Why Automation Matters

How Automation Can Help Nonprofits

Many nonprofits spend years relying on manual data entry, spreadsheets, and basic financial tools like QuickBooks. Why? Because those processes work…at least at first.


As your organization grows, you might find that the time you’re spending on repetitive manual tasks is growing too, with month-end closes growing longer and longer, until they seem to take up most of the month. All those tedious, time-consuming activities can lead to a dash to the finish line that causes oversights and errors.


To address these challenges, many nonprofits are moving to Sage Intacct and other cloud ERP solutions that automate key processes, including close management, saving time and improving accuracy.

accounting professional using a computer to automate financial functions

Spend More Time on What Matters

The primary benefit of automation is that it saves time—often hours and hours of time every month. When you fully automate your month-end close, for instance, you basically move into a perpetual state of close, so there’s no months-end rush where you’re digging through data and struggling to reconcile budgets.


Organizations that automate can take the hours employees formerly spent on mind-numbing manual tasks and instead devote them to bigger-picture, more intellectually demanding activities. That means more time developing and executing new strategies, cultivating donors, improving marketing, and performing other mission-focused work.


The Right Numbers Every Time

Another challenge with manual processes is that they are inherently error-prone. Even the most diligent of employees will make the occasional mistake, which can lead to hours or days of confusion. Worst of all, if data entry or other errors aren’t caught right away, they might be seen by donors and board members, which can do real damage to your nonprofit’s reputation.


By streamlining and automating data flow and reconciliation steps, you can reduce the risk of human error and gain more confidence in the integrity of your processes. And you can still maintain control over your automated processes—updating and fine-tuning as needed to address changing requirements.


Time to Automate?

Insero & Co. can help you decide whether it’s time to automate your processes and, if so, how to make the shift as seamlessly as possible using best-in-class software. Our team has decades of experience helping hundreds of nonprofits through these and other challenges. Contact us to talk about the relationship-based services we provide and how they might help save you time every month.

Case Study: Non-Profit Improves Processes, Hires New CFO

Client: $4 million non-profit organization

Service: Non-Profit Outsource Accounting Services



When the Chief Financial Officer of a $4 million non-profit left abruptly, the board reached out to Insero & Co.’s Non-Profit Outsource Accounting Services Group for assistance. They had an immediate need for coverage, but also wanted to step back and figure out what would be best for the organization in the long run. This was especially important since the organization had experienced recent turnover of nearly all internal management roles, including the Executive Director. The board asked Insero to help evaluate the CFO position and make recommendations for process improvements, as well as hiring and pay structure for the accounting department.



Insero’s Outsource Consultants were able to provide the organization with an interim CFO to fill the immediate needs of day to day operations, as well as a strategic planning partner to assess the current structure and provide guidance to the board. After an initial assessment, Insero was able to assist with the recruiting and placement of a new CFO as a direct hire. We also developed a six-month transition plan to support the new CFO, who attends all board meetings and delivers Finance and Board Packages, which have now been automated to print directly from QuickBooks.

Other process improvements included:

  • Grant management procedures
  • Month-end close process
  • Refining the annual budget process
  • Defining ownership roles within the organization

All of this was achieved at a fraction of the cost of the previous CFO’s salary and benefits.

executive director of a non-profit review financial data and process improvements with outsource consultants

Learn More

With over 40 years of experience working with non-profits, Insero’s specialists have the knowledge and capacity to help you with your organization’s needs. Our clients include foundations, arts and cultural organizations, chambers of commerce, social clubs, fraternities and sororities, housing assistance and development organizations, recreation facilities and programs, community support organizations, child care providers, and more. Learn more about our service offerings below: To learn more about how we can help your organization, contact us today.


Using Sales Receipts: When? How?

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Using Sales Receipts: When? How?

Some types of businesses always use sales receipts. Some use them occasionally. Here’s what you need to know about them.

How do you let your customers know how much they owe you, and for what products or services? In these days of ecommerce and merchant accounts, your customers may provide a credit card number over the phone or on a website. Or perhaps you send invoices after a sale and receive checks or account numbers in the mail. QuickBooks can help you both create the invoices and record the payments.

There’s another type of sales document that you can use in certain situations: the sales receipt. You’d probably be most likely to use one of these when customers pay you in full for products or services at the same time they receive them.  (more…)

Are You Applying Finance Charges? Should You Be?

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Are You Applying Finance Charges? Should You Be?

Assessing finance charges is a complicated process. But if you have a lot of late payments coming in, you may want to consider it.

There are many reasons why your customers send in payments past their due dates. Maybe they missed or misplaced your invoice, or they’re disputing the charges. They might not be very conscientious about bill-paying. Or they simply don’t have the money.

