7.14.21 | Financial Statements for Nonprofits | Recording

7.14.21 | Financial Statements for Nonprofits | Recording

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR NONPROFITS

Financial Statements for Nonprofits

7.14.21 | 11:30AM – 12:30PM | RECORDING

There are a few key financial documents that nonprofits use to generate a snapshot of their overall financial status. Data pulled from these financial statements can be used to calculate basic financial ratios and track individual and company performance. In this seminar, Taylor Kendall and Katie Byrd take participants through the basics of understanding and using financial statements in a nonprofit. In addition, they provide ideas on utilizing the data to better evaluate the organization’s financials and focus on growth.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand and Evaluate Nonprofit Financial Statements

  • Build and Interpret Basic Financial Ratios

  • Decipher Data to Drive Decision Making

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Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery & Investment Act for Nonprofit Organizations

Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery & Investment Act for Nonprofit Organizations

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

SHOVEL-READY CAPITAL RECOVERY & INVESTMENT ACT FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

SHOVEL-READY CAPITAL RECOVERY AND INVESTMENT ACT FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

The Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act (LB566) has been passed by the Nebraska Legislature. This bill will provide grants to qualified nonprofit organizations to assist with capital projects that were delayed due to COVID-19 and that will deliver a positive economic impact in the State of Nebraska.

WHAT ORGANIZATIONS QUALIFY?

To qualify, a nonprofit must be exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3), and be related to arts, culture, humanities, or athletics.

HOW CAN I USE THE GRANT?

Grants can be applied to the costs of land, engineering, architectural planning, contract services, construction, materials, and equipment required to build, expand, or develop new or existing facilities.

HOW MUCH IS THE GRANT?

LB566 intends to fully fund all approved grants using state dollars allocated from the General Fund, and federal dollars allocated to states as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The amount of any grant approved under this section shall be equal to the amount of funds to be supplied by the qualified nonprofit organization from private sources, subject to the following limitations:

  • Capital projects with an estimated cost of less than $5 million, the grant will not exceed $1.5 million.
  • Capital projects with an estimated cost of $5-25 million, the grant will not exceed $5 million.
  • Capital projects with an estimated cost of $25-50 million, the grant will not exceed $10 million.
  • Capital projects with an estimated cost of over $50 million, the grant will not exceed $15 million.

HOW DO I RECEIVE THE GRANT?

Each qualified nonprofit organization that receives a grant under LB566 shall secure the private funds through a written pledge or payment by December 31, 2021, and must begin construction on the capital project by June 30, 2022. Any organization that fails to meet the requirements must repay the grant funds received.

Applications will be submitted online through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. More information will be available on its website in mid-June. Applications at a minimum will require the following information:

  • A description of the project
  • Estimated cost of the project
  • The date the project was delayed due to COVID-19 and the date when the project is expected to begin, which shall be no later than June 30, 2022, and
  • Documentation on the amount of funds which have been received from private sources. The amount of the grant received shall not be greater than these matching funds from private sources. Documentation provided does not need to identify the names of any donors.

WHEN CAN I APPLY?

Qualified nonprofit organizations may apply for the grant starting July 1, 2021, through July 15, 2021. Applications will be considered in the order in which they are received. If you have any questions, please contact your Lutz Representative. You can also find more information on the bill here.

 

Updated 5/27/21

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Managing a Nonprofit? Avoid These 7 Accounting Mistakes

Managing a Nonprofit? Avoid These 7 Accounting Mistakes

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

AVOID THESE 7 NONPROFIT ACCOUNTING MISTAKES

managing a nonprofit? avoid these 7 accounting mistakes

katie byrd, audit manager

 

Following the right accounting practices and rules is just as important for a nonprofit as it is for a for-profit organization. When a nonprofit organization has its books in order, it can foster and maintain its trustworthy reputation. This can help the organization remain a vibrant and healthy organization for decades to come, allowing them to fulfill their organizational mission of providing key services or products to individuals either within or outside their community. By understanding some of the common pitfalls, nonprofits can avoid potential accounting headaches that, even in the best of circumstances, often distract a nonprofit organization from its primary mission, both in terms of time and unexpected costs. 

 

Mistakes to Avoid

1. No internal review procedures or control policies

To maintain trust with donors and other organizations, it is important to create internal control policies and institute regular internal reviews to both deter and catch any fraudulent activity.  Implementing policies over internal control can set an appropriate tone at the top and avoid control issues in the future. Having a public mission statement and an official code of ethics statement can also help show employees what is expected of them. These statements also display to the public, the board of directors, and donors, that transparency, trust, and ethical behavior is of primary importance to those managing the nonprofit organization.

 

2. Missing or misreporting in-kind contributions

Following correct accounting practices means recognizing the fair market value of goods and services (in-kind donations), both in terms of revenue and expense. However, in-kind services need only be recorded if they consist of a specialized skill such as services donated by a lawyer, an accountant, or an IT professional.

