Nimble AMS, Salesforce and Nimble Life articles by team Nimble!

A Modern AMS Can Streamline Year End Processes - Here's How

  • Written by Joe Klimek on December 22, 2014

The end of the year is always a busy time. For our colleagues in the accounting department it is particularly busy time to get all the debits and credits in the right column. Some organizations dread this time of year as it means pulling together data from dozens of spreadsheets. A modern enterprise level AMS (Association Management System) like Nimble AMS can speed the year end close process by bring key accounting data together into a single system.

With a modern AMS your accountants may actually be able to celebrate the New Year with you!

Let’s look at a few accounting challenges and how a modern, platform based Association Software can automate and greatly simplify an association's year end processes 

Event Revenue RecognitionNimble AMS Can Help With Year End Accounting

For most associations the event calendar is never empty. Webinars, training, and annual meetings all are a major source of revenue. However, GAAP accounting requires that associations not recognize the revenue from the event until the accounting period in which the event occurs. That means all those registrations that come in this month for your programs in January, February, or later all need to be deferred.

Some legacy AMS systems offer deferrals, but in many cases the deferral goes into a mysterious black box that is difficult to report from and tough to audit. Nimble AMS provides the ability to establish a deferral schedule for each event and provides visibility into the deferral entries on a per registrant basis. This method of tracking deferrals allows for visibility at any time and easy reporting to appease the auditors.

Nimble AMS provides the ability to establish a deferral schedule for each event and
provides visibility into the deferral entries on a per registrant basis.

Dues Revenue Recognition

Dues offer a couple of special cases of revenue recognition based on whether the organization uses an annual renewal process (all renewals happen at the same time, usually tied to your fiscal year), or anniversary (renewals vary throughout the year usually based on when the member signed up).

Annual dues organizations still face challenges of revenue deferral. Even if your new dues year starts on January 1, you certainly started sending renewal notices earlier this fall and hopefully the windfall of dues have started to come in. The revenue collected now must also be deferred until next fiscal year. Some organizations will recognize the revenue at the beginning of the year, while others will spread out the dues into equal increments throughout the upcoming year.

Anniversary dues are nearly always in a start of deferral, with varying amounts being recognized each month.

Nimble AMS supports annual as well as anniversary dues as well as as revenue recognition.  In addition Nimble AMS has full support for Accrual Dues.

Additionally, reporting is key to successful revenue recognition even if the AMS is generating the deferral entry for you automatically. Good reporting will provide the opportunity to forecast future period deferral and make the budgeting process much easier.  This is where the world class Saleforce reporting engine (which is part and parcel of Nimble AMS) really shines by making it easy to get actionable business intelligence .

Year End Cut-off

GAAP standards also dictate that associations properly establish cut-off at year end, ensuring that orders processed this year are recognized this year. If your process for fulfilling orders or gifts is not integrated to the AMS, the cut-off becomes more complicated. Integrating with the AMS allows orders to be placed online and processed on a timely basis. Gifts have the additional implication of affecting constituent tax reporting.

Integrating your online transactions using the functionality of your AMS will decrease the year-end workload through efficient processing.

Due To/Due From

Organizations that include multiple legal entities often find themselves conducting transactions within one entity that needs to benefit the related organization. A simple example is a gift made to the tax-exempt foundation but processed together with the annual dues renewal notice of the trade association. In this case the cash has settled with the trade organization (so that your member only saw a single credit card charge on their statement), but it is owed to the foundation.

Due To/Due From creates the accounting entries for you automatically. The net result is cash recorded to the trade association with an equal liability owed to the foundation (due to). On the foundation books the contribution revenue is recorded with an equal receivable from the trade association (due from).

Without this functionality in the AMS the accounting department needs to track a messy set of accounts to manually track the offsetting obligations.

Nimble AMS has full multi-entity support and we are excited to share that the Nimble AMS Winter 15 release offers Due To/Due From functionality.New Year Celebration Accounting

As you are wrapping up your year, give some consideration to your colleagues in the accounting department. With a modern AMS the accountants may actually be able to celebrate the New Year with you!

 

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Nimble AMS to Attend ASAE Tech Conference December 16th-17th

  • Written by Beth Farrar on December 4, 2014

We _Are _Exhibiting _Web Sticker

Nimble AMS will be attending the ASAE Technology Conference & Expo on December 16th & 17th. The conference will be held at a new location, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Sessions will offer attendees a tailored learning experience whether you’re a CEO, in the technology c-suite, director, manager, or other technical professional.

