Our commitment to diversity is in everything we do and during every day we show up. We do want to highlight certain partners during designated celebratory times of the year. In celebration of Pride month, we’re recognizing our partner Future Focused Solutions, a queer-owned business that we’re honored to work with.
Once your business expands beyond one or two clients, it’s smart to start offloading and outsourcing some functions to free up your time. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than one-third of small businesses outsource at least some of their operations and one of the most commonly outsourced operations is accounting.
Accounting and finances often involve some nuanced details and regulations that can be a challenge to stay on top of when you’re already running all other aspects of a business. Managing a nonprofit business can add even more complications as additional paperwork and tax regulations are involved. Nonprofit organizations within the education and social services sectors are the bread and butter of our partner, Future Focused Solutions.
“We take clients that we all believe the mission is a valuable mission to our society,” says founder Andrew Minck, who began his career in the nonprofit industry.
Minck, who took on a two-year commitment to a teaching position at Teach for America, subsequently found himself in graduate school with an interest in public policy. Initially, he scoffed at a friend who was taking accounting courses, but changed his tune very quickly.
“I fell in love with accounting, because I can tell the story behind it,” says Minck. “We can do some strategic decision-making with it.”
After grad school, Minck became the operations and co-director of a charter school, moving the institution through a transition, and then found himself at Teach for America National, with a $75 million operating budget. His experiences cover a broad spectrum, from leading local, Minnesota-based nonprofits with small budgets to working for national nonprofits leading through large organizational change.
In 2018, Minck started offering his unique blend of leadership and CFO services combined with accounting services as a part-time gig, but the need quickly snowballed just before the pandemic in 2020 and he took the venture full-time. He had since hired two additional full-time staff.
“Our value add is we aren’t just accountants, we were nonprofit leaders before we went into this business,” says Minck. “I went into this business because I saw a need for sharing the story and strategy behind the numbers.”
Today, Future Focused Solutions provides small to midsize nonprofit organizations with fractional accounting services based on their needs. Financials are something that cannot be overlooked, but they are often a pain point for organizations, especially within the nonprofit sector. Future Focused Solutions partners with organizations to ease those situations.
They are mindful of the missions and visions of the organizations they work with, making decisions based on individual philosophies and baselines. Every organization needs to ensure their financial resources are in a strong position to carry out their work, even when they don’t have the capacity to bring these services in-house–one of the main reasons Future Focused Solutions offers scalable services to fit the individual needs of their clients.
Here is a list of potential services Future Focused Solutions can provide:
- CFO/Comptroller (annual budget and monthly forecasting, monthly financial reporting for the organization/board/finance system, board training, line of credit management, bank/creditors relationship management, audit management for nonprofits over $750,000
- Accounting/Bookkeeping/Payroll Management (accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliations, payroll management, contractor management
- 990 Support (annual tax support, complete 990 preparation reviewed by our CPA staff, partner with audit firm to ensure they complete the 990 on organization’s behalf accurately and timely, determine the best 990 form to file–990 full, 990-EZ, 990-N
- System Review and Integrations (accounting systems such as QuickBooks, Xero, Intacct; CRMs include Salesforce, EveryAction, Raiser’s Edge; marketing tools like Pardot and MailChimp; revenue streams from Stripe, Paypal, Square, Funraise, GiveLively, WordPress, GiveMN, and others)
- Relationship Connector (connects nonprofit organizations to a variety of CRM administrators, grant writers, website developers, leadership coaching, bankers, lenders, and other individuals and firms that are knowledgeable in our industry)
Since Future Focused Solutions works exclusively with nonprofits, they also guide their work based on these six tenets of their philosophy:
- Equity. The goal of Future Focused Solutions is to work toward an equitable society. As such, they only work with mission-aligned clients.
- Relationship Centered. They believe in providing service that is personable, engaging, and fun (yes, even accounting and finances can be fun!). They aim to build long standing relationships with clients.
Scalable. In order to meet the capacity needs of individual nonprofit organizations, their services are scalable. Everything from full financial services, targeted support, internal education, and temporary support is available.
- Future Focused. True to their name, Future Focused Solutions stays up-to-date on advancements, learning and growing with technology, adapting to industry software, APIs, and integrations. These maneuvers increase productivity and decrease cost incurred to nonprofits.
- Life Long Learners. Because of their background and experiences in education, the staff at Future Focused Solutions work off a flexible model of service. They are available to satisfy the full spectrum of a client’s financial service needs, or they can train individuals within the organization on financial procedures to build internal capacity.
- Service. All work (every system, worksheet, and note) the firm does on behalf of a client is property of the nonprofit.
For Minck, knowing this work is making a difference is what keeps him motivated as an entrepreneur. “I’m helping people make decisions that impact people that are more disadvantaged than me, people that need extra support in schools and after school activities. In our little numbers way, it helps our kids, our population, do a little bit better.”
For more information, head to futurefocusedsolutions.org.