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An end to the fire drill
4 Min Read

An End to the Event Financial Data Fire Drill

The end of the fiscal year means wrapping up the books and verifying financial data in order to make adjustments for the next year. For event focused organizations, it means creating spreadsheets, tracking down expenses and receipts, and verifying revenues in order to see if you’ve ended the year in the black, or are creeping toward the red. For organizations that still use standard accounting software, it can become an all-hands-on-deck fire drill as you work toward connecting expenses and revenues back to specific activities throughout the event calendar year.

Built in fire protection

If you dread the end of the fiscal year, perhaps it’s not actually the time of year, but the tools that you’re using. Standard accounting software is primarily made for organizations that make or sell products. These are finite items, whereas an event is a series of activities; many that have costs or revenues association with them, yet all tie back to the overall event. It’s not what standard platforms are designed to handle.

Most event management systems that claim to have financials included simply have an invoicing tool with limited functionality, not a robust system designed to truly track all of the financial data that you need to track to run a growing events business.

A fully functional financial platform that is also event focused offers multiple benefits. First, it’s intricately combined with your event management system, therefore accurately able to track financial data back the source of your expenses and revenues – the event. Next, it handles financial transactions in a way that allows you to provide bulletproof information that will satisfy your accounting team – even if the event team is under a parent organization that uses a separate accounting system. Finally, it creates an audit-ready trail that will satisfy anyone that needs access to your books, from internal auditors to board members to outside organizations – whether for daily reviews, or weekly, monthly, and annual reports.

Relieving the slow burn

Have you ever felt like you were doing a task that was pointless – something that felt like there had to be a better way? I imagine that’s how many event organization accounting departments feel. The income and expense data for an event has been entered once, and yet they have to re-enter it into a separate system because it wasn’t done in an audit-ready way. Not only do they have to rekey the data, they have to have systems in place to make sure that errors aren’t made between the two systems. Fully functioning, integrated financials have the right controls in place to eliminate the need for duplicate data entry.

Putting out the fires

When all financial entries leave an audit-ready trail that can be easily reconciled at the close of an event, your accounting department will no longer have to police the sales and operations team in order to balance the books. No more chasing down information and receipts. No more questioning coworkers about why something got discounted, or why it didn’t get charged to the customer. Without the duplicate data entry and financial frenzy at the end of an event, the accounting team goes from focusing on administrative tasks to focusing on real accounting and analysis. Automated reports free them from mundane tasks and preparing reports, and puts them in the position to answer analytical questions that will help build and grow business – rather than spending their time putting out fires.

Whether your organization works on a traditional year or a fiscal year calendar, your all-hands-on-deck fire drill either just ended or is coming up soon. Standard accounting software just isn’t built to handle the intricate nature of events, with multiple income sources, varied expenses, and diversified payment plans. Consider a solution that was built from the ground up, specifically for events, even if you have a parent organization that uses standard financial software – and put an end to fire drills once and for all.