In December I attended a presentation about understanding financial statements by our friend, Susan Hammond at Stonehill College‘s Center for Nonprofit Management. The talk/discussion was called Developing a Financially Intelligent Organization: Stress-Free Financial Management for the Non-Financial Executive.
Susan went about explaining these sometimes complex financial statements, as well as day-to-day tactics and policies to assist with the understanding of basic accounting and how NPO directors and boards should handle situations.
Some of my “take-aways” from the morning:
- Fund Accounting – important to trace activity back to funding source for grants.
- Cost concept – Assets – the dollar amount originally paid (if it is a donated get a value- appraise)
- Disclose to donor whether donated assets can be sold/traded/etc.
- Record the cost: Depreciation…need a depreiation policy (a minimum price for something to be depreciated)
- As you buy, make a copy of receipt for bookkeeper
- Treasurer: Find someone that really understands financial statements and accounting
- Finance Committee: oversees budgets, ensures board receives accurate and complete information
- Audit Committee can be the same as financial, should be different.
There were many more great points, and the workshop discussions were worth the price of admission. Thank you Susan for your thoughtfulness and patience.
The slides are here: Developing a Financially Intelligent Organization
And the handouts are here: Financials Short