Introduction to Not-For-Profit Accounting Services
For over 30 years, Gregory, Sharer & Stuart has been a leader among local accounting firms and CPA firms in serving not-for-profit organizations. We have a well-established, dedicated team of tax and audit professionals who understand the unique needs of not-for-profit organizations, a team that works with all types of not-for-profits including social service agencies, HUD projects, educational institutions, museums, membership organizations and foundations. Our Not-For-Profit Industry Client Service Team members understand the financial reporting challenges you face and have the experience to offer insights less experienced tax and audit professionals may not possess.
Specialized Services for Nonprofit Organizations
- Planned giving
- Systems for the development of management report tools, accounts receivable management, policies and procedures
- Operational consulting
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Tax-exempt financing
- Executive compensation
- Employee benefit plans including compliance issue resolution and evaluation of service providers
- Budgeting development, analysis and monitoring
- Development of performance and outcome measurements
- Revenue enhancement/cost controls
- Contract evaluation
Federal & State Audit Experience
GSS is a member of the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center. We are experienced in conducting financial statement audits and compliance audits (both program-specific and single audits) under Uniform Guidance and the Florida Single Audit Act. Over the past three years, we have conducted more than 90 Single Audits.
We provide continuing professional education for our not-for-profit team members specific to governmental audits and compliance with Government Auditing Standards requirements.
Our specific experience with auditing programs funded by the federal government, the State of Florida and others includes:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Services
- Social Service Block Grant
- Public Health Service I-330
- Title III Construction Grant
- Public Health II
- Mental Health Services
- District VI Program
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Section 202 Housing for the Elderly or Handicapped
- Section 8 Low-Income Rental Assistance
- Capital Advance Program
- Community Development Block Grants
Florida Department of Children and Families
- State and Federal Social Service Block Grants and General Revenue
- Development Services
- Vocational Rehabilitation
U.S. Department of Education
- Education of Handicapped Children in State-Operated or State-Supported School Programs (Chapter I)
- Educationally Deprived, Neglected, and Delinquent Children Program (Chapter I)
- Improving School Program (Chapter II)
- Governor’s Drug Free Project
U.S. Department of Labor
- Workforce Preparation Services
- Adult and Youth Employment Programs
- Workforce Investment Act
- Wagner-Peyser Act
U.S. Department of Agriculture
- School Breakfast Program
- School Lunch Program
- Commodity Food Program
U.S. Department of Transportation
Medicaid / Medicare
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Florida State Department of Corrections
Juvenile Welfare Board
Tax Services for Nonprofit Organizations
We are diligent in keeping our not-for-profit clients well aware of their financial reporting, disclosure and compliance requirements related to maintaining their tax-exempt status. As tax laws and regulations change, we are committed to seeking out solutions and developing new tools to be an effective service provider. Education – we have conducted numerous seminars to educate our clients and their boards on the Form 990 and how it impacts their organization. We have also consulted with the governance boards of our clients regarding best practice procedures for the review of their Form 990. Internally, we institute a continuing education program to assist staff members in understanding the issues and information necessary to properly prepare Form 990 and all supplemental schedules. Checklists – we have developed a comprehensive interactive checklist for tax-exempt organizations for use in the preparation of your tax returns. We provide tax accounting assistance to all clients in completing these forms.
Employee Benefit Plan Services for Nonprofits
GSS has significant experience with a variety of types and sizes of employee benefit plan audits, including 401(a), 401(k) and 403(b) benefit plans. Our Employee Benefit Plan Service Team is experienced, educated and dedicated to providing value-added services to clients. GSS is a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center. We are in compliance with all membership requirements including:
- Implementation of a firm-wide training program for employee benefit plan audits, including maintaining a minimum amount of employee benefit plan-specific continuing professional education.
- Development of policies and procedures specific to the firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice.
- Fulfillment of the quality control standards requirement for annual internal inspection procedures that includes a review of the firm’s ERISA employee benefit plan audit practice by individuals possessing current experience and knowledge of the accounting and auditing practices specific to ERISA employee benefit plan audits.