 

3. Mishandling conditional contributions

If a contribution is conditional, it should not be recorded until the condition has been resolved. If cash is received prior to the condition(s) being met, the cash contribution should be recorded as a refundable (cash) advance. This is per the Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made (ASU 2018-08) update, issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). 

In addition, nonprofits should closely examine any contribution agreements they have to ensure the agreement(s) do not contain any conditions. Also, keep in mind the difference between “conditions” and “restrictions.” An unconditional contribution may or may not have donor-imposed restrictions.

 

4. Not acknowledging donor restrictions

If a contribution does have donor restrictions, in other words, contributions given for a specific purpose, they must be labeled as such. If a contribution that does have donor restrictions is not spent within the year it was given, it should be classified as a net asset with donor restrictions at the end of the year. Nonprofit organizations should keep track of these types of contributions to ensure the funds are used and recorded properly.

 

5. Inappropriate allocation of functional expenses

It is possible to have certain expenses allocated across multiple categories; however, a nonprofit organization must have a rational method for these types of allocations. Expenses pertaining to obvious functional categories such as fundraising, program, or general and administrative should be allocated only to their respective categories.

 

6. Mistakenly recording expenses in the wrong period

When a product is accepted or service is provided to a nonprofit, any related expenses should be recorded in the period in which they were received. In the case where services are provided over a period of time rather than all at once, nonprofits should spread the amount associated with the services over the period of time. For example, if a nonprofit has an annual contract with a lawyer, they should refer to the annual contract to determine how to appropriately rate their services over the course of a year.

If a nonprofit organization provides a grant to another organization, and there were no conditions associated with receiving the grant by the grantee, the transaction should be recorded in the period the grant agreement was signed, even if the grant agreement spans more than one year.

 

7. Incorrectly attributing contributions to the wrong period

Finally, it is important to consider the period in which a contribution should be recorded. Some nonprofits receive multi-year pledges. Often times, nonprofit organizations will record the contribution as revenue in the period the cash is received.  In these situations, the contribution should be recorded in the year the initial pledge is received as long as there are no conditions. 

It is also important to consider whether a contribution is truly a contribution or whether it is an exchange transaction. An exchange transaction is where two parties both receive a commensurate value in a transaction. These types of reciprocal transactions are recorded as deferred revenue when they are received. On the other hand, a true contribution is a non-reciprocated transaction where the resource provider does not receive any direct benefit. When the pledge is received, the nonprofit will record the transaction directly to revenue.

 

Summary

If you want to ensure your nonprofit organization is up-to-date and complying with all accounting standards for nonprofits, we can help. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.496.8800

kbyrd@lutz.us

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KATIE BYRD + AUDIT DIRECTOR

Katie Byrd is an Audit Director at Lutz with over eight years of related experience. She provides assurance services to businesses focusing on the retail, service, manufacturing, nonprofit, and franchise industries. In addition, Katie assists with transaction advisory services and employee benefit plans.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Audit
  • Employee Benefit Plans
  • Transaction Advisory Services
  • Retail Industry
  • Services Industry
  • Manufacturing & Distribution Industry
  • Nonprofit Industry
  • Franchise Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Accountancy, Junior Advisory Board Member
  • Tomorrow's Leaders (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), Council Member

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7 Tips to Enhance Your Nonprofit’s Chart of Accounts

7 Tips to Enhance Your Nonprofit’s Chart of Accounts

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

7 TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR NONPROFIT'S CHART OF ACCOUNTS

7 tips to enhance your nonprofit’s chart of accounts

mark dediana, accounting manager

 

Nonprofits have it hard. Sure, they don’t have to pay taxes, but that tax-exempt status comes with a price: increased levels of responsibility to the general public. The focus, then, of their financial accounting is on accountability rather than profitability. One way nonprofits can enhance their accountability is by creating a compelling Chart of Accounts. As described in more detail below, the overarching goal is to keep things organized and to be able to provide useful reporting to management and other stakeholders.

What’s a Chart of Accounts?

A Chart of Accounts (COA) is a list of the different accounts an organization uses to record transactions in the general ledger. The typical COA has five categories: assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, and expenses. Most organizations maintain COAs that suit their needs and may add or reduce the number of accounts depending on the type of organization.

1. Numerical Classification

Nonprofits should ensure that their chart of accounts provides sufficient information without bogging down the reader with too much detail. One way to keep things concise and organized is by using a logical numbering system to represent different sets of accounts. Typically, accountants employ a numerical classification system such that thousands represent the main categories and hundreds represent the sub-categories.

