Reporting of non-financial performance data is a problem for more than half of nonprofits, according to a new survey.

The survey of nearly 300 nonprofit professionals, by nonprofit accounting software developer AccuFund, found 73 percent of them said they spend up to five hours per week manipulating data outside their financial system, while 17 percent spend six to 10 hours per week and 10 percent spend more than 10 hours a week.

In addition, 81 percent said they spend up to five hours each week pulling data/reports within their financial system, while 19 percent of the respondents spend six or more hours each week. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they cannot customize their dashboard for individual users, while 51 percent indicated they cannot view a dashboard with graphical analytics.

A 60 percent majority of respondents indicated their current financial software does not store and support reporting of non-financial performance data, while 55 percent said their current financial software dashboard cannot be customized for individual users. 

The lack of control makes it more difficult for nonprofits to handle their operations efficiently. “It’s impossible for program managers to manage their programs with optimal efficiency when they are waiting on reports,” said AccuFund president Peter Stam in a statement. “It’s more than an inconvenience, it’s thwarting the mission.”

Shortage of accounting staff is also a problem for the vast majority of cash-strapped not-for-profits. Ninety-five percent of the survey respondents reported having fewer than five people on their accounting staff, while 3 percent said they six to 10 staff members and 2 percent said they have 11 or more people on their accounting staff.

To view an infographic summarizing the findings, click here.

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