Part 1: Nonprofit Best Practices for a High-Functioning Accounting Department

There are a multitude of responsibilities in the role of CEO/ED. Being the leader of any size business requires a lot of diligence and attention to detail, especially when it comes to managing the accounting department. As the CEO/ED, can you confirm you have a high-functioning accounting department that follows all nonprofit regulations? This is more than following best practices, it’s crucial to maintaining the valuable information that lives within your accounting team. In a 3-part series of blog posts, I will explore what requirements are necessary for achieving a high- performing accounting department, starting with key information that CEOs should share with their CFOs or finance team.

Following nonprofit accounting regulations according to the IRS, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are part of the day to day requirements of an accounting department. Juggling these requirements is no simple task, but it’s made easier with a well-developed policy and procedures guide. Not sure if you have a procedure/process guide in place? I have listed several best practices to keep in mind when beginning to document your policies and procedures. Take a look at the checklist and consider which items are currently being handled by your accounting department as well as potential gaps that could leave you open to risk.

  • Accurately document that funds received were used for charitable purposes.
  • Maintain good backups of electronic files and documents in secure, safe storage.
  • Assist, train and make the conversion from one board treasurer to another as easy as possible.
  • Stay current with nonprofit accounting regulations – read and attend webinars to stay informed.
  • Have a well thought out and put together operational budget. Make it understandable and manage to it each year. Create this year’s budget with the future in mind.
  • Accounting software is important – make sure it works for your needs.
  • Reconcile the accounting and development schedules on a timely basis.

Starting with these basic but important items can help you set your accounting department in the right direction when it comes to managing nonprofit and GAAP regulations. Can you check “yes” to each of the items above? If not, it’s time to develop a plan.

If you aren’t sure where to start, BerganKDV is here to help. Contact us here or sign up for this webinar that will explore how the finance field is continuously reshaped, and how top nonprofit organizations manage their accounting teams in an ever-changing environment.

CATEGORIES: Accounting Services | Nonprofit
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