3 ways to improve development and accounting collaboration

Communication breakdowns between a not-for-profit’s development and accounting departments can lead to confusion, embarrassment and even financial problems. Here are three ways your organization can facilitate cooperation between these two critical functions. 1. Recognize differences Accounting and development typically record their financial information differently, which is why they can produce numbers that vary but nonetheless… Read more »

5 questions can help nonprofits avoid accounting and tax mistakes

To err is human, but some errors are more consequential — and harder to fix — than others. Most not-for-profit organizations can’t afford to lose precious financial resources, so you need to do whatever possible to minimize accounting and tax mistakes. Get started by considering the following five questions: Have we formally documented our accounting… Read more »

Exchange Transaction or Contribution? Conditional or Restricted?

In June 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-08, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958), which clarifies the scope and the accounting guidance for contributions received and contributions made. Specifically, the update assists entities in determining whether a transaction should be accounted for as a contribution or an exchange transaction and, after that determination is… Read more »

When it comes to revenue, nonprofits need to think like auditors

Auditors examining a not-for-profit’s financial statements spend considerable time on the revenue figures. They look at the accounting methods used to record revenues and perform a detailed income analysis. You can use the same techniques to increase your understanding of your organization’s revenue profile. In particular, consider: Individual contributions. Compare the donation dollars raised to… Read more »

Holding A Fundraising Auction? Make Sure Your Nonprofit is Tax-Compliant

Auctions have long been lucrative fundraising events for not-for-profits. But these events come with some tax compliance responsibilities. Acknowledging item donations If you auction off merchandise or services donated to your charity, you should provide written acknowledgments to the donors of the auctioned items valued at $250 or more. You won’t incur a penalty for… Read more »

How successfully has your nonprofit shifted from overhead to impact?

In the not-so-distant past, charity watchdog groups such as GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance were notorious for giving overhead ratios significant weightings in their rankings of not-for-profits. While such a practice can help potential donors weed out spendthrift organizations, it also tends to unfairly penalize nonprofits making reasonable expenditures… Read more »

What is missing? | Disaster Recovery Planning

With all of the focus on Cybersecurity in IT these days I think it is important to not forget about your disaster planning.  A cyber-event can definitely be considered a disaster and sometimes your Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) could save you from a cyber-event but I want to talk about a basic element of a… Read more »

Upcoming Changes for Not-for-Profit Organization Financial Statements

Some changes in your year-end financial statements will be required that are designed to more clearly indicate your organization’s financial position as a result of a recent Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Update (FASB ASU). The changes prescribed in Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (ASU 2016-14) will affect… Read more »

Who’s On First? | What is team building and why is it important? 

We most commonly think of teams in the context of sporting events. We watch the players run, hit, skate, or shoot, all within the prescribed timeline of a game or period, and at the end of the game, someone wins, and someone loses.  A team consists of a group of individuals working together to achieve… Read more »

What nonprofits need to know about the new tax law

The number of taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal tax return — and, thus, are eligible to deduct charitable contributions — is estimated by the Tax Policy Center to drop from 37% in 2017 to 16% in 2018. That’s because the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) substantially raises the standard deduction…. Read more »