非营利组织如何适应一场技术革命

2022年2月11日

由肯•Tysiac 《会计

As the COVID-19 pandemic called many not-for-profits to serve more needy clients and change the way they sought donations, 这也促使他们投资自己——尤其是他们的技术.

Six in 10 respondents to BDO's not-for-profit benchmarking survey said they accelerated their investments in technology in 2021. 在2020年和2021年, 64% of the not-for-profit respondents said they planned to invest in new technology.

"You're at a very opportune time for organizations to go through various digital transformations,安德烈·威尔逊说, a partner with BDO who co-leads the firm's Nonprofit and Education Practice along with Adam Cole, 注册会计师, 谁也是合伙人.

When the pandemic brought a rush of panicked work-from-home decisions requiring technology for connectedness, 许多非营利组织都措手不及. Not-for-profits don't have the reputation for being early adopters of technology, as they try to maximize the funding of their missions and often don't have a budget for big spending. 作为一个结果, some of them spent their early pandemic days with employees working on their home laptops and limited access to key systems.

Many large not-for-profits were still running paper checks and working on manual systems.

"For years, organizations really were hesitant to invest in themselves,”威尔逊说. “每一美元都花在了任务上, and few dollars and even few cents went to really investing into the organization themselves, 其中包括支持组织的技术."

新冠肺炎疫情促使许多非营利组织投资技术. In the BDO survey, accelerated investments in technology were reported in 2021 by:

  • 年收入低于2500万美元的非营利组织的一半;
  • 60% of not-for-profits with $25 million to $75 million in annual revenue; and
  • 65%的非营利组织年收入超过7500万美元.

不过,这些投资需要谨慎谨慎地进行. Choosing technology that doesn't fit organizational purpose or match the not-for-profit's needs can result in wasted funding and suboptimal productivity gains.

Wilson and Cole say not-for-profit leaders who wish to get the most out of their technology spending need to develop a comprehensive strategy, 考虑网络安全, 为董事会招募技术专家.

技术战略

Rather than thinking just about their basic financial package or their traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Wilson said leaders should consider all the technology that fuels the not-for-profit.

这可能包括销售点, 预算, 客户关系管理, 文档管理, 机器人过程自动化, 和其他系统.

"Take a moment to understand all the interconnectivity and interdependencies and really understand how you maximize information,”她说. "… How do we use that throughout the organization to become more sustainabile and more thriving, 和真正的任务?"

Wilson also encourages not-for-profit leaders to think in broad terms about how technology can support their mission and culture. 例如, 如果一个组织以对客户的个人服务为荣, perhaps it's not best to install a new phone system that makes it nearly impossible to speak with a human being.

网络安全方面的考虑

Not-for-profits are high-value targets for cybercriminals because they often store personal data such as Social Security numbers, 出生日期, 还有信用卡号码. 有时非营利组织服务的个人是孩子, 老年人, 或者有残疾的成年人, 谁很容易成为数据窃贼的目标.

"You have to create a structure to make sure you develop new protocols to protect this data,”科尔说. “黑客变得越来越聪明,企业需要保持领先."

Systems need to be walled off to prevent bad actors from gaining access through vendors that have unwittingly been hacked. 需要创建备份, 更新, and maintained so that a hacker can't grind operations to a halt with ransomware. 组织也需要文档化, 经过精心排练的计划,当它遭遇入侵时该怎么做.

Ultimately, though, people are the most vulnerable, primary access point to systems, Wilson said. That makes training them one of the most important tasks of 网络安全 work. A not-for-profit's employees (and board members and volunteers) need to understand that they should not open suspicious emails, 点击不熟悉的链接, or send money to anyone until the source of a request can be identified as authentic.

And empoyees need to be suspicious of unexpected emails from vendors requesting payments. They must also confirm requests for money transfers and other items that appear to come from within their own company.

“他们(黑客)伪装成你的CEO或主管,”科尔说.

Employees then don't confirm the request with their CEO or supervisor because management is busy and employees don't want to bother them. 他们送钱过来,钱就不见了.

“他们没有遵守协议,”科尔说. “你必须把所有的流程和程序都落实到位. But I saw two to three instances where people … just weren't following their own protocols, 这发生了."

董事会上有合适的专业知识

长期以来,人们一直认为董事会需要具备金融专业知识的成员, 这就是为什么这么多注册会计师被招募到各种各样的董事会任职的原因.

The proliferation of technology throughout organizations now makes tech expertise a must for any board as well. 许多大型组织的董事会甚至有一个技术委员会.

"You need to have boards take responsibility and make sure management is following all the proper protocols and rules and that they have controls in place,”科尔说.

董事会s need to have experts who understand technology basics such as infrastructure, 社交媒体, 网络安全, 以及通过电子商务与客户联系的复杂性. 幸运的是, the proliferation of technology through every organization has led to a wealth of individuals with knowledge in these areas, but some of them will be more familiar with technology than with what's required of a board member.

A strong onboarding system may be necessary to help them understand a board member's responsibilities.

"It's making sure there's enough skill set within the board to really support management and provide critical questions, 能够在他们的角色中为管理层提供建议, 确保他们真的在部署降低风险的活动,”威尔逊说.

这篇文章最初发表在《会计杂志》上

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