Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Financial Management

Internal Reports Introduction

Reporting is a key component of the Financial Management Cycle.

Is It Time to Be Proactive with Your Office Lease Situation?

A familiar scenario has played out month after month for many nonprofit organizations during this prolonged period of financial uncertainty, remote work, and virtual programs and meetings.

Journal Entries

Most transactions are posted automatically through the accounts payable and accounts receivable modules of the general ledger software owned by the not-for-profit.


If a large volume of checks is received by the organization, a lockbox may be appropriate. Banks receive the checks directly and the deposit is made upon receipt.

Looking at the Nonprofit Financing Puzzle!

If you’re like most nonprofit leaders, you may have considered or even taken steps towards evaluating financing alternatives for your nonprofit organization.

Managing Information Technology - The Case for Outsourcing

The term “outsourcing” can have negative connotations, but for many nonprofit organizations it can be an effective tool to help move the organization forward.

Meeting Expenses

  • Meetings should have formal budgets.
  • Each meeting should be assigned a unique department or project code.  This will help with analyzing variances to

Net Investment in Fixed Assets

This calculation subtracts any existing long-term debt related to fixed assets (e.g., vehicle loan, mortgage, leasehold improvement loan, etc.) from the value of fixed assets.

Nonprofit Accounting: Serving the Mission

Though not usually involved in customer service to donors or members, the accounting and finance department of a nonprofit often provides customer service to the rest of its organization.

Nonprofit Operating Reserves Initiative Website

Beginning November 1, 2017 the website added an important new resource it its “Fundamentals” section.

Nonprofits Are Embracing Enterprise Risk Management

An increasing number of nonprofits have embraced enterprise risk management (ERM), which is a structured and continuous process designed to provide an organization’s board and senior leaders a stra

Operating Reserve Ratio

This ratio is a focused variant of the Months Cash on Hand ratio.

Other Cash

While writing checks and making deposits fall under the category of “cash,” there are other activities involving cash.

Other Issues

Grant Funding

Grant funding may require accounting and compliance different from normal nonprofit operations.

Outsourced Accounting Services

Outsourcing is a contract with a third party to perform services which are normally done in-house. These services typically are provided by companies who specialize in the field.


  • Verify that the vendor invoice has not been previously paid before processing the invoice for payment.
  • Do not pay from statements if a vendor submits both invoices a


There are many payroll services that will process the regular payroll, make direct deposits, prepare quarterly and annual tax filings and remit taxes due for a very reasonable fee.

Payroll Expenses

  • The initial information for each employee and every change impacting payroll (terminations, overtime, compensation changes, employee deductions, etc.) will be in writing and appropriatel

Peer Benchmarking Study on Nonprofit Investing (SONI)

Nonprofits plan every fiscal move with great caution, backed up with thorough analysis.

Per Diem vs. Accountable Plans: Determining the Best Approach

One of the most frustrating internal control processes for accountants and auditors alike is the dreaded company credit card and employee expense reimbursements.  You might be thinking, let’s

Petty Cash

It's amazing how much cash is stolen each year from petty cash funds.

Phishing and Spoofing Attacks Growing Ever More Common

You know the scam; someone in a foreign country has inherited a large sum of money and needs your help to get the money delivered to them.


Creating a policy is like making a decision when you have time to be thoughtful, to do adequate research, and to consult colleagues and other professionals rather than making decisions in haste as

Preventing Nonprofit Banking Fraud!

Technology has dramatically changed how we all work, play, and use our mobile phones, computers, and i-Pads.  So, it should come as no surprise that fraudsters are using this same technology t


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