The Nimble AMS booth (#229) will be rocking our signature Airstream Trailer and interested in speaking with forward thinking, cloud loving NIMBLE associations. Visit our booth to learn more about how Nimble Association Management Software can:

  • Determine the Value of Your Members
  • Drive Business Decisions with Easy, Interactive Reporting and Dashboards
  • Improve Staff Efficiency through Increased Online Capabilities
  • Attract Tech-Savvy Members with Mobile Capabilities
  • Execute Excellent Events & Education
  • Keep Auditors at Bay with Powerful Revenue Accounting

Schedule a one-on-one appointment with a member of our team using the ASAE Appointment Center. We look forward to a great conference!

About ASAE: ASAE represents more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. Our members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world.

Below: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, new location for the 2014 ASAE Technology Conference & Expo

Gaylord

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Person Accounts - One Tab For All Constituent Interactions

  • Written by Sig VanDamme on December 4, 2014

There are many reasons that Professional and Trade Associations should select a Salesforce based Association Management System (AMS) that uses the standard Salesforce person accounts model.  

Nimble AMS uses the Salesforce Person Accounts model and we were recently asked to document some of the advantages.  The example below illustrates one of the many compelling advantages of Person Accounts.

Associations Work with Organizations and People

Professional Associations are made up primarily of individual members but may deal with organizations that are associate members.  A trade association's members are organizations, and at the same time most of their interactions are still with individuals.

Bottom Line:  Most Professional and Trade Associations Deal with Individuals AND Organizations

The person account model was built by Salesforce to enable the business-to-consumer as well as business-to-business transactions.

One Accounts Tab for Individuals and Organizations

Using the Salesforce Person Accounts model, Nimble AMS has one Account tab for both Individuals and Organizations:

Person Accounts For Professional And Trade Associations - One Place For All Constituents

 

Salesforce has a powerful List View feature that lets users create views to work with directly from module tabs.  For example, an organization could have a List View in Accounts to show highly engaged members (notice that Acme is an organization and Matt Rist is an individual): 

Highly Engaged Members In Nimble AMS

If Person Accounts were not used, a user would have to create similar List Views in both the contact and account modules and could not see them in the same tab.

What If You Do Want To Just See Individual Records?

Sometimes your staff may want to work with just individuals or just organizations - then what?  It is as simple as creating a listview specifically for that record type.  For example the new view below will just show Individuals:

View Individual Members In Nimble AMS

 Click Save and only the Individuals will show:

Show Individual Member Records In NImble AMS

Summary of Advantages of Using Person Accounts to have one place for all Members

Person accounts give the user a much easier paradigm for viewing records; both organizational and individual records appear in a single accounts tab.  With person accounts users have one central place to have complete visibility to ALL constituent records. This is significantly easier than of only looking at organizations in the account tab and only individuals in the contact tab.

Having one area for all constituents has a number of advantages including:

  1. Association staff goes to one place for all account (both Individual and Organization) interactions

  2. List Views in the Account are can be a mix of both Organization and Individual records.  For example - all member records in New York.

One tab for all constituent interactions is just one of a myriad of reasons that Nimble AMS uses the person accounts model.  For more information on Salesforce Person Accounts see these posts from our blog:

 

 

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Salesforce CRM Person Accounts Facilitates Reporting Across Individuals and Organizations

  • Written by Sig VanDamme on December 3, 2014

There are many reasons that Professional and Trade Associations should select a Salesforce based Association Management System (AMS) that uses the standard Salesforce person accounts model.

The Nimble AMS Asscociation Management Software uses the Salesforce Person Accounts model and we were recently asked to document some of the advantages. The example below illustrates one of the many compelling advantages of Person Accounts.

Custom Object That Applies To Both Organizations and Individuals

It is a very common need in the association world to have programs that apply to both organizational members as well as individual members. For example, perhaps your organization gives awards to both individual members and corporate members. Lets illustrate how person accounts facilitates doing this.

One of the great things about Salesforce is how easy it is to add a custom object to track awards. Lets get started!

Create the object

  1. Create a simple object called Awards
    Award Object Creation In Nimble AMS
  2. Add a couple of fields to track the name of the award and the date the award was given:
    Custom Fields And Relationships In Nimble AMS

  3. Now add a lookup relationship field to relate the award to the recipient

    1. If using the Salesforce Person Accounts Model:

      Create a lookup field called Recipient and relate it to the Account. Since person accounts are just accounts, we can use one field to represent both individuals and companies. We want every award to be associated with a recipient, so we’ll also make the field required.

      Nimble AMS Person Accounts New Relationship
      Person Account New Relationship For Awards

      When complete it should look like this:
      Award Object Creation In Nimble AMS Completed

    2. If NOT using the Salesforce Person Accounts Model:

      Create two lookup fields - one lookup related to accounts for when the award recipient is an Account (in the case of a corporation receiving the award) and another lookup related to Contacts for when the award recipient is a Contact (I.e. a person).

