Lessons Learned at AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference

congressOn June 20th, Eide Bailly professionals descended on Washington, D.C. for the annual AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference.

A month later, here are just a couple of the sessions that still have us thinking:

Brenda Blunt (Phoenix Office): New Consideration of Overhead

In a question-and-answer session with the charity watchdogs, entitled What the Watchdogs are Watching, Charity Navigator President & CEO, Ken Berger, commented that Charity Navigator is in the process of revisiting their charity rating system to, what they dub “CN 3.0”. The revised rating system incorporates a new dimension they call “Results Reporting” that measures organizations’ effectiveness based on their reported outcomes and whether outcomes provide social value. As part of this revision, they will not eliminate, but will reduce, the weight they have historically given to the percent of expenditures on program to total expenditures. This new approach is consistent with the letter they just issued jointly with GuideStar and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance on The Overhead Myth. (See our blog post on this topic here.) For more detailed information on the Charity Navigator rating revisions, read this article.

Karen Jess (Dubuque Office): Consideration of What “Counts”

The session titled Bridging the “GAAP” between Development and Finance provided useful scenarios for considering comparisons between what development “counts” as contributions versus what accounting can actually recognize. These differences are important and can include a variety of items, including bequests, multi-year pledges, private stock, naming rights, life insurance, and many more. These differences often create internal confusion for staff and boards of directors. For instance, they might wonder whether they can trust internal reports or whether they can move ahead with funding program activities. Frequent internal communication about these differences is critical to maintain confidence in implementing programs and communicating with stakeholders.

Did you attend the conference too? What ideas and points-to-ponder did you take away?

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