Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nonprofit Forum 2017 Dates and Agenda

Monthly Online Forums Cover Best Practices 
for Nonprofit Organizations

Financial Technologies & Management (FTM) has released the dates and agenda for 2017 Nonprofit Forum monthly online event for nonprofit organizations. 

Financial Technologies & Management’s Jim Simpson, CPA will host each forum. Mr. Simpson is a nonprofit financial leader and trainer, CFO, Controller, and software advisor for over 25 years.

Upcoming Nonprofit Forum events include:

December 28, 2016, 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern

Building a Better Budget

January 25, 2017, 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern
Year End Tax Compliance

February 22, 2017, 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern
Developing Effective Dashboards and Key Performance Indicators

March 29, 2017, 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern
Effective Grant Management

April 26, 2017, 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern
Why Your Nonprofit Should Consider the Cloud

May 24, 2017 11:30 – 1:00 Eastern
Nonprofit Financial Reporting Including New FASB Reporting Requirements

All nonprofits are welcome to attend the Nonprofit Forum sessions.  There is no charge for participation, but registration is required:  http://www.ftmllc.com/nonprofit-forum.html

Previous Nonprofit Forum topics, such as ‘How to Protect Your Organization from Fraud,’ ‘Do You Know Your Full Costs and How to Recover Them?’ and more are available as on demand videos.

“FTM has and continues to serve nonprofit organizations throughout Indiana and the United States,” said James Simpson, CPA.  “We are proud to serve the nonprofits who enhance our communities, cities, and the world.”

The Nonprofit Forums are designed to educate and help nonprofit organization build stronger organizations that foster healthy financial management so that nonprofits may serve their constituents and communities for years to come.

About Financial Technologies & Management

Financial Technologies & Management offers financial Management for nonprofits in Indianapolis, Indiana. FTM offers the resources to improve nonprofit accounting with nonprofit accounting services, nonprofit accounting software, and financial management training classes.  Nonprofit organizations turn to FTM for improved financial operations and assistance in increasing capacity.  Focusing exclusively on financial management for nonprofits, FTM has helped more than 350 nonprofit organizations in providing solutions to help their internal, community, and regulatory needs.

Friday, November 4, 2016

IRS Issues Reminder That Forms W-2 and 1099 Are Due Earlier for Employers

Under a new law, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, the new filing deadline for employers to submit forms W-2 to the Social Security Administration, is January 31. The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit these forms. However, the gap between that due date and the beginning of the filing season made it difficult for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to match up forms W-2 with tax returns requesting refunds. The result? Room for fraud. The new deadline, which has long been on the wish list for the IRS, will make it easier to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers. The IRS says that, in many instances, this will enable them to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Nonprofit Accounting Software Review

Nonprofit Accounting Software Review

Accounting Software for Nonprofits

We have taken several hundred clients through the nonprofit accounting
software evaluation process.

Our solutions focus on finding the best nonprofit accounting software to meet
your specific software needs.

We help our clients by providing software advisory services to include
planning, implementation and training services.

We are providing the following 2016 Review of Nonprofit Accounting Systems
from CPA Practice Advisor to let you know the current nonprofit accounting
systems that are available.   We suggest you contact us first to help you through
this important and complicated process.  Generally, we provide our software
evaluation for free and as an investment in our clients to help plan and insure
a successful software implementation.

Here is the link from CPA Practice Advisor's 2016 Review of Nonprofit
Accounting Systems and hope you find it helpful.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Do you know your full costs and recover them?

Do you know your full costs and recover them?
By Jim Simpson, CPA and director, Financial Technologies & Management

Last year, the Nonprofit Finance Fund in its State of the Nonprofit Sector reported that only seven percent of nonprofits received full project costs from foundations.
Let’s make sure we have the same definition for defining full costs because it is not just expenses.  Using the following formula helps to define what denotes full costs: day-to-day operating expenses + reserves + fixed asset additions + debt reduction.
Nonprofits that recover full costs prevent financial crises and interrupted services and enable leaders to stay focused on mission and related outcomes.

Many nonprofit organizations don’t know their full costs and settle for less recovery than full costs.

This practice has resulted in too few nonprofits generating financial surpluses and reserves to ensure they remain financially viable.  As a result, many nonprofits are just getting by without making important investments in their organizations’ futures.

