Your Nonprofit Organization Is Unique
Your mission, your structure, your staff … Everything about your organization is specific. When your organization starts the search for an accountant or nonprofit bookkeeping services, you need to find the right accounting firm to meet your group’s specific needs.
Let’s take a look at the major aspects you should look for when researching an accounting firm that you can trust to guide your financial future.
Why Hire a Nonprofit Accountant?
Nonprofit organizations are sustained by making resources stretch as much as they can, and chances are, your organization has been relying on volunteers to fulfill the responsibility of financial management. The first crucial step to effective financial management is to determine your organization’s needs. Here are some reasons why nonprofits turn to an outsourced accountant:
You lack an in-house expert – Volunteers are a great resource, and while some may offer experience with financial matters, it is a risky strategy to rely on volunteers for bookkeeping and accounting. First, their experience may be spotty and inadequate to your needs. Second, since they’re donating their time, there is no guarantee they will always be around to help. An outsourced accounting solution will help prevent mistakes and save time in the long run.
Nonprofit accountants help you save money – Your current internal options may not have the skills necessary to guide spending and maximize funding meaning the money you spend on accounting services is justified by better cash flow.
Experts provide expert advice – An outsourced accountant provides an expert, unbiased opinion. They align their goals to match those of your organization and can provide recommendations that are backed by experience and data.
Your organization doesn’t have a grip on income and expenses – You do your best to accomplish your mission which means it is easy to lose control and oversight of resources. If it feels like the normal controls you have in place aren’t as effective as they used to be, it is time for a professional, knowledgeable option.
Your processes and procedures are all over the place – If your organization has been operating under temporary solutions that seem to have evolved into permanent ones, it is time to call a professional. No organization can function without proper organization and processes.
Make the Right Decision
Any accountant can tell you that they know how to create a nonprofit cash flow statement or how to prepare a balance sheet for a nonprofit organization. There are important considerations your organization must take into account when looking for and choosing an accounting partner:
Make Sure They Understand Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations may share some similarities with their for-profit counterparts, but the corporate world is completely different. Arguably the most important thing you should look for in an accountant is their experience with nonprofit organizations. Ask about how many nonprofit clients they serve and how long they have been serving them.
What Value Can They Deliver?
Some organizations may need simple organization and bookkeeping help, while others need periodic reviews and full accounting support. Does the firm have dedicated nonprofit specialists? Do they use the latest accounting best practices and processes? The value an accounting partner will provide is directly congruent to the benefits they bring to your organization.
Can They Prepare You for Audits?
Donors and grants require financial audits that are difficult and time-consuming, even for the smallest of organizations. A professional accounting firm should be able to compile a well-organized, comprehensive set of financial records to ensure a smooth audit experience.
Will They Improve Your Internal Controls?
Internal controls are the processes and procedures that provide a network of checks and balances for your organization. Standardized procedures are important for any entity, but it is especially so for an organization that is staffed by a rotating set of volunteers. With these procedures in place, your organization establishes continuous security and reliability for your nonprofit financial data.
Rubino Understands Nonprofit Accounting
From audit and assurance services to nonprofit tax filing and management, Rubino is an important resource for any nonprofit organization. Our expert accounting team is fully staffed by associates that understand the unique challenges nonprofits face. We have helped organizations just like yours navigate difficult situations, so you are free to continue your mission.
If your organization is looking for a trusted outsourced accounting provider, contact Rubino today.