5 Signs that it’s Time to Automate Your Grant Management Process
By: Mark A. Brousseau | February 24, 2021
ARTICLE — Managing grants isn’t easy. And it only gets harder as a non-profit organization grows.
Non-profit organizations have better things to do than getting bogged down with administrative tasks. And they cannot afford the compliance risks of ineffective grant management processes.
That’s why more non-profit organizations are automating the way they manage their grants.
Should your organization automate its grant management process?
Here are five signs that it may be time:
- Lots of manual tasks. Does your staff waste lots of time (double) keying information, chasing down information, making calculations, and manually generating reports? If so, you are not alone. It is not uncommon for a single grant document to be handled multiple times. Some staff make copies of documents for their own filing system, resulting in more paper! Making matters worse, inevitable keying errors and outdated information requires staff to re-do their work and potentially exposes the organization to costly compliance issues. All these manual tasks mean you will need to hire and train additional staff as your organization grows.
- Long turnaround times. Wherever there are manual processes, delays are sure to follow. Friction caused by manual keying, lost documents, and poorly integrated systems can bring the grant management process to a standstill, potentially straining donor relationships, resulting in missed opportunities, and throwing the door open wide to major compliance violations. Moreover, manually generating reports for compliance purposes is very time-consuming, especially when it comes to federal grants or grants in highly regulated sectors.
- Onerous reporting. An organization must know the status of each of its grants. But it’s not easy for most organizations to report on how funds have been used. Manual processes are the reporting tool of choice for many non-profit organizations. Any mistakes could result in a scramble to reallocate funds or generate more funds, to say nothing of compliance issues. It also is harder to accurately project costs when staff rely on manual reporting processes.
- Poor visibility. It’s hard to know where things stand with a grant when an organization relies on spreadsheets and other tools that don’t provide staff with a single source of truth, don’t organize grants appropriately, don’t track grant revenues and expenses automatically, don’t record grand lifecycle changes, and don’t match grants to revenue. Manual approaches to grant management also aren’t built to facilitate collaboration between development, research and other stakeholders – a critical consideration with more staff working remotely these days.
- Risky processes. If it feels like the way you’re doing things these days is riskier, you are not alone. The sudden shift to remote working has exposed and exacerbated shortcomings in the way the manual and semi-automated approaches that many organizations use to manage their grants. For starters, manual approaches to grant management don’t enforce compliance in grant expenses. There is unquestionably lots of steps in the grant management process that an organization must keep track of and report on. But no non-profit organization wants the audit findings, big fines, loss of funding, or other penalties that comes with non-compliance.
If your non-profit organization is experiencing any of the issues above, it may be time to automate its grant management process with a solution that integrates seamlessly with the NetSuite ERP.
The flexible PyanGo solution eliminates friction across the grant management lifecycle by providing real-time visibility into grant revenues, expenses and other details, enforcing compliance in grant expenses, calculating indirect costs, matching grants to revenues, and generating subaward grants.
When a non-profit organization combines the PyanGo automated grant management solution with the NetSuite ERP – the world’s #1 ERP – it can achieve solid visibility across the grant lifecycle.
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