Posts made in September 2018

Essential Nonprofit Financial Governance – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We will cover 15 commonly asked questions and mis-perceptions of financial governance. Please provide this to your board and especially new board members and leaders to help educate them on the roles and responsibilities on Nonprofit Leadership and Governance. Please register for our November forum to review this topic in more detail and invite your board treasurer, finance committee, and leaders.

  1. How many board members should we have?  At least 5-9 members which are unrelated to each other.
  2. What should be discussed during a board orientation? Mission, organization chart, bylaws, audit and form 990, responsibilities and expectations including fundraising, and frequency of board and committee meetings.
  3. Are there best practices for planning and conducting meetings?  Draft agenda in advance and be strategic and focus attention on priorities.  A consent agenda can be a good tool to move through routine procedures and information that can be provided prior to the meeting.
  4. Do I have to have an audit or finance committee?  Organization’s benefit from a finance committee and may benefit from an independent audit committee.  It is important to have the right financial experts to move you in right direction.
  5. Do I have to have accounting or finance experience to serve on a board?   A successful board is generally made up of diverse individuals who are focused on furthering the mission of the organization.  Board members may need training to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.   It might be best for these board members to not serve on the finance or audit committee however.
  6. Are Not-for-Profits supposed to have term limits?  Term limits seem to be a good idea yet make sure you have a staggered term process to support continuity and prevent large turnover of board members.  It might be import to change the responsibilities of long-term board members to keep them engaged and refresh their duties.
  7. Is it common for board members to have fundraising expectations?  Asking board members is very common and especially expected if donations is a major revenue source.  It is always a good idea to know the fundraising expectations and make sure you are comfortable with the commitment.
  8. What is a conflict of interest?  a conflict of interest arises with a board member has a transaction with the organization.  Transactions should be discussed and possible disclosed before they take place.  A robust conflict of interest policy covering the financial and non financial conflicts is a means to establish procedures that will offer protection against charges of impropriety involving officers or directors.
  9. Are not-for-profits required to have an annual audit?  It depends on many triggers that may cause or require an audit.  Receiving federal or state funds over certain thresholds can trigger audit requirements.  Some foundation grants may have audit requirements as well.    Some organization’s may choose to have an audit even when not required to demonstrate good financial stewardship and transparency.
  10. What alternatives exist to an annual audit?  A review typically costs 50-60% of an annual audit.   A compilation is another option but does not provide a basis for obtaining or providing assurance regarding the financial statements.
  11. What should board members know about the Form 990?  It is a public document and should be reviewed by the board before it is filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  Board members should fully understand and verify the information on the Form 990, and should feel comfortable asking questions until they are satisfied.
  12. Am I required to post my financial information on my website?  There is no federal requirement to provide your financial information on your website.  The IRS requires you to make your Form 990 publicly available.    In the interest of transparency, it is considered a good industry practice to post the IRS Form 990 and the annual financial statements.  The annual financial statements might be the audited financial statements and/or the annual report.
  13. Should we have an operating reserve?  An operating reserve is a valuable tool to manage changes to the finances.  By building and maintaining an operating reserve, an organization can better manage its cash flow on a day-to-day basis.
  14. How long do I keep my financial records?  There is no easy answer for this as many laws are state specific and federal government grants may have specific requirements for document retention.  A formal document retention and destruction policy is considered an important best practice.
  15. Are not-for-profits allowed to make a profit?  They should and a modest surplus maybe a good goal as well.  This will allow the organization to build up reserves and helps to contribute to long-term financial sustainability.    The term not-for-profit comes from the fact that the organization exists to benefit the public and has no owners.

Please be advised that this is only an introduction to financial governance and does not address all the areas that an organization should be concerned with.  We would be glad to assist your organization with training and make sure you meet the requirements of financial governance and leadership.

What is the best way to segregate financial duties in a small to medium sized Nonprofit?

