If you are operating a non-profit, you understand how time-consuming audits, compilations, and controls can be. You are spread thin and want to focus on your mission, but proper financial statements and disclosures are a must. You need to be compliant not only to the IRS, but also to your bank, supporters, and the public while budget limitations make the expense of a staff accountant impossible. Thankfully, there is an entire suite of services offered by public accountants called “assurance” that can help you.Here are several things you should know about them.
Outsourcing your non-profit’s assurance services is crucial.After all, your tax-exempt status is at stake. Hiring an independent third-party can provide many assurance services including, but not limited to:
· Reviewing and compiling financial statements
· Internal accounting system maintenance
· Regular payroll services
· Training for your accounting staff, if applicable
· Preparing IRS tax forms and documentation
Most importantly, an outside CPA can execute formal audits and give opinions regarding your non-profit’s financial standing. Doing so improves your organization’s credibility and gives you the power to make better decisions.
Every non-profit must worry about theft, fraud, and even embezzlement.Increasing the transparency surrounding your financial disclosures minimizes risk. Preventative controls will monitor and detect irregular transactions stopping an unwanted outcome before it happens. Knowing there is an independent third-party reviewing and/or auditing all transactions will deter any possible crimes from being committed.
It’s easy to step away from proper financial controls and reporting when you are busy supporting your mission. A critical element of your non-profit’s success is protecting your organization and the public from false financial information. Financial controls can be simple like purchasing limits, computerized automation, and periodic reconciliations. Controls can also be complex like risk assessments and full-scale outside audits. Regardless of how assurance controls and audits fit into your non-profit’s mission, these policies and procedures prevent irregularities and promote transparency.
If your bank or lender requires professional, unaudited financial statements - compilation services are a great fit. Without the expense of an audit or opinion, a CPA can convert your monthly statements and data into properly formatted financial disclosures like:
· Income Statements
· Balance Sheets
· Expense Statements
· Revenue Schedules
These disclosures meet annual lending requirements but are not assured by the CPA. This service is highly advantageous for non-profits without an in-house accountant on staff. Compilation services save money while increasing your non-profit’s objectivity and competence. Internal decisions will be driven by clear data and no longer left up to intuition.
Taylor & Wills are award-winning CPAs and advisors dedicated to helping non-profit organizations succeed. From articles of incorporation to comprehensive on-going reports and audits, our staff will identify and mitigate the unique risk factors you are facing. Never a one-size-fits-all approach - we will work together, combing our various areas of expertise to serve you from a 360-degree perspective. We welcome you to choose us and learn more about our high standards of service.