At many nonprofits, managers may be spending much time trying to decide if it’s worth the money to engage a CPA firm to help the organization with its finances. After all, resources are often very limited at nonprofits. However, managers would do well to consider all the advantages—indeed, an accounting firm may pay for itself in the long run.
What Does an Accounting Firm Do?
Before going any further, let’s take a closer look at what a CPA firm does. In essence, these firms offer a variety of accounting-related task management and consultation services, many of which can be of great use for a nonprofit due to the larger complexity of accounting and reporting required.
The specific services offered by these firms include, but are not limited to: assurance and auditing, forensic accounting, information technology, business consulting, and of course, services related to tax and financial planning.
On or offsite accountants may help the client organization with some or all of these tasks, including daily accounting tasks, the handling of monthly, semi-annual and annual reporting requirements, and anything else the organization will need in order to operate properly and legally.
Does Your Organization Need a CPA Firm?
Before determining whether or not you should hire a CPA, an important question frequently arises: how large is your organization and how much does your CFO and accountant need to get involved in activities other than audit compliance, such as financial issues, communication and HR?
The fact is that a nonprofit needs to be especially compliant with GAAP and various rules and regulations. Even a small firm might benefit from having a CPA serve as a virtual CFO. For larger organizations, however, audits will be of paramount importance, which of course demands a CPA firm well-versed in auditing nonprofits.