Program Related Investment Regulations: Impact on Public Charities

By: Deb NelsonDeb Nelson

Program-related investments (PRIs) are nothing new to the nonprofit industry; however, the IRS has spent the last few years issuing proposed regulations, reviewing comments from the community, and then issuing final regulations in April 2016. While the underlying rules for PRIs remained unchanged, the final regulations outlined additional examples of investments with a charitable purpose that qualify as PRIs.

The rules and regulations are directed at investments made by private foundations. Public charities can also take advantage of PRIs without being subjected to the same restrictions as private foundations. While there is no formal guidance issued for public charities making PRIs, public charities should follow the private foundation regulations as a guide and best practice. To learn more about PRIs read the full article here.

Does your NonProfit Generate Unclaimed Property?

By: Mike Herold Mike Herold

Most nonprofits, whether they know it or not, have the potential to generate unclaimed property and the associated obligations that come with it.

Unclaimed property is a dormant or unclaimed financial item that your business owes to another business or individual. A lot of times these include uncashed checks (including payroll), inactive savings accounts, life insurance proceeds, customer overpayments and even unused gift certificates. In short, these items must be given to the owner or turned over to the state. Unclaimed property can have some expensive consequences if not handled correctly, so it’s important to understand how property can qualify as unclaimed, and what steps your business may need to take to deal with it. Learn more about unclaimed property by reading the full article here.


The Importance of Data Dashboards

karen JessBy: Karen Jess

A vehicle dashboard provides vital information: speed, gas left in the tank, engine temperature, etc. This information is important to the driver of the vehicle as nobody wants to be stuck on the side of the road with an empty gas tank.

Many financial software companies have added data dashboards to their products. A data dashboard is a tool for visualizing and communicating important business data to stakeholders and employees. Dashboards provide measures to help an organization make better decisions. Dashboards can typically be customized to meet the needs of the various users of your nonprofit. This is extremely useful since the wants and needs of the stakeholders vary. Take payroll information as an example. Employees will likely be interested in their year-to-date information relating to wages, benefits and payroll elections. The human resource department may want a compliance dashboard as well as the ability to see detailed data relating to salary rates, hours worked, benefit elections, etc. Management may want to see budget-to-actual payroll expenses for the entire organization while finance may want the same information summarized by department. The auditors may want to see budget-to-actual payroll reports with the ability to drill down to a specific payroll transaction. Having this information available to the various stakeholders will save time and money. Imagine creating a dashboard specifically for your auditors that provides them access to information they need during their audit process. Assuming the dashboard provides the ability to drill down to a detailed level, you may be able to eliminate the need to pull invoices or other source documents they typically request. An efficient process typically translates to cost savings.

The National Council of Nonprofits provides some basic thoughts about dashboards with several links to other articles about this topic can be viewed here.

Don’t let your nonprofit be stuck on the side of the road because you didn’t have important information available. Data dashboards can provide the information you need to ensure you don’t run out of gas (or cash).

When (and How) to Successfully Select New Software

By: Tim McCutcheonTim McCutcheon

Not-for-Profit entities (NFPs) seeking to upgrade or modernize some or all of their software applications have a vast array of products and delivery systems available to them—so much so that the process can be daunting and fraught with potential pitfalls. However, armed with a little knowledge and some common sense, and informed by following a sound process for evaluation, selection, and oversight, migration to today’s best solutions can help NFPs achieve new levels of efficiency and control over their own destinies. To learn more read the full article here.

Common Financial Reporting Errors


By: Jodi KimmerleJodi Kimmerle

A unique concept of not-for-profit (NFP) accounting that differentiates the NFP’s financial statements from that of a for-profit company is that of contributions and their classification as one of three net asset categories (unrestricted, temporarily restricted and permanently restricted). Errors in the recognition of contributions and in the classification between the net asset classes are common financial reporting errors.

To learn more about common financial reporting errors read the full article posted here.