Ensure both teams have a clear understanding of what Finance needs from DevelopmentThe Finance team is responsible for financial reporting that complies both with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (‘GAAP’) and meets the requirements of organizational leadership, government agencies, and auditors. Since financial reporting emanates from the general ledger (GL) and possibly other areas of the accounting system, it’s incumbent upon the Development team to understand what fundraising financial information is needed: what data from the fundraising database needs to go into the accounting system – and what doesn’t.
Determine whether the Development system can – or can’t – maintain the information the Finance needs
The fundraising database will certainly preserve basic financial data – gift amount and gift date, for example – but other key information may not be housed in that system in standard fields, or may not be presented in the format needed by Finance.For example, the fundraising system may use a gift type and a fund code, whereas the accounting system needs the same information in the form of a GL account number. The Finance team should remain cognizant not to force the Development team to use unfamiliar (or ‘unnatural’) structures, coding, and distributions – but if the fundraising system cannot maintain and provide the data that Finance needs in the way they need it, some type of ‘bridge’ or ‘crosswalk’ software may be needed to translate.