For instance, the Organization can have assets taking numbers 1000-1999 while sub-categories for assets such as cash and buildings take 1010 and 1020, respectively. This approach provides  flexibility as there are 999 numbers for the sub-categories. The logical arrangement of accounts along numerical order makes it easy for accountants to sort transactions by category and make accurate financial reports. It’s also a good idea to build in room for flexibility by leaving spaces between numbers for new accounts to add later. When building the COA from scratch, the Organization should not waste time creating unneeded accounts.

2. Organize Accounts by Divisions

Nonprofits can enhance their accounting by creating a COA that resembles their organization chart. For instance, if an organization has ten divisions, each division can have its own set of accounts. The resulting chart will show how each division manages its finances. This increases transparency, so stakeholders can see how each unit utilizes funds. Additionally, the nonprofit can track its restricted gifts to ensure it is honoring its fiduciary duty to use the gift as the donor intended.

3. Consistent Coding

Nonprofits should use a consistent coding system for their accounting records. This is especially important for organizations with several divisions because it ensures that all the accounting data is entered correctly into the accounting software. Consistent coding makes it easier for accountants to process information and ensures that the organization publishes accurate financial reports that donors can trust.

4. Functional Expenses

Accounting standards for nonprofits require organizations to account for functional expenses. These functional categories relate to program services, fundraising, and management and administration, which  aims to ensure that nonprofits spend funds efficiently and transparently.

5. Core Operations

An effective COA s should reflect the main activities of the organization. It should show the organization’s core operations and how they affect important measures of financial stability, such as cash flows and net assets. The COA should indicate the primary sources of income for the organization and major expenses. Such a setup will enable managers to focus their attention on major donors and expense categories that have the most impact on the organization.

6. Short and Concise Reports

An effective COA should enable the organization to create short and organized financial reports. It should have clear guidelines on how to enter different types of transactions to avoid duplication. For instance, expenses such as electricity and water can be entered as utilities instead of making an entry for each expense. Similarly, travel expenses can be listed under the travel account instead of making an entry for each cost. Such a system makes it easier for stakeholders to read financial reports.

7. The Multi-Dimensional Approach

Modern accounting software allows organizations to run their general ledgers using dimensions. For example, an organization can use eight dimensions for managing financial transactions and preparing reports. All the organization needs to do is create primary account codes and use them for any transaction. This setup enables organizations to track their expenditure and revenue while maintaining a simple COA.

Bottom Line

Nonprofits have an obligation to create COAs that demonstrate the organization is efficient in mobilizing resources and uses them effectively to achieve its mission. The charts should be neat, brief, and focused on the core operations of the organization. You’ll want to find your organization’s balance between useful levels of granularity and over-cumbersome details. Lutz can help nonprofits develop and implement effective COAs. Contact us if you have any questions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.462.3200

mdediana@lutz.us
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MARK DEDIANA + ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Mark DeDiana is an Accounting Manager at Lutz with over six years of relevant experience. He is responsible for providing assurance services to clients with a focus in the nonprofit industry. In addition, he assists with individual and business income tax returns.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Individual & Business Taxation
  • Auditing & Consulting
  • Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Member
  • Hastings Young Professionals, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified Fraud Examiner
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BBA in Accountancy, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Prairie Loft, Board Member

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QuickBooks Online for Nonprofits

QuickBooks Online for Nonprofits

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

QUICKBOOKS ONLINE FOR NONPROFITS

quickbooks online for nonprofits

lauren duren, healthcare & cas manager

 

As a nonprofit, minimizing your overhead expenses is essential. And while you may have very specialized accounting needs, a full-time bookkeeper might not be in your budget.

If your organization has a computer and an internet connection, you can use Intuit’s QuickBooks Online for your accounting – it was designed to be both user-friendly and budget-friendly. It can also be modified to meet the specific needs of a variety of company types.

One of these special types is for nonprofit organizations. By changing a few internal settings, you can alter QuickBooks Online in several ways to make it “fit” your special bookkeeping style. For example, you can:

  • Change the Company Type. You need to tell QuickBooks what type of entity your organization is structured as, and it will accommodate the tax return you need to file. You have the ability to structure your QuickBooks as a nonprofit organization (Form 990) which will also create reporting options suited for a non-profit.
  • Create new accounts. QuickBooks Online uses a standard Chart of Accounts to assign each transaction to an account type (bank, income, expense, asset, liability, etc.). You can add and customize your chart of account(s) to track your organization’s various donation and contribution revenue streams, for example, or any specialized expenses.
  • Maintain a donor database. Your donor contact information needs to be recorded and safely saved, yet easy to access. QuickBooks Online provides ready-to-use templates for entering all of the details you need to track to create your donor/donation database. You can then select individual records when you record donations.
  • Generate item records for pledges, donations, and grants. When you record income or an expense in QuickBooks Online, you can indicate which “item or service” the transaction was related to. You can set up customized items to use in transactions and generate reports that describe your own types of financial activities. You can track pledges and donations with certain categories, such as restricted or unrestricted.
  • Run Financial and Management Reports. QuickBooks Online comes with dozens of reporting options for financial statements and management purposes. There are canned, standard reports for a non-profit, such as the “Statement of Activity” and “Statement of Financial Position.” There are also other reports you can customize for pledges receivable, etc.

