Nonprofit News

Summer Projects Series Revisited | Six software cleanup projects to tackle this summer.

Sun-SummerWe're having another beautiful summer. While it can be a little hard to focus on projects when the sun is shining, summer is often a less busy time of year for many of our nonprofits and therefore can be a great opportunity to tackle those software projects you've been wanting to get to.

While this series focuses on the Abila MIP Fund AccountingTM Software, many of the areas outlined could be applied when cleaning up other software as well. Below are the links to Soft Trac's summer project series, along with short summaries of the topics covered. This summer project series will give you six ideas on what to tackle in your software if you find yourself with some down time this summer.

Some areas we recommended diving into this summer include:

  1. Account Code Combinations ›  Account code combinations are a feature in MIP that can help you to reduce data entry coding issues. When you turn on Account Code Combinations, the system will not allow you to post transactions to an invalid account string. It takes a little bit of planning and setup time, but once it's done it's fairly easy to maintain. 
  2. Closing Account Assignments › In MIP, when you create a new revenue or expense account, you specify which fund balance or net asset account you want the account to close to, through Closing Account Assignments. Closing Account Assignments are not required to save an account, or to create a transaction to them. However, you will have issues with financial reporting and with closing a fiscal year if any accounts are missing an assignment. Now is the end of the fiscal year for many of our customers, so we thought it would be a good idea to review this important concept.
  3. Distribution Codes › Distribution codes are a way in MIP to prepopulate most of your account string, on a detail transaction line. It can also be used to do immediate allocations to various programs. For example let's say that you use a fund, department, program, and grant segment, along with the general ledger code, in MIP.  Whenever you add an office supplies invoice, you want to allocate the office supplies expense across all of your programs.  This can be tedious if you did it manually. You would have to fill out all of the lines of data entry for each program. With a distribution code, you can specify the GL code, and choose the distribution, and the system does the rest. 
  4. User Defined Fields › One thing every Accounting Office has in common is that they have unique needs. This is especially true in the details of reporting. Funders increasingly demand measurable results on goals like homes weatherized, clients or students served, meals delivered, number of attendees, and the list goes on. Did you know that your MIP software can help you to record and report on these measurable outcomes? User Defined Fields (UDF) may be the perfect answer for you and summer is a a great time time to tackle this project.
  5. Vendor Class › We are always surprised when we speak with long-time MIP users who are not utilizing the Optional Designation fields on the Vendor Maintenance Vendor tab. These optional fields may be used as a filter or as a column in various vendor related reports.
  6. Shortcuts › This post doesn't outline a particular project but is rather a review of some of the tips and tricks we've learned over the years that can help save you time when using your MIP software.

There are some great tips and tricks in our summer projects blog series that will help you get the most from your MIP software. Here's to a successful, productive summer!

Soft Trac is a woman-owned business and accomplished team of nonprofit software consultants.  We believe in making nonprofits "do good" better.   For more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog or to learn more about the software products and services we offer, please visit our CONTACT  page. 

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