Posts made in March 2019

MIP Fund Accounting 2020.2 Product Release

The MIP product release is ready for download!! 

MIP Fund Accounting V2020.2 was released August 17, 2020 and is available for download.

This release contains high-quality updates offering patch process and reporting improvements, as well as defect fixes. This release also contains important updates to our security posture.

Improvements in the release:

  • Patch Process Improvements:  
    • Workstation Updater Tool – Users can now find, download, and install minor workstation related updates
  • 1099-NEC Updates: 
    • New option for 1099 Form Setup in Maintain Vendors
    • New option for 1099 in Transactions
  • Reporting: 
    • Microsoft Excel is no longer required for MIP reports. All customers that own the Data Import/Export module can now export Reports to .xls and view using any .xls reader​.
  • Checks and Forms: Checks and Forms is the preferred vendor for the MIP Fund Accounting Software.
    • Users can now find a link to Checks and Forms in Help.
    • You can order your checks and forms via phone (844-857-2898) or online -  https://mipchecks.com

For a list of quality improvements, please see Version 2020.X Resolved Issues.

Security Updates

Password-related improvements

  • Password is required for all MIP Users and is no longer optional​
  • Force Password reset is not optional
  • Minimum password character length is enforced​
    • If the user hasn’t set the minimum length previously, it will default to 8 during this upgrade
    • Maximum Password length is 100 characters
  • User Password expiration is enforced​
    • The interval value can be configured. Minimum value is 1 and Maximum value is 365
    • If the user hasn’t set this value previously, it will be set to 90 days. If it is set to more than 365 days, it will be reset to 365 days.
  • Modified Password Complexity rules​
    • All Special Characters are now allowed in passwords. Spaces are allowed but not allowed at the beginning or end.
  • Password History Management​
    • Cannot reuse the last 6 passwords​

SQL Login

  • Granulized SQL Permissions for Improved SQL login security

Please be advised that future releases of MIP will no longer be supported on Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2 and SQL 2008R2.  Let us know if we can help to upgrade you to a more current copy of SQL like 2012, 2014, or 2016. 

Microsoft Support Changes
Please note the workstation installation will take up to 20 minutes or longer due to Microsoft .Net 4.8 framework installation being required so it is normal for it to remain on this screen for some time. If your machine already has .Net 4.8 installed or your IT professional installs .Net 4.8 prior to the MIP workstation installation, please disregard this message.

Windows Versions of MIP released after January 14, 2020 will no longer be supported on Windows 7 SP1.

READY TO CHECK OUT THE NEW MIP CLOUD?

Even if you haven’t joined the group of cloud adopters, you’ve probably considered it, researched it, or discussed it with your peers. If your organization is ready for a deep dive, now is a good time to check out the newly improved MIP Cloud – request a presentation by contacting us

MIP Subscription Pricing and Contract Changes effective October 1, 2019

MIP Cloud – Multi-Tenant or Single Tenant
1-user bundle $200 per month
3-user bundle $475 per month
Add-ons (modules, users, etc.) as-is/current MIP Cloud subscription pricing
Premium technology fee $150/org/mo. for Single Tenant

ABILA TRENDING SUPPORT TOPICS:

FTM SOFTWARE ADVISORY SERVICES:

  • FTM is your local business partner to help you with all your MIP software needs so please check out our MIP services page and contact us for help.

FTM MIP Training Schedule-Please review our event schedule or click on the live webcast class listed below. If you would prefer we provide customized courses at your location, please contact us to develop a customized training program using your database.

FA203 – MIP Fund Accounting General Ledger Transaction Entry
FA204 – MIP Fund Accounting General Ledger Activities
FA205 – MIP Fund Accounting Accounts Payable Processing
FA207 – MIP Fund Accounting Accounts Receivable Processing
FA215 – MIP Fund Accounting Reporting
FA216 – MIP Fund Accounting Financial Statements
FA217 – MIP Fund Accounting Advanced Financial Statements
FA218 – MIP Fund Accounting Advanced Reporting with Drillpoint

MIP Cloud Modern UI Class Promo
MIP Cloud customers get a 100% discount on all MIP Cloud modern UI Live Webcasts and Self-Paced training courses using promo code MODERNUI2020 at checkout. This discount is available through December 31, 2020. Cancellation requirements and considerations apply.

MIP Classic UI Class Promo
MIP Fund Accounting Attend In-Person Workshops will not be offered through December, 2020.  MIP Fund Accounting Classic UI Live Webcasts and Self-Paced training courses will be offered in their place.

MIP Lunch and Learn Classes
Lunch and Learn courses are short, 1 hour, MIP courses on specific topics. They include Community Brands Xperience Conference sessions and special topics. The Lunch and Learn are listed in the live webcast of the MIP Fund Accounting Courses on Abila University.

MIP Training Pass

An MIP Training Pass will again be available for customers this summer.  The training pass applies to single-day regularly scheduled MIP Fund Accounting Live Webcast and Self-Paced classic user interface classes available through Abila University.  Offer does not include year-end classes, multi-day Live Webcast classes, or MIP modern user interface classes (see discount below).  The pass will be available for purchase from July 9, 2020 to September 30, 2020.  The pass period is 12 months.

