from the comfort of your home. The freedom and flexibility that come with working as a professional bookkeeper from home does mean more responsibility than you typically would have at a corporate accounting department or as an in-house bookkeeper for a local business. However, Universal Accounting offers a streamlined introduction to the tools and skills you need to manage your home bookkeeping practice effectively.

Time is another critical factor for many modern accounting professionals. Bookkeeping classes online from Universal Accounting offer you the ability to complete your Professional Bookkeeper certification in weeks instead of months, further streamlining your career path and making your services more attractive to potential clients.

 

Benefits of Working From Home

Modern technology has made telecommunication more feasible than ever before for professionals in various industries. This new trend of remote work not only allows employees to enjoy more flexibility in their day-to-day work, but also provides employers with a vastly larger pool of talented individuals who can work remotely. Bookkeeping is no different, and many professional bookkeepers are opting for working from home in lieu of traditional employment with a nine-to-five schedule.

The accounting world will continue to grow and provide invaluable services to countless other industries, but the professionals working in the accounting industry will forge new career paths and develop new ways to work on their own terms. Remote work can be incredibly rewarding with the right training and guidance. If you to pursue a career in professional bookkeeping but do not relish the thought of a nine-to-five shift in an office setting, developing your own bookkeeping practice from home could be the ideal solution. Working from home as a professional bookkeeper offers several tangible benefits:

  • Flexibility in your workdays. You get to decide what days you work, how many hours each day you want to work, and when you want to take off. There’s no need to navigate paid time off rules or use up vacation time when you need a break; simply let your clients know when you’re available.
  • Freedom to be your own boss. Working in any type of corporate structure can feel oppressive at times, and micromanagement from supervisors can diminish enthusiasm and degrade the quality of any professional’s work. When you are your own boss, the responsibility of fulfilling your clients’ needs comes with the ability of completing your work on your own terms.
  • Easier work-life balance. Working from home is especially beneficial to young professionals with families and young children. You could potentially save thousands of dollars each year in childcare costs by working from home while caring for your kids.
  • Minimal overhead. All you need to run a successful bookkeeping practice out of your home office space, a comfortable place to meet with clients if you plan to have face-to-face meetings, and the ability to manage your own business finances and marketing. You won’t need to worry about interviewing, hiring, training, or payroll for additional staff until your business grows large enough to need them, and only if you want them.
  • Virtually unlimited potential to grow your practice. Do you prefer a small, easy to manage list of dedicated clients or do you dream of building a full-fledged accounting company of your own? Bookkeeping courses online can empower you to grow your business in almost any direction.

Flexibility and freedom are the biggest benefits to working from home in any field. Professional bookkeepers who complete the online classes available from Universal Accounting not only obtain the certifications they need to attract new business and serve their clients effectively, but also the tools necessary for attracting new clients, managing their operating expenses, and growing their practices.

 

Enhance Your Professional Bookkeeping Career With Online Courses

Universal Accounting offers a multi-module program aimed at providing students with Professional Bookkeeper certification and a full range of tools to empower them for the future. Working from home not only offers comfort and convenience for everyday work but can also become the groundwork for a successful and lucrative business in professional accounting services.

Whether you plan on building a comfortable side job for extra income or want to take your home bookkeeping business to the next level and grow your own accounting firm from the ground up, the online courses available from Universal Accounting provide you with the tools you will need for professional bookkeeping success.

Universal Accounting provides a streamlined Professional Bookkeeper course that provides you with the certification and training to attract and retain new business as well as guidance for marketing your business, managing your operating budget, and developing new techniques for handling customer issues. If you’re interested in a flexible and robust Professional Bookkeeper certification course you can take online, contact Universal Accounting today at (877) 833-7909 for more information.

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