Helping nonprofits become stronger financial managers.

November 14, 2013

Built-in Dashboards – A Great Value-added Tool 

This is the last article of a three-part series about using dashboards to present and communicate financial information. Initially, we recommended an article about the planning that should precede the creation of dashboards. My second article demonstrated the use and versatility of Excel in creating dashboards as part of the financial reporting package prepared for executive management and the Board of Directors.

In this article, I want to talk about another type of dashboard, those that are built in to the accounting software and serve more than a presentation purpose but also provide management with a business intelligence tool for analysis and planning. A good example is the suite of dashboards called the Visual Analyzer in the nonprofit accounting software we are most familiar with, Abila MIP Fund Accounting. The existence of built-in dashboards may not be the main reason for buying or subscribing to the software, but it sure is a useful value-added extra that will pay for itself.

Essentially, the dashboards present a number of pre-defined views that display financial information in graphic and tabular form either as a snapshot or over time with the capability of varying the timeline and filtering the content to be presented. With the MIP Visual Analyzer the user can manipulate financial information, slicing and dicing it into meaningful categories and drilling down to transaction-level detail. It comes with multiple-preformatted dashboards covering four functional areas. 

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Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Warm Regards,

Lee Bengston

An Idea – What About a Monthly MIP Tips & Tricks Virtual Roundtable?

Over this calendar year, NFP Partners has sponsored two live MIP Fund Accounting advanced training workshops that were well attended and generated very positive feedback. It’s something that we will continue to do in the spring and the fall. Many MIP users have demonstrated that they are eager to learn more about the software to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
Because there is a proven interest in more learning about the software, we are thinking about holding a monthly virtual roundtable for MIP users over the web using conferencing technology. Topics would be suggested by the users with one or more selected for each session. An NFP consultant would moderate the sessions, which would last about an hour, with both NFP consultants and users presenting the topics. There would be no cost to participate. Before going any further we would like to get an idea on the degree of interest and suggestions for topics and structure. And so, MIP users expect to receive a web survey email request in the next couple of weeks. If you really like this idea and have some suggestions, please contact Lee Bengston at 303-586-5011.

IRS Releases Draft 2013 Form 990 Instructions 

The 2013 Form 990, issued by the IRS, is available for review and comment. There are not major changes but a few things to note. Read William Eisig’s article in the BDO Nonprofit Standard for more information.
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Knowing When to Leave QuickBooks
November 21 at 2:00pm MST

Managing Nonprofit Financials for Greater Success
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:00pm MT

Fundraising:  How to achieve greater fundraising success!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:00am MT

Streamline Your Grant Management Process
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:00pm MT

Fundraising:  Make Stronger Connections with Supporters on the Web
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:00am MT

Four Trends Impacting the Charitable Giving Landscape in the Next Year 

Read BDO’s take on what nonprofits might expect as four major trends that came out of the 2013 United Way Financial Management and Human Resources Forum.

Colorado Nonprofit Financial Manager Peer Group

The Colorado Nonprofit Financial Manager Peer Group is an educational networking groups for Colorado nonprofit finance professionals. Its purpose is to offer a forum for professionals in the field to network, exchange ideas and resources, and learn about best practices and new developments in the field of nonprofit accounting. Please visit the group's meet up site to register and view upcoming events. 
If you have questions, please contact Jessica Taylor at


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