Small to medium sized NPF’s struggle with segregating financial duties. Volunteers and Outside experts may play key roles in ensuring the proper segregation of duties. The best course is to segregrate duties to minimize risks and prevent fraud. The following reference charts are available for organizations with two, three, or four employees involved in the outsource function. If you only have one employee, we would recommend including our firm or another outside expert or volunteer to help with segregation of duties.

The following reference charts are provided to provide examples of segregation of duties.  Please contact us before you implement any of these suggestions.

Sample Organization with two employees

Sample Organization with three employees

Sample Organization with four employees

This would allow be good time to evaluate your financial department including updating your financial policies and procedures manual for the finance departments responsibilities.

2018 Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Survey is Available

2018 Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Survey is Available

By Jim Simpson, CPA and director, Financial Technologies & Management

It is becoming more difficult to attract and retain talent.  Also, it is important to review your salaries and benefits compensation compared to the market.  It is becoming clear that long term-sustainability and staff retention with competitive wages are linked.  We have provided this resource through our free white paper so please feel free to download this resource.

We hope this resource will help to provide nonprofit leaders from all service sectors and sizes to explore compensation and benefits for over 25 typical positions with the ultimate goal or attracting and retaining the talent to achieve your organization missions.

We serve quite a few clients outside this service area so we thought we would share it to all as the sample size is almost twice the typical sample size and is provided at no charge by Charitable Advisors and their sponsors which we have been in the past.

We invite you to download ‘2018 Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Survey

Financial Technologies Management LLC (FTM) has been serving the accounting services and technology needs of nonprofits since 1999. Our exclusive focus on nonprofit organizations means we have the experience and proven track record to guide you to the best combination of accounting resources to provide the optimal capacity, utmost stewardship and ability to fulfill your mission.

Abila MIP Fund Accounting and Abila MIP Advance Version 2019. 1 Available and Current MIP Promotions includes FREE Payroll and/or HR

What’s New in Abila MIP Fund Accounting Version 2019.1

Tax Enhancements Completed:

  • New Jersey Tax Updates
  • Maryland Tax Updates
  • Illinois Tax Updates
  • MIP: Aatrix – Add Oregon State Transit Tax code #5666 to Maintain Other Taxes

Reporting Enhancements Completed:

  • MIP: Financial Statements – Includes an option to add the Unposted Transactions to the Balance Sheet and Statement of Financial Position reports to allow more flexibility and understanding of current financial state.

Security Enhancements Completed:

  • MIP: Attachments – Enhances the attachment encryption process when encrypting documents using a new, modern algorithm.
  • MIP: Added a reminder message to both Forms Designer forms when the Insert Picture (related to signatures) is selected and both ACH forms.

Administration Enhancements Completed:

  • MIP: Data Integrity Checks – The Organization Name has been added to the results message for clarification.

Payroll Enhancements Completed:

  • MIP: Employee Information – A change was made to the employee page where the Social Security Number is entered.  If not entered at this time, a warning message will be displayed but the user can continue onwards, in order to match the functionality in the HR module for increased usability.
  • MIP: Payroll – The Timesheet Reference field now flows through several parts of the application to allow tracking and reporting on large numbers of employees.  It will flow through the calculation and history processes, as well as thru the processing and historical reports. Additionally, in Forms Designer, “Add Timesheet Reference” will be made available as a Data field.
  • Changes made to address new payroll requirements in Arizona
    • MIP: Set Up Modules – Payroll – Added checkbox ‘Include Historical Pay Code Information on Stubs’ and changed Print Checks/Vouchers and Reprint Stubs to enable display of changes made for the AZ tax code payroll changes.

Resolved Issues

With the 2019.1 release, we resolved 18 outstanding defects, including three HR defects. Defects

included in DLL releases from 2018.1 to 2019.1 are also included in this list.

