Managing your finances
Good organizational health relies on sound financial management systems for accurate budgeting, appropriate expenditure tracking and accountability, and strong internal controls. In order to promote your mission efficiently and effectively, ensure the fiscal integrity and reputation of your organization by:
- Fully complying with all generally accepted accounting standards;
- