AccuFund Unveils Results of 2015-2016 Endowment Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey
AccuFund Inc., the provider of nonprofit accounting and fundraising solutions, shared its results from a commissioned survey conducted by NonProfit PRO of its readers (nonprofit finance professionals and top organization management) to benchmark the methods used to manage endowment accounting.
The 2015-2016 Endowment Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey sought information central to endowment accounting management, including the frequency of fund statement reports, the systems used to manage finances and specific software features used to manage endowments. With 272 endowment professionals responding, the vast majority of organizations (83 percent) manage endowments less than $100 million.
The Quest for 'Just Right' Continues
Each nonprofit or foundation is unique and utilizing a system that is "just right" is one of the biggest challenges. A significant number of respondents (35.5 percent) indicate using Excel or QuickBooks, which are reliant on manual intervention. An even larger share of respondents (55 percent) use the organization's accounting system or a third-party investment advisor.
In spite of endowment management solutions available, only 10 percent of respondents use in-house or cloud-based endowment management software.
Lack of Technology Affects Frequency of Fund Statement Reports
Nearly half (47 percent) of all respondents only provide annual fund statement reports. Another 17 percent of respondents reported that they never provide fund statement reports.
"Overall the state of periodic fund reporting is bleak. However, 18 percent of the respondents are providing quarterly or semi-annually fund statement reports, and 5 percent of respondents are providing monthly fund statement reports, which may indicate that dynamic and growing endowment funds see the value in more frequent reporting," explained Peter Stam, president of AccuFund. "What may be preventing other organizations from providing more frequent reporting is the complexity and difficulty of reporting or lack of an appropriate endowment management software solution."
Other Data and Key Findings
Other key findings of the 2015-2016 Endowment Accounting Insights & Analysis Survey include:
- Nearly half (46 percent) of all respondents have not made a change in their spending policy because of the changing investment environment.
- Only 40 percent of respondents said their existing endowment accounting software handles specific named fund exceptions to standard spending policies.
- Only 32 percent of respondents indicated their existing endowment accounting software can handle multiple fee policies such as endowment size, historical changes, negotiated rate, etc.