The Top 4 Ways to Reduce Audit Stress

For many nonprofit leaders and their accounting and finance teams the annual audit can be a stressful and disruptive time, commanding considerable staff resources. This should be the exception, not the rule. There are year-round strategies to help make audit time a less stressful experience. Storing required audit documents throughout the year An auditor’s PBC…

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Fiduciary Responsibilities of a Nonprofit Board

The duties of board members are many. From steering the organization’s mission and purpose, to appointing new directors and overseeing fundraising, it is critical to the success of an NPO that board members understand their responsibilities. One of the most important functions of a board is to oversee the organization’s financials. Lack of proper financial…

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The Difference Between an Audit Committee and a Finance Committee and Why a Nonprofit Needs Both

For nonprofits, deciding on a board committee structure can be a challenge. Often, the decision is solely based on the number of board members and their talents and expertise. Proper financial oversight, however, is important to the success of a nonprofit because it ensures that the organization is in compliance with applicable laws, is acting…

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The Importance of Investment Policies

5 Steps for Nonprofits to Develop a Wise Investment Policy Nonprofit boards have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the organization’s assets and ensure that they’re used to further the mission.  Often, an important part of the board’s responsibility is deciding how to invest the nonprofit’s cash. That requires implementing a sound investment policy that balances…

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The Importance of Reserve Policies

5 Keys to Develop Your Operating Reserve Policy Every nonprofit needs to have sufficient cash flow to meet obligations. Setting aside an operating reserve is a smart practice as it provides a cushion against unexpected events that could temporarily impact the cash flow. Following are five best practices to follow when establishing your operating reserve…

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Is Cash or Accrual Accounting Better for Your Nonprofit?

One of the fundamental decisions a nonprofit organization needs to make is whether to use the cash or accrual accounting method. The method you select will determine how you classify, record, and report on your income and expenses. What is the cash method of accounting? Under the cash method of accounting (cash-basis accounting), revenue is…

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The PBC Audit Checklist—and Why You Need One

Will you be ready for your next audit? If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” you need a provided by client (PBC) checklist. What is a PBC? A PBC checklist is a list of all documentation, spreadsheets, and schedules that your auditing firm expects your organization to provide as part of your annual…

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3 Keys to Being Prepared for Your Next Nonprofit Audit

3 Keys to Being Prepared for Your Next Nonprofit Audit For many nonprofits, going through an annual audit is like undergoing a root canal—it’s a painful, stressful, and expensive experience. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way (the audit, that is.) Through advance planning, organization and knowledge of the audit…

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What’s So Different About Nonprofit Accounting?

What’s So Different About Nonprofit Accounting? If you’ve never worked in the nonprofit environment, you might assume that the accounting is fairly simple and straightforward. In actuality, proper accounting for a nonprofit is much more complex than accounting for a for-profit business. Why?   For starters, most nonprofits operate on an accrual, not cash, basis. This…

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