HomeFundraisingKey Parts for an Enticing Annual Record

Key Parts for an Enticing Annual Record

It’s year-end wrap-up time. You’ve closed the books, effectively finished any other audit season, and submitted all vital filings. You are prepared to position final fiscal 12 months in the back of you.

Aside from for one last item.

The yearly document has an empty web page with the heading “Complete-12 months Financials.” And also you’re in control of getting that knowledge the place it wishes to move.

Whilst there could be much less regulatory or governance force placing over this side of your every year monetary reporting, it’s necessary in your group to have an annual document that draws donors, conjures up self belief in management, and demonstrates transparency. Whilst in all probability no longer as challenging as your different reporting tasks, the yearly document generally is a likelihood to concentrate on telling an interesting monetary affect tale. Let’s take a look at how we will be able to use this chance to complete robust.

What’s an Annual Record even for?

Opposite to what the title would possibly suggest, an annual document isn’t simply to document at the earlier 12 months’s actions and statistics. It’s a chance to rejoice milestones, thank your supporters, and get eager about what’s bobbing up within the subsequent 12 months. As a finance chief at your company, you get to plug into all that goodness of the entire document—no longer simply give a contribution to the former 12 months’s stats.

Know your target market

You’re most likely used to supporting stakeholders who aren’t monetary execs succeed in an figuring out of your company’s financials. This might take the type of presenting monetary statements at board conferences, making plans a program funds with a division head, or advising the Government Director on upcoming money float concerns.

Readers of the yearly document will likely be in a similar way numerous of their familiarity along with your group’s financials and monetary reporting normally. One way or the other, it’s a must to be there to give a boost to them and interpret the stories—with the added complication of no longer being within the room when they’re going over the numbers. So, bearing in mind tactics to construct that translation into the document presentation itself goes to profit everybody. Your fund accounting device will most likely mean you can customise the headers and titles at the document, and whilst you save those parameter settings, you’re baking consistency and potency into the method in order that subsequent 12 months’s reporting runs extra easily as neatly.

Believe additionally the extent of element that will likely be useful on your target market. You’ll most likely to find that the quantity of element vital for managing your paintings on a day by day or governance foundation is greater than this target market cares to take care of—and will also weigh down them. Make the most of your fund accounting device’s talent to roll up totals and consolidate teams of an identical accounts for simplification.

In Blackbaud Monetary Edge NXT®, for instance, you’ll set comparative columns to mechanically print the date(s) within the headers. So somewhat than having your target market scratch their heads about what constitutes “This fiscal 12 months” vs “Closing fiscal 12 months,” they’re seeing 7/1/2023-6/30/2024 in a single column and seven/1/2022-6/30-2023 within the subsequent. That Variance column? Rename that “Alternate.” For the frame of the document, a chart organizer will lend a hand get to that candy spot of simply sufficient knowledge with out an excessive amount of element, rolling up a couple of account codes or different groupings right into a handful of vast, simply digestible classes.

Get ready for Questions

Get forward of your target market’s attainable questions by way of including transparent context within the notes. You’ll have boilerplate language locked and loaded for annual document monetary statements however believe supplying—and holding to hand for the longer term—further information about what makes this 12 months distinctive. After a number of years of creating and saving contextual supporting explanations, you’ll have greater than only a unmarried template to paintings from one day. You’ll be capable of mix’n’match to supply a in point of fact distinctive accompanying set of notes, with no need to rewrite them recent each and every 12 months.


One purpose of an annual document is to supply transparency, and that incorporates your colleagues in different departments as neatly. You’d hate, for example, to obtain the overall evidence prior to printing simplest to find that the selling group needed to manually re-type your monetary figures, and that because of an unintentional transposition of numbers, not anything within the stories now makes any sense! Participating with key stakeholders throughout the introduction procedure can lend a hand decide which layout the supposed target market calls for. Would they somewhat obtain a graphic as a .jpg or .png? Or do they would like uncooked information for developing the pie chart themselves? In Monetary Edge NXT internet view reporting, Dashboards mean you can without delay export the visuals that fortify your document effects. And naturally, it’s additionally conceivable to export the supply information desk to a .csv or .xlsx report.

At naked minimal, ascertain which of the next parts will stay the similar 12 months over 12 months, and what would possibly alternate:

  • Timeline: The extra predictable your timeline, the simpler it is going to be to organize for contingencies, reminiscent of delegating duties, inquiring for new time limits, and deputizing colleagues as backups. Will there be a time crunch between Board approval of your ultimate, audited financials and the cut-off date for handing over them? Be ready!
  • Structure: Understand how the knowledge will have to be offered, and wreck it out. Does your target market need each and every report back to be a separate sheet in one Excel report, or its personal separate .csv report, or does it subject?
  • Device: If the seller or product getting used has modified, be ready for last-minute updates. Watch for the want to adapt to or be told device when bearing in mind your procedure.
  • Primary Theme: What is going to be the focal point or function of this 12 months’s document? Consider the way you’ll tie your monetary tale to a broader theme. Possibly it’s calling out the resilience of a program within the notes, explaining how 50% of contributions got here in keeping with an emergency name to motion, or detailing a particular line merchandise to emphasise the significance of person contributions.
  • Adjustments: Are there another variations over final 12 months going into the yearly document, financials or differently? Take this time to believe get ready prematurely up to conceivable for this 12 months’s wishes, so the vast majority of the paintings throughout crunch time is spent on pulling and sharing stories. Make the most of the Save As and Replica options on document parameters and chart organizers so you’ll make investments that setup power now and be extra environment friendly later.

Taking a look Forward

The yearly document doesn’t need to be a chore. It’s a possibility to rejoice the good paintings your company does everyday, 12 months after 12 months—and you’ve got distinctive perception into the financials that make it conceivable. The extra ready you might be forward of crunch time, the easier—and even perhaps calmer—the revel in will likely be.

Take a look at the Blackbaud College Organizational Absolute best Practices Finance: 12 months-Finish and Audit Plans to workshop this and extra of your annual monetary actions.

This piece used to be co-authored by way of Blackbaud College Instructors Maire Moriarty and Andrew Regulate.



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