The top five most common budgeting mistakes

Budgeting has been described as a cornerstone of an organization's financial management foundation. The budget serves as a benchmark against which financial results are measured, and variances from budget can be used to guide management's decision making. There are a...

Managing your receivables

In today's difficult economy, proper cash flow management is more important than ever for almost any organization. One of the most common causes of cash flow problems is poorly managed accounts receivable. Poorly managed receivables may necessitate drawing down your...

Governance Q&A: The importance of an independent auditor

My board chair wants to change audit firms to one where a friend of hers is a partner. If their quote is reasonable, is that ethically OK? I am assuming you are referring to the financial audit, since you likely...

How to ensure an awesome audit

Audited financial statements are becoming a standard best practice among charitable organizations seeking to provide reassurance of financial integrity to stakeholders. The government, donors, suppliers, board members and other volunteers often look to this annual examination of an organization’s financial...

Fifteen budget tune-up tips

In honour of the 15th anniversary of CharityVillage®, following are 15 tips to help you tune up your nonprofit’s annual budget for optimal performance. 1. Use the organization’s overall mission and strategy to drive the budget. Planning is key to...

HST and nonprofits: What you don’t know can hurt you

The HST is upon us. HST will now apply in Ontario and British Columbia as well as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland (in addition to the very similar QST in Quebec). While the HST clearly means more sales tax...

Differences between profit and nonprofit accounting

At Ben’s first meeting as a new member of the board of directors for a nonprofit, he discovered that he needed help. As he sat listening to the executive director, Ben realized that his knowledge of business accounting hadn’t sufficiently...

Choosing an auditor

You have been given the challenge of finding a new auditor for your organization. You've already developed a list of several auditors that have been recommended by other organizations similar to yours, and you are now wondering what criteria to...

A guide to right record keeping for nonprofits

There’s never a bad time to establish good habits. While the subject of "recordkeeping" can elicit yawns, proper financial and accounting records are the foundation of a well run nonprofit and charity. Good record keeping provides support in numerous ways:...

Proper financial controls can protect your nonprofit

The executive director didn't have an inkling. The volunteer team had just celebrated a successful fundraising event that brought $20,000 into their nonprofit - or so they thought. When the ED reviewed the bank deposit, however, only $15,000 could be...