Conflict of Interest Policy: Financial Statements & Form 990

On page 6 of the Form 990, the IRS asks the nonprofit organization if they have a written conflict of interest policy, if annual disclosure is required, and if the organization regularly monitors and enforces compliance with the policy. Often times when I ask the above question of my 990 clients, I get a response …

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How to Properly Record Petty Cash

Many companies reserve a small amount of cash in a petty cash fund to cover minute, miscellaneous expenses. The petty cash fund is typically replenished at month end or when the balance drops to a pre-determined level, i.e. $50. The organization should select one employee to be responsible for the petty cash fund. This person …

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Contributions Not Reported on the Form 990

There are quite a few differences between GAAP accounting and the rules for reporting on the Form 990. I was recently reviewing the rules on reporting contributions on the 990 and thought I would share a few that are often overlooked. Contributions that are not reported on the Form 990: Unreimbursed expenses of officers, employees, …

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Recognition and Measurement of Debt and Equity Securities

Many not-for-profit organizations receive donations in the form of assets other than cash. Therefore, it’s important to know the proper way to report these donations on your financial statements. Donated investment assets (such as stock) should initially be recorded at fair value. As long as the securities are an asset of the organization, the value …

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Conditional vs Unconditional Promises to Give

By definition, conditional promises to give are donor promises to contribute assets to an organization, assuming a specified future or uncertain event occurs. A condition is not the same as donor-imposed restrictions, but should be considered as a barrier that must be overcome to be considered a contribution. Until the condition is met, the organization …

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How to Report a Name Change to the IRS

If your nonprofit has changed its name, the name change needs to be reported to the IRS. This can be done on your next Form 990. Here are the requirements for reporting this properly: File your next Form 990 by paper (as opposed to electronically). On page 1 of the Form 990, check the box …

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Filing Form 990-N for New Nonprofits

Is your nonprofit organization in its first few years of existence? Not sure of the Form 990-N filing thresholds? Organizations that have gross receipts that are normally $50,000 or less are required to file a Form 990-N (e-Postcard). Now, you’re probably wondering, what does “normally” $50,000 or less mean. Per the Form 990-EZ instructions, Appendix …

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Common Errors with Net Assets

When auditing an organization, what we often find is that clients are not tracking their restricted net assets. Or if they are tracking it, it is not correct. Some common errors we find include: Board designated amounts are classified as restricted – Board designated amounts, including board designated endowments, should be categorized as unrestricted as …

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Functional Expense Allocation

It’s important as a not-for-profit organization to accurately allocate expenses among your program(s), management and general, and fundraising. Many donors restrict grants and contributions specifically for the entity’s programs. Therefore, it’s vital to only allocate expenses that are related (either directly or indirectly) to the purpose or mission of the not-for-profit to the program functional …

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How to Clean Up Old, Uncleared Checks in QuickBooks

There are a number of reasons why you may have old, uncleared checks on your books. Whatever the reason, it is important to clean any checks that should be cleared off your books in order to make sure you are not overstating your cash balance. First, you need to determine if the money is still …

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