FA‐20024 An ARS session allows duplicate document numbers to be created. For those document numbers that are used twice in one session, AR reporting doubles the amounts on the report output

FA‐21915 Aatrix: Info in AUF not Sorted or Grouped Properly

FA‐22185 The posting process taking an excessive amount of time

FA‐22929 MIP Closes when attempting to export report to XLS using the Red Door

FA‐23145 Changing one Employee in Review/Modify for a Supplemental Payroll triggers all employees to be recorded in the Summary Organization Audit with no associated user ID

FA‐23149 Appending or Prepending to an Excel Worksheet Removes Decimals That End in 0

FA‐23201 After exporting a report to Excel, formulas create #VALUE!

FA‐23262 Hourly Rate Change on Salaried Employees Does Not Save

FA‐23281 Append to Excel files with file type XLSM Fails (macros)

FA‐23316 HR: ‘dg2_initializeLayout’ error when adding Certificates in HR 2 14 of the defects on this list were from the prioritized Support Top 25 defects list.

FA‐23320 Rename Employee is Creating New Employees Instead of Renaming

FA‐23339 HR: Payroll Check printing rather than voucher

FA‐23343 HR: Misspelling in Ethnic Drop‐Down Options

FA‐23376 Some Report Types Printed from Excel Exported from MIP are Improperly Formatted

FA‐23395 Electronic Funds files have wrong Object Count when filler rows not included on a Data File ending in a perfect 10 count

FA‐23437 Reprint Pay Stub subtracts Workers Comp from Net Pay

FA‐23445 Reprint Pay stubs Produces Incorrect YTD Earnings for Local Taxes

FA‐23605 After applying the DLL to fix FA‐23281, Running the Bank Rec report to screen causes MIP to close. It also replaces the ‘from’ field

with the name of the database rather than the email address of the user attempting to email a report.

Abila MIP Advance™

The focal point of the 2019.1 release was the debut of the MIP Advance™ Reporting module.  Extensive refinement to the UI along with the introduction of 57 previously unreleased reports are the highlight of the features included here. See below for more detailed information.

Reporting

New Reports ‐ Inclusion of 57 new reports to the Advance user interface. A list of report

categories and sub‐categories is included below.

 Aged Payables, Detail A/P Ledger, Invoices Selected for Payment, Summary A/P Ledger, Vendor 1099 Adjustments List, Vendor Activity, Vendor Information List

 Aged Receivables, Customer Activity, Customer Information List, Detailed A/R Ledger, Summary A/R Ledger

 Bank Reconciliation – Checks/Vouchers, Combined Reconciliation, Deposits, Other Cash Items, Suspense Items

 Budget – Budget Worksheet, Detail Budget/Actual Transactions, Posted Budget Transactions, Summary Budget Comparison, Unposted Budget Transactions

 Check/Voucher Register

 Financial Statement – Balance Sheet, Combining Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, Combining Statement of R&E, Statement of Activities, Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Financial Position, Statement of R&E, Statement of Revenues and Expenditures by Period

 General Ledger Analysis – Comparative Trial Balance, Expanded GL, Normal Trial Balance, Standard GL, Working Trial Balance

 Journals – Cash Journal, Expenditure Journal, Revenue Journal

 Lists – Account Code Combinations, Attachments, Chart of Accounts, Closing Account Assignments, Distribution Codes, Email Templates, Financial Statement Format, Group Information, Offset Account Assignments, Report Group Assignments, Security, UDF Default Sources, User Defined Fields, User Information List

 Transactions – Memorize/Recurring Transactions, Unposted GL Transactions, Posted GL Transactions

Current MIP Promotions:
Prospect Promotion:
Free Payroll, HR, or both for 1 year: On Premise only pays M&S after year one; Subcription gets 12 months free
Client Promotion: Migrate to Advance for on-premise clients with 3 months free with 15 month contract; Free Module with Renewal for 12 months and choose from select modules; Renewal Amnesty for clients 6 months overdue may pay only a 50% catch up fee.