Allison Webb, Head of NFP at AcctTwo, and William Vanderbloemen, CEO at Vanderbloemen, discussed planning for financial transitions with systems, processes, and people recently on a webinar. It is becoming more and more critical to have nonprofit succession plans for accounting and back-office staff vs. succession planning for leadership roles. Watch the webinar, hosted by Vanderbloemen, to hear their full discussion – below are highlights from the conversation.
How do we prepare a Succession Pipeline for highly skilled back-office jobs?
Your CFO or Finance Director communicate the financial health of your church to your senior leadership who carry out the mission. They provide stability in the back-office to keep your vision going. Planning is the first step to keep that stability between transitions.
What should you look at for your plan?
There are three major categories for succession planning: systems, processes, and people.
- What tools do you have to collect cash, paychecks or reconcile accounts?
- What is the process like for doing these tasks?
- How many people do you need?
- What skillsets do those people need to do their job?
All these things seem fundamental for accountants, but they should all be documented. By having your systems, processes and people documented, even a sudden transition for your financial department will pivot faster.
What should your finance department look like?
In the best-case scenario, for most mid-sized churches and nonprofits, the finance department has three people. They should have good segregation of duties but also have a good environment that allows for some cross-training. Create an environment that fosters growth. If a finance director leaves, you could have a senior accountant already prepared to step into that roll during a transition. You could also hire a new accountant to get someone with the technical competence required to do the job, but that does not cover all your church’s needs. Churches need someone who fits the culture and hiring from within will guarantee that fit.
What things need to be taken care of during a transition?
- You need to have a way to collect money and contributions and deposit them into your accounting system.
- You need to pay your people and your vendors.
- You need a way to see financial information, like in a cashflow statement. Something to answer the question “How much money do we have?”
What else can you do in an emergency?
AcctTwo can help with sudden transitions. We can provide the technology to get those systems in place and the people that know how to use it. We have accountants in the church life so we can provide the cultural fit your church needs. Senior leadership can keep carrying out the mission while we take care of your back-office.
Watch Allison’s webinar with William Vanderbloemen here >
Here is the link to the blog.