QuickBooks Online was designed to be used by non-accountants, so this is a fairly user-friendly program. Still, QuickBooks needs to be setup correctly to ensure or your records will be correct. Contact us for assistance in setting up QuickBooks Online so you can save time and money on your accounting tasks and produce comprehensive, accurate records.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.827.2062

lduren@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

LAUREN DUREN + HEALTHCARE & CAS MANAGER

Lauren Duren is a Healthcare & CAS Manager at Lutz with over six years of relevant experience. She provides healthcare consulting, as well as outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on QuickBooks, tax, and payroll compliance.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Healthcare Accounting Consulting
  • Outsourced Accounting
  • Tax
  • Payroll Compliance
  • QuickBooks
  • Financial Reporting, Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Provider Compensation Plans
  • Practice Benchmarking
  • Private Physician Practices
  • Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • National Medical Group Management Association, Member
  • Nebraska Medical Group Management Association, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • MBA, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Lutz Gives Back, Volunteer

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Year-End Charitable Contribution Documentation for Nonprofits

Year-End Charitable Contribution Documentation for Nonprofits

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Year-End Charitable Contribution Documentation for Nonprofits

year-end charitable contribution documentation for nonprofits

deyna rouse, tax shareholder

 

As year-end nears, charities are often in a last-minute push to solicit contributions from supporters. This timing coincides with the year-end tax planning many donors are doing to maximize their tax deductions for the current year, making it an opportune time to revisit the requirements of charitable organizations and their donors for substantiating charitable contributions to ensure maximum tax benefit.  No organization would want to inhibit a donor’s ability to deduct their gift due to poor acknowledgment practices. Below are some reminders for organizations to consider when reviewing their acknowledgments to ensure all necessary information is included.

Internal Revenue Code Section 170(a) and associated Regulations establish the substantiation requirements for deductibility.  For contributions of $250 or more, they indicate that the taxpayer must have a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the charitable organization regarding the gift.  IRC §170(f)(8)(C) indicates that “contemporaneous” means the taxpayer must have obtained the acknowledgment on or before the filing date of the return on which the donation deduction is claimed.  If the return is filed late, the acknowledgment is required to have been received by the due date (including extensions) of the tax return where the deduction is claimed. A best practice for organizations is to ensure all acknowledgments are sent out by at least January 31st of the year following the donation. However, many choose to acknowledge very shortly after the gift is received rather than waiting until the end of the year.

The acknowledgment itself must include at least the following three pieces of information to be considered complete for deduction purposes:

  • The amount of cash and a description (but not value) of any property other than cash contributed;
  • Whether the donee organization provided any goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for any property contributed; and
  • A description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services provided by the organization in connection with the amount contributed, or if such goods and services consist solely of intangible religious benefits, a statement to that effect.

If Item 2 above applies, these are referred to as quid pro quo contributions.  This is necessary because donors can only deduct the amount of contribution that exceeds the value of goods and services received from the organization, such as a meal at a gala fundraiser. Charitable organizations must carefully quantify and document the value of such items and disclose them to donors in their contribution acknowledgments.

When property other than cash is donated, it is the donor’s requirement to assert the fair market value of what was donated.  As a best practice, organizations should not provide an estimated fair market value for property donated to them by supporters, as this could expose the organization to risk if the IRS later denied or reduced the amount of the deduction allowed to the donor.  Other special considerations exist when property other than cash is contributed.  For example, property with a fair market value in excess of $5,000 is required to be substantiated by a qualified appraisal.  Contributions of motor vehicles may also require subsequent IRS reporting on the part of the charitable organization as well.  Organizations that accept these types of contributions should consult with their tax advisors to ensure compliance with all reporting and documentation requirements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deyna Rouse + Lutz Accounting & Business Solutions

402.827.2051

drouse@lutz.us

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DEYNA ROUSE + TAX SHAREHOLDER 

Deyna Rouse is a Tax Shareholder at Lutz with over 15 years of experience in taxation. She leads the IRS audit consulting and representation efforts at Lutz and regularly advises on IRS collections and procedural issues.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, with highest distinction, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Great Plains Federal Tax Institute, Board Member
  • Gesu Housing, Board Member
  • Friends of Nebraska Children, Board Member
  • Rose Theater Guild, Board Member
  • Nebraska Children & Families Foundation, Past Board Member
  • Junior League of Omaha, Past Board Member
  • Junior League of Omaha Foundation, Past Board Member
  • Literacy Center of the Midlands, Past Board Member

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