Many organizations rely on grants to provide a recurring source of income. However, grant revenues come with their own unique set of challenges. Most grants require you to track and report on how grant money is spent. Such reporting can have the following negative business impact on organizations:
- Manual process to allocation cost/amounts/time
- Creates possibility for calculations and data entry errors
- Requires additional finance staff and time
- Difficulty demonstrating compliance with grant maker’s conditions
Microsoft Dynamics GP has two different modules to help you manage your grants: Microsoft Dynamics GP Grant Management/Analytical Accounting and Microsoft Dynamics GP Project Accounting. With these tools, you no longer a need to manually manipulate data on Excel spreadsheets so you are saving time and money. Some of the other benefits of these modules include:
- Eliminate manual entry and reconciliation processes
- Streamline transaction entry
- Centralize data management and security
- Monitor daily expenditures and specific budgetary controls
- Manage grants proactively; help ensure accountability to sponsors
- Maintain tight controls over project and funding success
- Use Dynamics GP’s reporting capabilities (Management Reporter, SmartLists, GP Report Writer, and SQL Server Reporting Services).
When considering which module to use, there are four key considerations: General Ledger Postings, Budgeting, Labor Accumulation (Timesheets) and Reporting.
General Ledger Posting
With Project Accounting for Microsoft Dynamics GP, the General Ledger posting accounts can be assigned at multiple levels: Funder, Grant, and Task. Default General Ledger Accounts can be defined at the various levels to facilitate data entry.
With Grant Management/Analytical Accounting grant information is entered directly into subsidiary modules (i.e. Accounts Payable). One advantage of this is you can edit analytical accounting codes without having to void journal entries.
Budgets can be entered by budget line item (i.e., tasks) in Project Accounting. In addition, the beginning and ending dates can be assigned to each grant.
In Grant Management/Analytical Accounting, a budget tree and user defined dimension codes are created for each grant. The system will then automatically validate grant budgets when assigning a grant dimension code to transactions, ensuring fund availability.
Timesheets can be entered via the web using Business Portal and the Time & Expense module when using Project Accounting to track your grants. The Grant Management/Analytical Accounting module does not integrate with the Time and Expense module. However, you can import timesheet data from third party systems.
Reports can be generated for both modules using many Microsoft Dynamics reporting tools such as: Dynamics GP Report Writer, Management Reporter, SQL Server Reporting Services and SmartLists.
You can view a recorded webcast, “Grant Management versus Project Accounting” on Brittenford’s website. Brittenford Systems is a Virginia Microsoft Dynamics Partner helping nonprofit organizations throughout the mid-Atlantic region. For more information on how you can better manage your grants and reporting contact Brian Dietz.