Aug 25 2014

Segregation of Duties

Aug 25 2014

An Audit Explained

Aug 25 2014

The Auditors Are Here!

Jul 21 2014

A Passion to Serve

May 26 2014

The Big 3 Accounting Services--Part Two: Reviews

Written by Cynthia A. Cox, CPA

 

The second of the three major types of assurance services that you might encounter in the world of church and non-profit organizations is called a review. My previous blog was about compilations, the most basic service provided by a CPA firm. Which of these would benefit your organization most? The answer depends primarily on expectations by granting agencies or creditors, the volume of your financial activity or the complexity of your organization itself. Each engagement requires a different amount of work by the accounting firm. Fees for reviews will be higher than for a compilation because of the increased time that a review takes over the compiled financial statements.

Read more: The Big 3 Accounting Services--Part Two: Reviews

May 07 2014

The Nondiscrimination Form

Written by Cynthia A. Cox, CPA

The IRS deadline for filing the document commonly known as “The Nondiscrimination Form” is fast approaching. It is always due five months after the organization’s fiscal year end. So for organizations that have a calendar fiscal year your form is due May 15!

The official name of the document is the “Annual Certification of Racial Nondiscrimination for a Private School Exempt From Federal Income Tax” (Form 5578). So if you are a tax-exempt organization (church or other religious organization) that operates, controls or supervises a private school, you are required to file this document every year. Form 5578 requires your organization to adhere to several requirements assuring compliance. Let me explain more fully.

Read more: The Nondiscrimination Form

Apr 29 2014

The Big 3 Accounting Services--Part One: Compilations

Written by Cynthia A. Cox, CPA

There are three major types of assurance services that accounting firms can offer churches and non-profit organizations: compilations, reviews and audits. The best type of engagement for your nonprofit depends on your need for the financial statements, expectations of third parties such as granting agencies or creditors, the volume of your financial activity or the complexity of the your organization itself. Each engagement requires a different amount of work by the accounting firm resulting

Read more: The Big 3 Accounting Services--Part One: Compilations

Apr 15 2014

Clergy Housing Exclusion - An Update

Written by Cynthia A. Cox, CPA

It was a deafening gavel that banged tremors throughout the religious communities in the United States. Last November, a federal judge in Wisconsin sided with an organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) that filed a lawsuit against the IRS code that excludes clergy from taxes on housing costs received from the church she or he serves. The atheist leaders of FFRF claimed in the lawsuit that the practice violates the freedom from religion clause.

Read more: Clergy Housing Exclusion - An Update

Mar 31 2014

An Internal Audit of Social Media

Written by Cynthia A. Cox CPA

Upon reading the title of this blog you might have thought, “What does social media have to do with accounting principles or financial management?” I thought the same thing—until I began expanding into the use of social media marketing for my company. I just want to share these thoughts so that you can take action to make sure social media does not compromise the fiduciary integrity of your non-profit or church.

Read more: An Internal Audit of Social Media

Mar 31 2014

Safeguarding Church Donations

Written by Cynthia A. Cox CPA

“It’s hard to believe that someone would steal from a church.”

That thought is not uncommon and it’s probably one of the reasons that theft actually happens. When church leaders, ordained and lay, can’t imagine someone stealing from the church, they are likely not to implement financial safeguards and processes that remove the opportunities for theft.

Last month, an employee of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas reported to police that the offering for one weekend’s services was missing. More than $600,000, donations collected during Saturday and Sunday services in an early March weekend, was stolen from a safe. In 2004, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas discovered that its treasurer had embezzled more than $600,000 from its coffers. A few years before that the treasurer of national office of The Episcopal Church of the United States made off with $2 million before getting caught. So, do you think that there might a $20 bill here or 10-spot there that occasionally does not get counted and used for ministry?

Read more: Safeguarding Church Donations