Pricing Options:

  • Individual MIP Training Pass – $1,399; Single (1) MIP user gets 15 classes
  • Organization MIP Training Pass – $2,599; Five (5) MIP users, within a single organization, gets 30 classes

Current Promotions

20% off MIP Checks and Forms-use promo code MIPTAX20. Call 1-800-994-1351 or visit mipchecks.com to place your order.

 

Budgeting must be more flexible in uncertain times

By Jim Simpson, CPA and Director, Financial Technologies & Management

A strong budget is an essential element for any nonprofit organization to achieve financial leadership. Superior budgets, though, have written plans about the core activities to include strategic, organizational, and program goals and how they will be financed.  A superior budget must be monitored and managed in light of the political and economic realities and the increased uncertainties we are all facing.

Most financial leaders focus too much time on budget variance analysis and not enough time on anticipating or planning for the future. By anticipating or planning, organizations can focus on what’s upcoming regardless of its budget cycle or fiscal year-end. A budget can be complemented with rolling forecasts to better anticipate upcoming financial results.

Budgets also need to include cash flow projections, which maybe outside of the finance departments capacity or capabilities. Financial leaders must have a direct role in developing useful cash flow projections and assumptions with frequent, detailed analysis.

Financial sustainability can only be achieved with a well-prepared and continuously monitored budget. Conversely, a poorly developed budget can diminish mission focused activities opportunities and threaten long-term success.

It is important that each of the following budget process practices is used to develop the budget.

  • Draft revenue and expense budget to attain strategic, organizational and program goals. It is important to break expenses into variable expenses, fixed expenses, incremental expenses and indirect expenses for administration and facilities.  It is important that any new initiatives are approved and deadlines established before they are undertaken.
  • Modify budget with budget team input to ensure everyone understands and approves the revised draft budget.
  • Implement budget to communicate budget, assign management responsibilities, implement in accounting system, monitor and respond to changes to the budget. It is important that you document budget decisions including writing down all budget assumptions.
  • A budget should be implemented with monthly distributions to anticipate the changes to monthly revenues and expenses based on timing and seasonal program activities.
  • A budget may need to be broken out for donors without restrictions and donors with restrictions to insure that there are sufficient resources to actually fulfill the donor restrictions.
  • A budget should add a contingency or cushion to take into consideration the unknown.   The less predictable your budget it, the more contingency you may need to have.    A contingency of 5% of your non-personnel costs is typical and may need to increase if your funding or costs are not predictable.

Any unfavorable budget deficits need to be evaluated to determine if it is just a timing difference or an actual deficit. Shortfalls created by deficits need to be solved by budget adjustments or strategic choices to absorb a shortfall. An organization can determine timing or actual deficits by reviewing the budget to see if it had planned for or not.

Your budget deficits should consider what funding may become available, whether to utilize reserves, utilize unrestricted funding, or reduce expenses.  If funding is disappearing, can we replace the funding, should we reduce or eliminate an ineffective program, or can we reinvest into more effective or sustainable programs.  You should create various budget scenarios so you have various options about how to meet budget deficits.

In contrast to traditional budgets, a flexible budget may include a range of scenarios or a shorter time frame, or both. Three scenarios at a minimum should be prepared: best, worst and expected cases.

A bare bones worst-case budget will show you exactly which expenses are crucial to your organization.  Prepare your flexible budget in shorter or longer time increments from the annual budget cycle.

It is important the you strike the right balance in your development of flexible budgets.

  1. Worst-case budget – It will include realistic income and your core expenses.  The realistic income is committed funds and conservative fundraising estimates.  The core expenses would include essential expenses with no expansion of services.
  2. Expected-case budget – It will include optimistic income and incremental expenses.  The optimistic income will include uncertain funding estimates.   The incremental expenses would be the additional expenses to be incurred if new funds are secured.
  3. Best-case budget – It will include the fundraising goal revenue and projected expenses.  The fundraising goal revenue includes the combination of the realistic and optimistic income.  The projected expenses includes the combination of he core and incremental expenses.

It is important that an accompanying cash flow projection be developed to accompany the accrual based budget.  A cash flow projection will help to foresee cash flow problems a plan for solutions even if an organization has a balanced or surplus budget.  It is generally helpful to do a mid-year deep review to include anticipated year end projection and forecast.

Flexible budgets and Cash Flow Projections will provide you with additional tools to help ensure your organization remains financial stable despite an uncertain future.

Key Goals for Financial Stability

  • Diversify Revenue so you are no too dependent on any one funding source and look for ways to accelerate cash flows
  • Allocate indirect costs to programs to insure all program costs are covered
  • Develop Staff versatility and adaptability to work in different program areas
  • Develop and maintain an Endowment to support financial operations
  • Maintain one to three months reserves to allow for program growth and cover short-term deficits
  • Keep track of financial results and how you are doing to keep organization financially stable
  • Monitor cash flow projection at least monthly to determine how long the organization can survive without additional funding

Let us know how we can help your organization develop the financial tools it needs to grow and remain financially stable.