So how does your organization start to recover its full costs?

A start is for financial leaders to review and update the current financial reporting systems and then do the following:

1.    Know your organization’s full costs, which include working capital needed to pay bills on time and reduce debt, fixed-asset investments to maintain and improve facilities, equipment, technologies and systems and cash reserves to protect against risks and invest in new opportunities and capacity.
2.    Have conversations with government, foundations, intermediaries, and donors to move towards an understanding of full cost recovery. Organizations’ leaders must ensure that they have sufficient funding sources before they accept grants and contracts to recover full costs.  For example, a program may only recover $50,000 from a program that truly cost the organization $75,000. So that leader needs to identify other revenue sources or find a way to reduce full costs to fill this financial gap or not accept the $50,000.
3.    Banish the overhead ratio as a measurement of organizational efficiency or effectiveness.  Each organization is unique and a lower overhead ratio or high overhead ratio does not indicate if an organization is more or less efficient or effective.
4.    Have conversations with government, foundations, intermediaries and donors to explain that full costs include overhead costs. Explain that overhead dollars help the organization to run smoother and allows more clients to be served.

While funding sources have limited resources, it is important that they understand that their nonprofit clients have these same financial challenges. Grantors need to encourage and allow nonprofit grantees to report full costs, including all overhead costs.  Most nonprofits underprice programs so it’s important that grantors encourage full cost reporting.

Funders should focus on what the organization achieved with the grant dollars and allow nonprofits to keep unspent funds as a contribution towards full cost recovery.
Nonprofit financial leaders and funders need to work together to embrace the concept of full costs, which is much greater than just direct-program expenses and overhead recovery.

Jim Simpson, CPA and director of Financial Technologies & Management, is a nonprofit financial leader and trainer, CFO, controller, forensic consultant and software advisor, including Abila MIP Fund Accounting since 1999.  He has served CFO, controller and software advisor for over 25 years to over 350 nonprofit organizations.

Contact Financial Technologies & Management to see how we can help your nonprofit with accounting solutions.  You can schedule an appointment directly from the website at WWW.FTMLLC.COM, email info@ftmllc.com or phone at 317-819-0780.

Why funding overhead is not the real issue: the case to cover Full Costs by Claire Knowlton of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Winter 2015

California Association of Nonprofits Overhead Project at www.calnonprofits.org/overhead

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Financial tools help board and management decisions

Nonprofits, like some for-profit companies, have two sets of leaders. The organization’s executive director and its staff have the responsibility for ensuring that the nonprofit operates effectively on a day-to-day basis. At the same time, the organization’s board of directors must ensure that the nonprofit remains relevant and financially sustainable.

Two components that are critical to maintaining healthy relationships between the two factions are shared expectations and the board understanding the organization’s business model, specifically where revenue comes from and how the money is used.
The problem with financial health and sustainability indicators is that many leaders, staff and boards, do not have strong financial management skills. In our work with nonprofits, we have found that providing leadership with visual information, through charts and graphs, is most useful.

One way to share the organization’s financial picture is using a dashboard. Much like a car’s dashboard, it provides decision-makers information quickly and identifies problem areas. Areas to review regularly might include: program impact and outcomes, financial health and sustainability, operational excellence, staff and board development and development of external relationships.

Another tool to use is a mission and matrix map (http://www.spectrumnonprofit.com/matrixmap.pdf). This map or a similar illustration explains how each program is funded. It also shows whether programs are self-supporting or draw funds from other programs or fundraising activities. The map equips board members with the financial knowledge and understanding needed.
The matrix exercise can be transformational in helping board members really understand how an organization works. First developed in 1968 by Boston Consulting Group’s Growth-Share Matrix, in “Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability,” the authors develop a framework to help integrate financial and social impact considerations into strategic decision-making. 

http://www.ssireview.org/book reviews/entry/nonprofit sustainability jeanne bell jan masaoka steve zi  mmerman )
Contact Jim Simpson at Financial Technologies Management Group in Indianapolis for assistance in developing your organization’s key performance and financial indicators.
Jim Simpson, CPA and president of Financial Technologies & Management, is a financial leader and trainer, CFO advisor, and forensic accountant to nonprofit organizations since 1999, serving over 350 nonprofit clients. He has worked as a CFO, Controller and software advisor for over 20 years.