What Percent Should Charities Spend on Their Mission?

Ever heard the cliché “comparing an apple to an orange”? I’m not a scientist and I don’t know the cellular differences of both, but I do know that oranges are acidic with a thick peel usually removed prior to consumption. Apple, on the other hand, is a brand of electronics most commonly seen in the …

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Ethical Fundraising Practices

Recently, I overheard two individuals discussing ethical fundraising practices for their small nonprofit organization over lunch. As an auditor specializing in non-profit, you can imagine how quickly this caught my attention. I was grateful for the noise of the restaurant and the influx of customers as I scooted my chair a little bit closer to …

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Donated Services

Volunteer time (or donated services) is only recorded as revenue and expense in the financial statements if the services create or add value to a non-financial asset (such as construction services provided to a building) or if the services meet all of the following three criteria: The services require specialized skills The services are provided …

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Let’s Get Political

Whether you’re affiliated with a party or vote as an independent, you’ve probably considered “unfriending” or “unfollowing” some of your more politically opinionated friends on social media due to the relentless long-winded paragraphs and meme posts about Trump’s hair or Sander’s age. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can either get off social media …

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Arizona Gives Day

It’s that time of year again, and this might be the first time your accountant is not referring to tax season. We are talking about Arizona Gives Day, the annual one-day online giving campaign to Arizona not-for-profits hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers. Since 2013, this program has raised over $4,556,359. …

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Do Nonprofit Organizations Have to Pay Sales Tax in Arizona?

We often receive questions from clients asking whether Arizona offers an exemption from sales tax (transaction privilege tax) for non-profit organizations. Unfortunately, Arizona does not offer a blanket exemption like many other states. However, there is an exemption on sales tax for retail items sold by non-profit organizations. It also includes the sale of food …

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Do You Have a Donor Privacy Policy?

As accumulating personal information such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers from donors and special event attendees becomes both easier and more useful due to the implementation of donor databases, nonprofits should consider implementing a donor privacy policy. A donor privacy policy can be a simple paragraph, or as detailed as the nonprofit chooses, …

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Does Your EBP Have a True-Up Provision?

Plan sponsors have an option to incorporate a true-up provision into their employee benefit plan(s). True-up adjustments are done at the end of the plan year in order to ensure that the amount of employer matching contributions is grossed up to maximum allowable benefit per the plan document; they protect the less savvy participants from …

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Pump the Brakes! Did We Really Meet the Restriction of that Donation?

Dual restricted contributions remind me of driving a vehicle with a standard transmission. If you release the clutch but forget to put the car in gear, you probably won’t go anywhere unless your vehicle is on an incline or decline. Even then, you will most likely, eventually roll to a stop. On the other hand, …

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The Importance of Knowing Your Plan’s Definition of Compensation

As I reflect on my last 401k audit season, I remember running into some operational issues that were a result of plan administrators not using the correct form of compensation, as defined by their plan document, while calculating employee and employer contributions. Using the correct form of compensation while making contributions is important because if …

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