Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Accounting for Capital Leases

Leases are a common method for organizations to obtain capital assets. Virtually any asset that can be purchased can also be leased, including vehicles, furniture and office equipment.

Accounting for Fundraising Expenses

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), in Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No.

Accounting for Government Grants: Sample Journal Entries

Following are some examples of journal entries for accounting for government grants.

Proper Accounting for Contributions:

Accounting for Special Events

Many special events, such as dinners, galas, auctions, and walk-a-thons, are organized to raise contributions to support the organization’s activities.

Agency Transactions

What are agency transactions?

Agency transactions occur when one NFP (the agent) raises contributions for another NFP (the recipient).

Allowable Costs

The specific items that can be charged to, and therefore reimbursed from, any grant are based on the specifics of each grant agreement.

Budget for Government Grants

When you receive a grant from a governmental agency, it will typically include a program budget.

Corporate Sponsorships: Do Them Right and Avoid Tax

Exempt organizations, both large and small, are relying more and more on a variety of corporate sponsorships to provide much-needed support for events and programs.

Donor Imposed Restrictions

What are "donor-imposed" restrictions?

FASB116 focuses on the concept of restricted revenue.

Exchange Transactions

Factors that may indicate an exchange transaction:

Often it is difficult to distinguish between a contribution and an exchange transaction, the following factors are indicative of an exchan

FAS 116

What is FASB 116?

Statement of Financial Account Standards 116 (FASB116) is the primary guidance relating to the recording of contribution revenue by not-for-profit organizations (NFPs).

Government Grants

Government grants are a common method for non-for-profit (NFP) organizations to obtain funding.

Government Grants: Other Items to Consider

Many government grants also contain specific requirements the recipient must follow in order to fully comply with the grant.

How to Run a Successful Capital Campaign

To launch a capital campaign is a major decision for any nonprofit. Capital campaigns are not for all organizations. Those who decide to start one must ensure:

Improving Communication Between the Accounting and Development Department

In this article, we will take a closer look at ways to improve communication specifically between the accounting and development departments.

Is There an Ideal Indirect Rate?

Those of us who develop indirect rates wonder if there is an ideal percentage amount. It is akin to asking “what is the meaning of life”. I’ll attempt to answer the former question.

Joint Cost Allocation

Joint Costs of Multi-purpose Activities. This is the subject of AICPA Statement of Position No. 98-2.

Pledges Receivable: Explaining the Basics to Your Development Department

Pledges receivable can be a point of conflict between the accounting department and the development or fundraising team.

Raffles -- The Right Way

Raffles are gaining popularity for nonprofit fundraising. Often combined with a gala or other big event, raffles are accessible and fun.

Revenue Recognition

If you determine that your government grants are contributions, then you should follow the guidance in FASB116.

Sample Amortization Schedule

Please find below a a sample amortization schedule.

Sample Journal Entries for Government Grants

The following are the entries necessary for cost-reimbursable government grant (assuming the grant is determined to be an exchange transaction):

SOP 98-2 Excerpts

Attachment I - SOP 98-2 - excerpts

Split-Interest Agreements

What are "split-interest" ("planned giving") agreements?

Split-interest agreements, also known as planned giving, are contributions that assign the legal rights to certain assets to an NFP


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