      First lookup field for contacts:
      Use Case For Person Accounts - Simpler Reporting
      Now add second lookup field for Accounts:
      Second Lookup Field For Accounts

      Note: Since the award can be for be for either an account or a contact, neither can be required. This opens up the possibility of orphaned award records (i.e. award records not related to anything).  A validation rule would need to be created that would require either the contact or account relationship to be entered.

Usability in Person Accounts:

Adding Awards:

Adding awards is simple:

  1. Go to the record of the recipient of the award and click New Award from the related list on a record:
    Add Award

  2. Enter the Award Name, and click Save:
    Enter Award And Click Save

  3. The award is now recorded:
    Award In Now Recorded

  4. With Person Accounts it is just as easy if we want to give an award to a corporate member. The association staff fills in the same field, the same way - no need to differentiate because it is a corporation:
    Person Account Used For Corporate Award Entry

  5. It looks exactly the same because it is the same relationship on the same object:
    Ace Industries - Same Object With Same Relationship

Reporting

Salesforce has an excellent built in reporting tool. With person accounts the reporting is very straight forward. For example, to create a report of all of the awards (for both companies and individuals) the following steps would be followed:

  1. From the taskbar select Reports and click New Report Button.

  2. Type Award in the search box and select Awards with Award Recipient and click Create:
    Create New Report Is Easy With Person Accounts

  3. This will bring up a pre-created report that will show all awards and the recipient (both corporate and individual):
    Salesforce Report Preview

  4. If the user wants to add additional fields from the account record - no problem (this is a big advantage of Person Accounts). For example one could easily add the phone number field:
    Easy To Add More Account Related Fields To Reports With Person Accounts 

Usability Without Person Accounts:

Adding Awards:

  1. Go to the record of the recipient of the award and click New Award from the related list on a record:
    Add Award

  2. Enter the Award Name, and click Save (note that the staff entering the record will have to be trained to not enter a Contact if it is an organization record and vice-versa):
    Entering Related Records - Staff Member Has To Know What Relationship To Select

Reporting

  1. From the taskbar select Reports and click New Report Button.

  2. Type Award in the search box.

    Note: One cannot get a report that has the membership information AND the award information for ALL awards - only by either Contact or Account: 

    Create New Report In Salesforce

  3. If one selects the awards report (i.e with no relationship information) that simply reports off of the objects. One can get the recipient but not additional information (e.g phone number, address, etc.) from either the Account or Contact. Also note Award ID A-002 that is not related to any account or contact (again - the system administrator should take the additional step of creating a validation rule to require either the Contact or Account relationship be required to eliminate the possibility of this happening) .
    Need To Run Two Seperate Reports If Person Accounts Are Not Used

Summary of Advantages of Person Accounts with Custom Objects

  1. One link can be created between a custom object and the Account to represent both companies and individuals.  If not using person accounts two links would have to be used (one for the contact and one for the account).

  2. Reporting is possible across both organizations and individuals including additional information from the records. Without person accounts two separate reports would be required (one for accounts and one for contacts) to get additional information.

Custom reporting across individuals and organizations is just one of a myriad of reasons that Nimble AMS uses the person accounts model.

 

 For more information on person accounts see these posts from our blog:

 

 

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Fast Forms and Nimble AMS - Easily Capture Information From The Web and Record it in Nimble AMS

  • Written by Sig VanDamme on December 2, 2014

Visual Antidote’s Fast Forms Product is a 100% native form builder for Salesforce.  It is an easy to use, highly intuitive solution for capturing information from the web and instantly recording it in Nimble AMS.  Fast Forms can also be used to build surveys in Salesforce and record the data directly into one or more Salesforce objects.

Fast Forms For Nimble AMS Logo

 

How Easy? 20 Minutes from Installation to Data Collection!

Here is the situation: Your events manager comes into your office on a Friday at 4:30pm and informs you that she needs a way to do a call for presentation for the conference. The catch - she needs it today (I.e. in the next 30 minutes).

No worries - this is going to be fast and easy.

You open Nimble AMS in your browser and create a new custom object called Call For Presentations with 6 fields:

  • Speaker Name
  • Speaker Email Address
  • Speaker Bio
  • Presentation Title
  • Presentation Description
  • Related Account (i.e. Lookup Relationship Field to the Person Account)

 Custom Fields And Relationships For Nimble AMS Fast Forms

Next click on the Fast Forms tab within Nimble AMS and quickly create a form to collect this information by clicking on the Create New Form button:

Create New Form For Nimble AMS Custom Object

Fast Forms makes it easy to add in the fields we want - simply drag and drop or double click the fields to add them to the form.  The required fields in the object are automatically added.  Add the email field from the account; if the form is submitted and the email is matched it will update the account ID on Call For Presentations object and link them automatically.

