The tax-exempt bond area is closely overseen and regulated by the IRS tax-exempt bond (TEB) division. In 2016, TEB has been allocating half of its resources to examination casework. Included in the examination casework category are referrals and claims, TEB’s market segmentation program and the division’s compliance check/soft letter program. Given the importance of tax-exempt bond financing to your organization, the complexity of maintaining post-issuance qualification of your bonds, and the IRS’s oversight of this area, your organization should understand the requirements for post-issuance compliance and monitor the use of bond-financed facilities to ensure continuing compliance. The penalties for noncompliance could be costly.Read More
The New England Not-For-Profit Accounting Advisor
As you may be aware, multiple universities were recently named in class action lawsuits relating to their retirement plans. The lawsuits allege that the institutions, and more importantly, the named fiduciaries of the plan, breached their fiduciary duties by allowing excessive fees for investments and recordkeeping and engaging in multiple recordkeepers.
They also were criticized for using restrictive and underperforming investment options for extended periods. These lawsuits demonstrate that not-for-profit organizations are not exempt from scrutiny and need to focus on fulfilling fiduciary duties and monitoring plan fees and expenses.Read More
Not-for-profit financial statements will receive a significant overhaul with the release of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)’s Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities. The ASU brings several changes, including the consolidation of net asset classes and enhanced disclosures regarding those net asset classes and governing board designations. In the second part of our series, we’ll look at these changes in more detail.Read More
Like an annual physical, regular financial benchmarking helps not-for-profit organizations assess the health of their operations. Most carry out a series of formal and informal assessments every year, comparing investment returns to market indicators and like-endowments, checking their organization’s spending policies relative to similar groups and benchmarking executive compensation.Read More
Major changes to not-for-profit organizations’ financial statement presentation were recently finalized with the issuance of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)’s Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities.
Designed to enhance and clarify the information provided in a not-for-profit’s financial statements, the accounting standards update makes changes to the guidance for net assets classification, governing board designations, investment return, underwater endowment funds, expenses, liquidity and presentation of operating cash flows.Read More
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) held its annual Not-For-Profit Industry Conference on June 17-29, 2016. With more than 2,000 participants from around the country, this conference is widely viewed as the most important educational conference of the year for professionals who help address the accounting, audit, tax and operational issues facing not-for-profit organizations.Read More
The Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) recently held its 15th annual public meeting with the Commissioner and other top IRS officials. The ACT comprises national experts representing each of the five major jurisdictions of the TE/GE division: employee plans, exempt organizations, federal, state and local governments, Indian tribal governments and tax-exempt bonds.
Growing programs, expanding service offerings or making substantial repairs to existing facilities make construction projects an inevitable part of the not-for-profit operating environment. Although a necessary part of operating, not-for-profits should approach each construction arrangement cautiously. Undertaking large projects comes with a fair amount of risk. Failing to adequately understand where your organization may be at risk can lead to overspending and, in certain cases, legal disputes. For not-for-profit organizations, maintaining project costs is essential. Knowing the five major risk areas in construction contracts can help you manage your ongoing or upcoming projects to ensure you are not overpaying.Read More
Boards of directors, revenue generation, and community interfacing make not-for-profit management unique. Not-for-profit Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Executive Directors must balance mission objectives with an ever-more challenging economic reality while serving as the face of the organization to potential donors and the population the organization serves.
The concept of a fiduciary often arises in discussions about financial advisors, attorneys, estate executors and scenarios that involve professionals handling financial assets or affairs on behalf of an individual or organization. These professionals are trusted to act in the best interest of the individual or organization. In many situations, such as with fiduciaries of retirement plans, this also means that professional should be taking steps to ensure that applicable regulations are being followed or the fiduciary could be held liable for compliance issues.