Sometimes they contact you about their oversight, but more often, you just see the overdue days pile up in your reports.

You could use stronger language in your customer messages. Send statements. Make phone calls if the delinquency goes on too long. Or you could start assessing finance charges to invoices that go unpaid past the due date. QuickBooks provides tools to accommodate this, but you’ll want to make absolutely sure you’re using them correctly – or you’ll risk angering customers and creating problems with your accounts receivable. (more…)

The Financial Responsibilities of Elected Officials: What You Need to Know

Join Leslie Spurgin of Insero & Co. CPAs and Charles Benincasa, Director of Finance, City of Rochester for  The Financial Responsibilities of Elected Officials: What You Need to Know presented by the New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association, Inc.


Click Here to Register

When:  Thursday, March 10, 2016
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM – Registration and Buffet Dinner
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM – The Financial Responsibilities of Elected Officials:
What You Need to Know

Where:  Fairport Electric Building, Training Room
43 Liftbridge Lane, Fairport, New York 14450
Driving Directions

Presented by: Leslie Spurgin | Audit Partner | Insero & Co. CPAs
Charles Benincasa | Director of Finance | City of Rochester

Click here to download the brochure.

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Make Your Preferences Known in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

QuickBooks is ready to use when you install it. But you can change its settings to make it work the way your company needs it to.

There are some features that all small businesses need in their accounting software. Everyone needs a Chart of Accounts and a good set of report templates. There must be tools to bill customers and to document income and expenses. Some companies need payroll management, and some need the ability to create purchase orders. These days, many businesses want to accept payments online.

But what does your company need? It’s unlikely that you would use absolutely every feature that QuickBooks offers, but you need to make sure that every tool you want to use is set up properly.
If you’ve been using QuickBooks for a while, you may have been directed to the Preferences window already (accessible by clicking on Edit | Preferences). If you’re just starting out with the software, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the most important elements contained there. Here are some of them.

Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Preferences window. Some features are already turned on or off by default, but you can change their status.


Creating Item Records in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Accurate, thorough item records inform your customers and help you track inventory levels correctly.

Whether you’re selling one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will:

  • Ensure that your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing,
  • Provide the information you must know about your inventory levels, and,
  • Help you make smart decisions about reordering.

You’ll start this process by making sure that your QuickBooks file is set up to track inventory. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Items & Inventory. Click the Company Preferences tab and click in the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are activated if there isn’t a check in the box already. Here, too, you can ask that QuickBooks warn you when there isn’t enough inventory to sell. Click OK when you’re finished.

QBC0115image1_zpsdc48f652Figure 1: You need to be sure that QuickBooks knows you’ll be tracking inventory before you start making sales.


2014 Audit & Accounting Update

Reminder: Today is the last day to receive $5 off with our Early Registration Discount, so don’t wait – register today.

Join us for the final installment of Insero & Company’s 2014 Accounting & Finance Education Series, designed for business owners, management, and accounting and finance professionals. Whether you represent a large publicly-traded company or a small not-for-profit organization, it can be difficult to stay up to date on current accounting topics. Learn about changes that may affect your organization and how to apply the most recent standards and guidance. Presented by Vincent Leo, Michael Giess, and Jennifer Martlew.

CPE Series

Click Here for More Information and Registration

When: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 8am-10am
Where: Locust Hill Country Club, 2000 Jefferson Road, Pittsford, NY 14534
Cost: $30 per participant ($25 per participant through November 4th with Early Registration Discount)
Presented By: Vincent Leo, CPA. Michael Giess, CPA, and Jennifer Martlew, CPA, CFE.

To receive updates on future events, please join our mailing list.

Billing for Time in QuickBooks: An Overview

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

If you sell your employees’ time and skills, you can use QuickBooks to record those hours and bill your customers for them.

If your small business sells products, you know how precisely you must track your starting stock numbers, ongoing inventory levels, and your reorder points. QuickBooks provides tools to help with this process, but human factors can sometimes throw off your careful counts.

Fortunately, QuickBooks is remarkably flexible when it comes to recording the time your employees spend on customers and jobs. You can enter information about a single activity — either billable or unbillable — and/or document hours in a timesheet. A built-in timer (the “Stopwatch”) helps you count the minutes automatically; you can also type them in manually.

One Work Session

All versions of desktop QuickBooks include dialog boxes designed to help you enter all the details related to a single timed activity. To get there, either open the Employees menu and select Enter Time | Time/Enter Single Activity or click the down arrow next to the Enter Time icon on the Home Page and choose Time/Enter Single Activity.


Figure 1: QuickBooks helps you create records for individual activities completed by employees, which can be either billable or unbillable.