What Nonprofit Board Members Need To Know About Fiduciary Duties

It takes more than dedication and enthusiasm for your not-for-profit’s cause and programs to make a good board member. The most critical duty for all board members is being a fiduciary. This means, among other things, that they can be trusted to always act in their nonprofit’s best interests, avoid unnecessary risk, make decisions thoughtfully […]

Recordkeeping Dos And DON’Ts For Business Meal And Vehicle Expenses

If you’re claiming deductions for business meals or auto expenses, expect the IRS to closely review them. In some cases, taxpayers have incomplete documentation or try to create records months (or years) later. In doing so, they fail to meet the strict substantiation requirements set forth under tax law. Tax auditors are adept at rooting […]

Ensure Competitive Intelligence Efforts Are Helpful, Not Harmful

With so many employees working remotely these days, engaging in competitive intelligence has never been easier. The Internet as a whole, and social media specifically, create a data-rich environment in which you can uncover a wide variety of information on what your competitors are up to. All you or an employee need do is open […]

Whistleblower Policies Protect Both Staffers And Your Nonprofit

According to the Nonprofit Times, only 41% of not-for-profits have whistleblower policies. Perhaps nonprofit leaders believe their organizations are too small or collegial to worry about illicit activities — let alone people reporting them. Or perhaps a whistleblower policy seems like one more thing that requires time and money they don’t have. This is a […]

Defrauded? How To Help Your Nonprofit Recover

Thousands of not-for-profit organizations fall victim to embezzlement schemes every year — some even losing millions of dollars. But losses go beyond actual dollar amounts. The hit to a group’s reputation may scare off donors, grantmakers and other supporters. However, with the right response, nonprofits can bounce back from fraud. Here’s how. One best practice […]

New Revenue Idea? Watch Out For The Commerciality Doctrine

If your not-for-profit has lost financial support during the pandemic, you may be looking for ways to raise new revenue. But if your proposed solution is a side business, be careful. Even when business ventures are related to a nonprofit’s exempt purpose, they can run afoul of the commerciality doctrine — and jeopardize an organization’s […]

Footnote Disclosures: The Story Behind The Numbers

The footnotes to your company’s financial statements give investors and lenders insight into account balances, accounting practices and potential risk factors — knowledge that’s vital to making well-informed business and investment decisions. Here are four important issues that you should cover in your footnote disclosures. 1. Unreported or contingent liabilities A company’s balance sheet might […]

Principles To Guide Your Nonprofit’s Relationship With Donors

In 1993, a consortium of philanthropic organizations came up with the Donor Bill of Rights to guide not-for-profits in their interactions with financial supporters. For the most part, the basic principles remain valid. But over the past quarter-century, some in the nonprofit and donor communities have suggested amendments and additional “rights.” If you aren’t already […]

Cutoffs: What counts in 2020 vs. 2021

As year end approaches, it’s a good idea for calendar-year entities to review the guidelines for recognizing revenue and expenses. There are specific rules regarding accounting cutoffs under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Strict observance of these rules is generally the safest game plan. The basics Companies that follow GAAP must use the accrual […]

Avoiding Conflicts Of Interest With Auditors

A conflict of interest could impair your auditor’s objectivity and integrity and potentially compromise you company’s financial statements. That’s why it’s important to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest. What is a conflict of interest? According to the America Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), “A conflict of interest may occur if a member […]