Are you using relevant ratios in these uncertain times?

Financial statements play an important role in assessing your organization’s health. However, they aren’t necessarily the best way to communicate performance to stakeholders. Ratios, on the other hand, grab information from your financial statements and can be presented as easy-to-process snapshots, an effective tool in the COVID-19–related economic crisis. Ratios help board members and other…

IRS issues proposed regs on UBTI “silo” rules

Ever since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed the rules about unrelated business taxable income (UBTI), nonprofits have had questions about just how those rules apply. Now there are proposed IRS regulations that nonprofits with more than one unrelated trade or business can rely on until final regulations are published. The proposed regs…

Board of Directors: Financial Literacy is Key

Your board is responsible for reviewing your nonprofit’s financial results so it can make sound decisions. But not every board member arrives at your organization with a financial background. Here are some suggestions for relaying some of the most vital information they need to know. Communicating the balance sheet A statement of financial position shows…

It’s Time to Really Pay Attention

The COVID-19 era makes board financial oversight more important than ever. The board of directors plays a special role in ensuring that an organization stays financially on track. This responsibility is magnified in the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis, which has often pushed donations and other revenue down while upping the need for services. Keeping…

When It Comes to Embezzlement, Your Response Matters

A quick Google search for the phrase “nonprofit embezzlement” turns up thousands of news stories about thefts, ranging from relatively small amounts to millions of dollars. Regardless of the size of the misappropriation, the way a victimized organization responds can make or break its reputation, fundraising results and, in turn, ability to pursue its mission….

The CARES Act: What’s in it for Nonprofits?

When Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March, much attention was paid to Economic Impact Payments for individuals and various types of assistance for businesses. But the 880-page law also contains some assistance that could prove critical to nonprofits as they struggle to deal with the financial impact…

Are You Holding a Raffle?

This ticket to revenue carries compliance concerns Raffles are tried-and-true fundraising vehicles. They can be attractive to your constituents, easy to put together and profitable. But organizations need to put on their “compliance hats” when holding this activity. Each state has its own set of laws regulating raffles. And all organizations must comply with federal…

How You Should Respond After an Outside Audit

Regular outside financial audits are among the most effective tools for revealing financial risks in a timely manner. And they assure your donors and other stakeholders about your stability — so long as you respond to the results appropriately. Failing to act on issues identified in an audit isn’t only a waste of money. It…

CFOs Deliver Financial Know-how — But Does Your Nonprofit Really Need One?

Some executive directors, board members and others in nonprofit leadership roles may look at the financial side of their organization and muse, “We could do so much better.” You may think you can boost financial performance by hiring a chief financial officer to help “run the show.” But there’s a lot to consider before taking…

Program Service or Supporting Activity? Get Your Expense Allocation Right

The push for more transparency from nonprofits has placed a greater emphasis on how an organization’s expenses break down — in other words, how it uses its resources. In 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released a new rule that reflects this priority. While the rule has been in effect for almost two years,…