Nimble AMS Call For Presentations Form

 

Lastly, we only want humans filling out this form so add a Captcha field as well.

Fast Forms Catcha For Nimble AMS Fast Forms

 Click Save and Publish

Save And Publish Form

Fast forms will provide embed code to copy into your content manager.  Paste the code into your content manager and publish:

Fast Forms Embed Code For Nimble AMS

 

Now goto to your newly published page and view your new form:

Call For Presentations Fast Form And Nimble AMS

Now That is Awesome!

Once the form is submitted, Fast forms looks for the email address and if a match was found, automatically links to the account record:

Fast Forms Nimble AMS Custom Object Update

Notes:

The code generated is pure javascript and does not use old school iFrames.  This has many advantages including:

  1. CSS styling: With your form rendered directly on your page, your form will take on the look and feel of your existing page. Buttons, text boxes and labels will take on the look and feel of your existing web site. 

  2. Search engine optimization: By having your form available directly on your site, search engines like Google can more effectively read your page and list your form in search results.

  3. Advanced customization: Fast Forms offers a Javascript API, allowing you to add advanced form functionality to your forms directly on your page. Custom validation, messaging and form styling can all be built right into your form using custom Javascript code.

Other advantages over competing products:

  1. Native to Salesforce: Fast Forms is 100% native to Salesforce. This means there are no complex and messy integrations using connectors. Once you download Fast Forms, it shows up as a tab.

  2. Extremely intuitive to use: Fast Forms was designed with a non-technical Salesforce user in mind. Creating forms and surveys takes only minutes and is easy both for technical and non-technical users alike.

  3. Object first approach: Fast Forms has been built with an object first approach where all the data collected through the form or survey, directly ends up in a Salesforce object. Fast Forms works for both standard and custom objects.

  4. File Uploads: Fast Forms also supports the ability to upload a file by dragging an upload component to the form.  

Fast Forms File Upload For Nimble AMS

Security

Fast forms handles a lot of the nuances of security including:

  1. Form tampering:  If the form code is tampered with in any way (I.e. additional fields added, etc) the form will not be processed. Only the fields you add to your form will be collected into your Salesforce records.

  2. Validation: Fast Forms servers validate submitted form data to ensure your Salesforce data is kept clean. Fast Forms will validate submitted form data in both the user’s browser and on Fast Forms’ servers, ensuring that validation cannot be circumvented by malicious users.

  3. Field type enforcement: The following features are enabled for all forms built using Fast Forms:

    1. Any data that does not conform to expected data formats and maximum lengths will be ignored, including
      1. E-mail address
      2. Currency
      3. Percentage
      4. Numeric/decimal
      5. URL
    2. Any single or multi-select picklist selections that are not a valid value in Salesforce will be ignored.
    3. Any file uploads that do not conform to the expected file formats requested in your form will be ignored.
    4. Any file uploads exceeding the maximum number of uploads specified in your form will be ignored.

More to Come Soon:

Visual Antidote has a number of roadmap items that will further extend the capabilities of Fast Forms including:

  1. Hosted option:  Visual Antidote also has the ability to provide a full hosted option at an additional cost.  This would be an good option for sending out surveys to your members via email, or quick form to collect leads by a salesperson at a conference or trade show.   

  2. Conditional logic: Fast Forms will provide the ability to customize your form experience depending on the values your users enter into your forms. This feature will be ideal for lengthy forms or complex surveys.  This will part of an advanced package that will have additional cost for those that need it.

  3. Payment integration: Fast Forms will support payment collection in its forms. This is ideal for dues or donation collection forms.  This will part of an advanced package that will have additional cost for those that need it. 

How to Get It

 Get Fast Forms For Nimble AMS On The Salesforce Appexchange

Fast Forms is Available on the Salesforce Appexchange (Link)

Pricing

Fast Forms is priced at $25/organization/month ($300/year).  This includes unlimited users and unlimited forms.  This is a special discounted price just for Nimble AMS Customers. 

Please contact Dee Guttikonda at dguttikonda@visualantidote.com for the ‘NimbleDiscount’.

About Visual Antidote

Visual Antidote Logo

For over a decade, Visual Antidote has worked with associations and not for profit clients building technology solutions to help them succeed with their members. Visual Antidote has been experimenting with product development in Salesforce since 2012 after falling in love with the cutting edge technology platform.

Fast Forms is Visual Antidote's flagship application built on the Salesforce platform to enable easy integration between Salesforce and an organization’s website. Visual Antidote's product team is passionate about building dynamic and intuitive tools to enable all users to extend the functionality of their Salesforce instance.

 

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