Nonprofit Leverages RSM for the Building Blocks for Building Capacity


Authored by RSM US LLP


Outside Washington, D.C., on a quaint street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, sit the offices of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)—an organization dedicated to education, licensure, advocacy, certification, leadership training and support of its membership. Determining how to best serve stakeholders and accomplish organization mission is a constant in its operational equation, and like most nonprofit organizations, resources are limited.

However, NSPE is dedicated to building capacity and expanding internal effectiveness, strategic planning, and overall organizational impact.


As many will tell you, the responsibilities of today’s nonprofit finance executive often extend beyond the numbers to areas such as operations, information technology and human resources. However, having the necessary capacity to address the demand with limited resources is key.


By leveraging the capabilities of RSM’s finance and accounting outsourcing (FAO) services, NSPE’s Chief Operating Officer, Wendel Stewart, has tapped into a resource that not only enables him to build capacity for himself and his finance department but for the organization as a whole.

Building block No. 1: Experienced people

Key to the accurate and timely handling of financial data for any nonprofit is having accountants with extensive nonprofit experience on board. Serving as an extension of NSPE staff, RSM’s nonprofit accounting professionals ensure the flow of timely and meaningful financial information, equipping budget managers and senior executives with critical data for measuring results and making decisions.

Building block No. 2: Efficient and effective processes

Identifying and implementing improvements in the processing of information can have a big positive impact for any organization, resulting in not only improved efficiencies, but cost savings. With RSM’s help, NSPE has gone from shuttling paper invoices and issuing physical checks to processing and paying digital invoices in the cloud. The cloud-based system utilizes “smart rules” to remember coding for recurring invoices. And, with approvers having access anywhere there’s an internet connection, invoices and payments can be authorized right from their cell phones—while on the go.

Building block No. 3: A powerful accounting and reporting system

The right accounting system and system structure make all the difference in the world when it comes to viewing and reporting financial data. RSM designed an accounting framework with consistent accounts and account groupings across all related NSPE entities. In addition, RSM implemented the high-functioning cloud-based accounting platform Sage Intacct, bringing new reporting capabilities to NSPE with real-time, on-demand dashboards and drillable financial information.

NSPE budget managers and organization leadership now have quick and easy access to financial data in the cloud-based system, enabling streamlined financial oversight and more effective strategic planning.


These building blocks enable NSPE to have more timely and effective communication and collaboration between departments, building capacity within the organization and empowering management for decision-making.

Key benefits of RSM’s FAO solution for NSPE include:

  • Timely and meaningful financials that equip executives with critical data to measure results and make decisions
  •  The ability for approvers to authorize invoices and payments on the go
  •  Processing and payment of digital invoices in the cloud through
  •  Quick and easy access to financial data in the cloudbased Sage Intacct system 
  •  Streamlined financial oversight and strategic planning
“With RSM, I have trusted accounting professionals in place, and it gives me the ability to expand my focus to other opportunities for our business.”

– Wendel Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, National Society of Professional Engineers