- In addition, appropriate employee benefit plan engagement personnel attend annual training on employee benefit plan audits in order to maintain current knowledge of applicable professional standards, rules and regulations for ERISA employee benefit plans and the many other complex compliance requirements associated with these plans.
GSS has also set high internal quality standards by joining the AICPA Center for Audit Quality and registering with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). We have had three inspections since registration and all inspections concluded with the result that no comment was required for engagements reviewed or our system of quality control.
Publications & Training for Nonprofit Organizations
- GSS Insight Newsletter – A free, biweekly publication sent via e-mail with current accounting topics and industry focused articles.
- More Than Money Newsletter – This free newsletter highlights financial information and services for nonprofit organizations. More Than Money tracks current changes and discusses financial strategies and tax issues.
- The Not-For-Profit Newsflash – A free, periodic newsletter for not-for-profit leaders and advisors, full of tips and techniques for improving your business.
- Gregory, Sharer & Stuart’s Not-For-Profit Semi-Annual Forum – A free forum established in 2001 to allow not-for-profit leaders to share their thoughts, ideas and concerns on industry topics.
- Gregory, Sharer & Stuart’s Annual CPE Program – A comprehensive two-day Continuing Professional Education program with instructors drawn from leading universities and related organizations around the nation. Registration fees are donated to support accounting education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and The University of Tampa.
- Customized presentations on new and emerging issues that impact not-for-profit organizations – GSS routinely prepares presentations on new and emerging issues that will impact not-for-profit organizations. Examples of presentations that GSS has prepared include:
- IRS Form 990
- Board Governance Training
- Unrelated Business Income (UBI) and Advertising
- Routine presentations to committees and/or board of directors are provided free of charge to discuss reviewed financial statements, tax returns and any other issues or questions with our clients
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a single audit?
An organization that expends $750,000 or more of Federal assistance during its fiscal year is required to have an audit under Uniform Guidance. In Florida, there is also a state single audit, which mirrors to a large extent the federal single audit related to the expenditure of State of Florida financial assistance.
Do I need an audit?
Certain states require submission of audited financial statements if a nonprofit solicits funds in those states. Also, if a nonprofit expends $500,000 or more of federal assistance and/or State of Florida assistance, an audit is required. Even if there is no regulatory audit requirement, many nonprofits opt for an audit to demonstrate a commitment to stakeholders through enhanced fiscal responsibility associated with an audit.
What are net assets restrictions?
Net assets are basically the difference between a nonprofit’s assets less its liabilities. Net assets are divided between unrestricted (available for unrestricted use), temporarily restricted (can only be spent for a specific purpose or subject to a time restriction), or permanently restricted (cannot be spent – for instance, endowments).
Do I need gift acceptance policies?
The primary benefit of gift acceptance policies is to maintain discipline in gift acceptance and administration. Discipline helps prevent the acceptance of gifts that will cost a nonprofit time, money and possibly reputation by reminding the organization when to say no.
Do I need an investment policy?
Any nonprofit with assets to invest should consider a formal investment policy. However, one set of policies does not fit every organization. Each nonprofit needs to define its own goal and understand its fiduciary responsibilities.
What is unrelated business taxable income?
Even a tax-exempt organization is taxed on its unrelated business taxable income (UBI). Generally, there are two types:
- Income from an unrelated trade or business that is regularly carried on
- Debt financed income, usually in the form of rent, interest or royalties arising from debt financial property
When are my tax returns due?
Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of an organization’s taxable year.
Can my nonprofit participate in lobbying and/or political activity?
501(c)(3) organizations are generally permitted to “lobby” to some extent, but are absolutely prohibited from engaging in “political activity.”
What are in-kind contributions?
In-kind contributions are non-cash contributions which can be given a cash value. There are specific accounting rules that define which in-kind contributions can be recorded in an organization’s financial statements.