By Frank Gottschall, Gottschall Consulting Group
Many Not-for-Profit Organizations either have only one part-time employee or a volunteer handling the accounting responsibilities and financial reporting to leadership and the Finance Committee. A staffing structure without the appropriate level of oversight can lead to inaccurate financial statements, revenue not being recorded correctly, and expenses not being paid accurately or on a timely basis because no one is reviewing the daily work of the accounting staff. In addition, this staffing structure can lead to a stressful situation when that one individual decides to leave the organization and the new accounting individual needs to determine what needs to be done and when. Following are several strategies to include a more knowledgeable individual to oversee the accounting operation which would also provide continuity if the part-time employee or volunteer leaves the organization:
- Identify an individual involved with your organization who is willing to voluntarily review the daily work of the accounting staff. Depending on the time commitment the volunteer is willing to make, a strategy would need to be developed surrounding what activities the volunteer would oversee. You may need to have more than one volunteer involved.
- Identify organizations in your area who would be willing to share accounting staff. Some organizations may have multiple part-time employees at different levels and sharing an employee could benefit both organizations.
- Search for Not-for-Profit organizations in your area
- Ask your accounting software vendor for the names of other organizations in your area using their software.
- If your organization has a relationship with a CPA firm who is preparing your tax return or performs your annual audit or review, inquire what their clients with limited accounting staff are doing regarding the oversight of the accounting operation. Your CPA firm is already knowledgeable regarding your organization and can provide valuable insight.
- Hire an accounting consultant or firm to monitor the daily work and financial reporting to leadership. An accounting consultant or firm can provide additional benefits to your organization surrounding process efficiencies and cost saving opportunities due to working with other organizations and their network of providers.
If you have any questions on how to improve the accounting for your organization, please reach out to us.
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