Because You Wouldn’t Use a Spoon to Shovel Your Driveway – Fund Accounting Software

We’ve all heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  So, why would a customer consider switching to Black Mountain Software (BMS) if they’ve always used QuickBooks?  While QuickBooks may be “working just fine” for your agency, providing clerks with software that will help them be more efficient and accurate means higher productivity, better accuracy, and less frustration for everybody.

How so?  Well, you wouldn’t buy wheelbarrows and shovels for a street superintendent when front-end loaders and dump trucks are needed.  The same idea stands here: why would you use software designed for the accounting needs of very small businesses, when there is a customized solution, specifically made for government clerks available?

Consider this information from the article, Fund Accounting 101:

A government has the responsibility to justify its use of public resources, i.e., did they spend the money the way they were supposed to, according to rules set either by legislation or other regulations and legal restrictions? This is fiscal accountability. In order to present the information in a meaningful way – to prove they did indeed spend public monies the way they were supposed to – governments are required to follow a special set of rules that spell out how this financial information is to be fairly presented. It is referred to as GAAP which stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles; guidelines that spell out how financial information is to be reported. FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) dictates what GAAP is for all private enterprise & non-profits. And because governments are unique creatures, we have GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) that dictates what GAAP is for all State & Local Governments.

In the old days, (around the turn of the twentieth century), some state and local governments were charged with mismanagement and financial corruption. This brought about an argument for keeping financial sources separate to ensure monies were spent for what they were intended. Consequently, many local governments started to set up separate cash accounts for each of their operations.

Fortunately, with today’s improved cash management procedures and quality fund accounting software, multiple cash accounts are quickly becoming a thing of the past. However the concept of accounting for operations separately is not. That’s how Fund Accounting was born.

Black Mountain Software’s integrated Fund Accounting and Utility Billing modules are designed for local government operations.  By developing software specifically to meet the needs of Fund Accountants and Utility Billing users, we are able to solve problems common to government agencies and utilities, making the software more user-friendly.  Some of the solutions you will find integrated into our software include:

  • Decrease in manual data entry errors due to increased automation
  • Multiple sets of reports reduced to a single set printed from one system
  • Consolidated bank accounts simplifies and speeds up monthly reconciliation
  • Multiple funds charged on a single invoice eliminating the need for due to’s and due from’s to be tracked manually and/or eliminating sending multiple checks to pay a single invoice
  • Ability to track employer contributions for things like insurance and display them on employees’ check stubs
  • Provide organized, easy to understand reports without council being required to translate or summarize
  • Time saved has led to other back burner projects being completed
  • Less time spent fixing things and more time spent completing obligations productively
  • Money saved on Auditing Fees as a result of data being tracked and stored appropriately within the system
  • Ability to show multiple fees and services on utility bills and have the accounting handled automatically within the system
  • Improved support system via both software support and a network of other clerks using the same tools – tools designed for the job

Keeping a clerk on QuickBooks is like forcing them to type with one hand tied behind their back.  Auditors are recommending local governments use the software designed for specifically to meet their needs. A clear majority of municipalities are already realizing the benefits of making this transition.  Give your clerk a leg up.  Move from the “old” solution to one designed for the job.  Take the next step in advancing your city or town, one tool at a time.

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One Comment

  1. Yelena Milne
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    With any accounting software, including those used for government accounting, the information it will provide for you is only as accurate as the information fed into it. Even though this software does most of the work itself, there is still some amount of manual data input involved.
    If the data that has been added into the system is not correct, the information the software processes may be inaccurate.