Article Archives: 2015

By Sarah Gustafson, CPA, MBT

Billions of dollars will pour into donor advised funds (DAFs) during 2015. Millions of those dollars will flow out to not-for-profits. Could any of that money flow to your organization? How should your organization handle donations from DAFs?

Here’s a tale of an organization – a fictional public charity – that shows how DAFs work from the recipient charity’s perspective.

Doug’s dilemma

Let’s meet Mr. Douglas Fir, the intrepid controller of CascadeKids. Doug is reviewing the month’s revenue records when he spots a check for $10,000.  The check comes from the “Queenie Jones Donor Advised Fund” at NewTown Bank Charitable Fund (NTBCF).

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Posted by: Deby MacLeod

By Deby MacLeod, CPA

omb graphic

By now we are familiar with the OMB Uniform Guidance for federal awards, but how much do we know about its effect on non-profits and other non-federal organizations from a practical sense, and what should we be doing now to prepare for its implementation? What should we have already done?


Recall that on December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, (Uniform Guidance, or UG) that combined eight OMB Circulars into one comprehensive,

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Posted by: Karen Dunn

By Karen Dunn, JD, LLM

In an effort to address the frustration expressed by tax practitioners and the IRS regarding the inadequacies of the current Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) recommends a significant redesign of the form.

A line-by-line activities checklist spearheads the redesign. The answers would flow to the Form 990-T, but the checklist would not be open to public disclosure as is the rest of the form. It will include links to education and outreach materials as well as specific worksheets for calculating revenues and expenses for certain unrelated business income activities.

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But you’ll want to wait before you start celebrating.

The President signed the legislation, titled “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014,” on December 19, 2014. The legislation provides for retroactive temporary extension of select laws that impact donors and the charities they support. In addition, it puts the burden of whether or not to make these key pieces of legislation permanent, squarely onto the new Congress.

The key charitable organization and donor impacts are:

  • Distributions from an IRA of up to $100,000 to a public charity. The Individual directing the distribution from their IRA must be aged 70-½ or older. 

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Posted by: Vincent J. Stevens

By Vincent Stevens, CPA, CGMA

The federal grantor arrives for a monitoring visit and just like clockwork, the first thing that is requested is the organization’s policies and procedures. The finance director, anticipating the request, points to the thick binder on the table labeled “Accounting Policies and Procedures.” But is this binder enough?

Although the grant monitor will be interested in financial controls and procedures, the primary reason for the visit is grant compliance. Well-written accounting policies and procedures will address some compliance issues, but not all. What the federal grant monitor wants to see are “Grants Management and Compliance Policies and Procedures.”

Grant monitors are not the only ones who need to see these specific policies and procedures.

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