Allison Webb, Head of NFP at AcctTwo, and William Vanderbloemen, CEO at Vanderbloemen, discussed planning for financial transitions with systems, processes, and people recently on a webinar. It is becoming more and more critical to have nonprofit succession plans for accounting and back-office staff vs. succession planning for leadership roles. Watch the webinar, hosted by Vanderbloemen, to hear their full discussion – below are highlights from the conversation.
How do we prepare a Succession Pipeline for highly skilled back-office jobs?
Your CFO or Finance Director communicate the financial health of your church to your senior leadership who carry out the mission. They provide stability in the back-office to keep your vision going. Planning is the first step to keep that stability between transitions.
What should you look at for your plan?
There are three major categories for succession planning: systems, processes, and people.
- What tools do you have to collect cash, paychecks or reconcile accounts?
- What is the process like for doing these tasks?
- How many people do you need?
- What skillsets do those people need to do their job?
All these things seem fundamental for accountants, but they should all be documented. By having your systems, processes and people documented, even a sudden transition for your financial department will pivot faster.
What should your finance department look like?
In the best-case scenario, for most mid-sized churches and nonprofits, the finance department has three people. They should have good segregation of duties but also have a good environment that allows for some cross-training. Create an environment that fosters growth. If a finance director leaves, you could have a senior accountant already prepared to step into that roll during a transition. You could also hire a new accountant to get someone with the technical competence required to do the job, but that does not cover all your church’s needs. Churches need someone who fits the culture and hiring from within will guarantee that fit.
What things need to be taken care of during a transition?
- You need to have a way to collect money and contributions and deposit them into your accounting system.
- You need to pay your people and your vendors.
- You need a way to see financial information, like in a cashflow statement. Something to answer the question “How much money do we have?”
What else can you do in an emergency?
AcctTwo can help with sudden transitions. We can provide the technology to get those systems in place and the people that know how to use it. We have accountants in the church life so we can provide the cultural fit your church needs. Senior leadership can keep carrying out the mission while we take care of your back-office.
Want to hear more about Succession Planning for the Back-Office?
Check out our eBook: Faith-Based & Nonprofit Succession Planning for the Back-Office. In it, we dig into succession planning and discuss why it is so important. We provide stories and statistical data to help you clearly understand the necessity of succession planning.
“Finance and Accounting roles are often overlooked for succession planning. However, they are mission critical to running the organization. At Concord Church, we are working hard to make sure that every role has a backup. I know it isn’t possible for every organization to employ or train a backup for every person, in those cases build a relationship with a third-party organization, such as an accounting resource, legal firm, IT provider, etc. If something happened to me, I know that our accounting partner, AcctTwo, could easily step in and keep the show running,” said Tammy Bunting, CFO at Concord Church.
In our eBook we cover the following topics:
- The Purpose of Succession Planning
- The Importance of Good Leadership
- Culture Really Matters
- What You Need to Know About Hiring Millennials
- Hiring from Within
- Succession Planning for the Back-Office
- Red Flags to Watch Out For
- What’s Next?
About Allison Webb, AcctTwo’s Head of Nonprofit
Allison is AcctTwo’s Head of the NFP, she is a highly regarded CPA with over 20 years of audit and advisory services at both national and regional public accounting firms. Prior to joining AcctTwo, she spent 16 years at CapinCrouse LLP and 4 years at Aprio LLP (formerly HA&W). As a Partner at CapinCrouse LLP, Allison worked with churches, foundations, universities, international mission organizations, private schools, and relief and development organizations.
In addition to her CPA work, Allison is a frequent speaker at nonprofit conferences and seminars. You might recognize Allison from her speaking engagements at AcctTwo’s Faith-Based Finance Collaborative and Sage Intacct Advantage. Allison is a registered CPA in both Texas and Georgia. She holds a BA in Accounting from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
On a personal note, Allison is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She has been living in Dallas, Texas for three years. She has been married to her husband, Kenny, for 19 years and they have two beautiful girls, Kayla (15) and Lexi (11). “I love to spend time with my family and go on road trips – we have been to 16 states in the last three years!” said Webb.
Allison works out of AcctTwo’s Dallas, Texas office and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (713) 744-8427.