Getting Financial Services Out of the Rut

Is your nonprofit getting dragged down with old bookkeeping habits and insufficient reporting? The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and its Financial Services department can help your organization implement best practices that help build confidence in your organization’s finances.

Here’s a good start to keep financial practices on solid ground:

  1. Don’t just run reports.

Financial reports are sometimes blindly presented to the board without any reconciliation or verification with a bank statement or ledger. Confirming that the expenses are verified and complete will give the Board of Directors a more accurate view of the organization’s financial position.

  1. Ensure segregation of duties.

This is a way to create checks and balances in your organization’s finances.  There should be, at a minimum, two people involved in the bookkeeping process; however, the larger the organization, the more segregation there should be. The person who enters and issues checks should not be the person who signs those checks. We can provide a segregation of duties list on a sliding scale of employees.

  1. Backup documentation is imperative.

All expenditures should have backup documentation. Whether you are the person authorizing charges and expenditures, the person entering and issuing checks or the person signing the checks, you should always make sure that documentation is attached. No exceptions should be made, even for recurring monthly charges such as utilities and rent, or for auto-draft transactions. If you do not have documentation, how can you assure the accuracy of the expense? Any employee using the organization’s debit or credit card should be required to provide an itemized receipt for all charges, as well as annotating the who, what, and where on the receipt.

  1. Documenting Income.

Since many nonprofit organizations receive checks and donations in the mail, it may be necessary to ask two people to process the mail and sign off on the income received in a mail log.

  1. Recruit financially knowledgeable people to the board.

Inclusion of financially knowledgeable board members ensures that discerning questions are asked about the financial reports presented. Treasurers may chair the finance committee. Accountants and financial managers may include board members in preparing financial documents, such as budgets.

If you feel that your organization is in need of assistance, we offer consulting on strategic planning and financial management to build a roadmap for your nonprofit. Our Financial Services Department also offers contracted bookkeeping and accounting services to member nonprofits of varying sizes, both short and long term. This is more than just a bookkeeping service. Our team is ready to provide efficient financial support as well as teach your organization how to strengthen its financial policies and procedures so that you can be your best.

The following are just some of the services provided and can be tailored to each organization’s specific needs:

  • Segregation of duties for small to mid-size nonprofit organizations
  • Reviewing your chart of accounts and implementing the use of a natural accounts
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Recording and reconciling payroll reports, bank statements, and credit cards
  • Preparing GAAP compliant financial statements
  • Preparing and presenting financial documents to committees and boards
  • Providing financial reporting for grants and funders
  • Financial and other policy and practices review and recommendations

Our Financial Services team has created a system that can benefit any nonprofit in the state. #MembershipMeansMore when the community is better served with sound financial practices.

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