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How to Keep Endowments Above Water
Posted by Adam Nelson on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 05:10 PM

Not-for-profit organizations cannot always control how their investments perform, but they can take steps to protect funds that are losing value.

Managing endowment investments will become even more important in the years ahead due to the changes coming to not-for-profit financial reporting. The changes will require organizations to disclose the fair value of the underwater endowed funds as well as the related original gift amount that must be maintained. The new requirements present an opportunity for organizations to reconsider their endowments and spending policies to preserve the value of such investments.

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Topics: accounting, Non-profits, Not-for-Profits, NFP, Adam Nelson, Underwater Endowments

Key Takeaways from the 2016 AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference: A Practice Leader’s Perspective
Posted by Mike Burns on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 09:21 AM

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.

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Topics: accounting, AICPA, Non-profits, NFP, Mike Burns, NFP Conference

Changing and Enhancing Not-For-Profit Risk Management
Posted by Mike Burns on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 12:43 PM

Adapted with permission of The CPA Journal, Copyright © 2016, April, 2016.

Over the last several years, audit committees have fine-tuned their oversight relative to internal controls and financial reporting, but as this process has matured, many committees are asking broader questions about risk and risk oversight. In fact, audit committees are increasingly charged with understanding overall risks, assessing which risks are the most important, and making sure that the existing management and governance structures are designed to mitigate, manage, and oversee these risks. This evolution corresponds to changes in the not-for-profit risk environment as a whole.

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Topics: accounting, Non-profits, NFP, Mike Burns, risk management, The CPA Journal, Not-For-Profit Risk Management

Managing Underwater Endowments for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Posted by Adam Nelson on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 03:26 PM

A recent study published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) indicated that participating institutions saw their endowment returns decrease by 13 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, compared to the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. Considering the market performances from July 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016, the fiscal year that will end June 30, 2016, is shaping up to be a disappointment for endowment portfolios everywhere. As the market declines continue, the issue of underwater endowments will again become center stage in the not-for-profit sector.

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Topics: accounting, Non-profits, Not-for-Profits, NFP, Adam Nelson, Underwater Endowments

4 Ways to Improve Your Not-for-Profit’s Board and Management
Posted by Joel LaSalle on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 @ 01:37 PM

A not-for-profit’s board of directors helps an organization monitor its operations in order to ensure that the not-for-profit meets its obligations to the community. Members of the board can ensure that an organization appropriately manages its financial assets and pursues ventures that support its tax-exempt mission. A board assists in verifying that the pay a not-for-profit executive receives is appropriate to the market in which the nonprofit operates. They can also be valuable sources for guidance about how to improve the management and internal functioning of your organization.

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Topics: accounting, Non-profits, Not-for-Profits, NFP, board members, Joel LaSalle

A Not-for-Profit’s Guide to Upcoming Accounting Changes
Posted by Mike Burns on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 @ 01:31 PM

We remain in a relatively quiet time for changes in accounting and reporting standards affecting not-for-profit organizations, notwithstanding larger proposals affecting the intermediate and longer term. Some of the near term changes are essentially tweaks to ensure organizations are following standards with consistency rather than having the diversity in practice that can sometimes arise. Despite not having any major changes to report, we encourage all organizations to pay close attention to all new accounting rules as they may find themselves in a special or unique circumstance that could affect their reporting. 

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Topics: accounting, Federal OMB Grant, Non-profits, OMB, NFP, A-133, lease accounting changes, Mike Burns

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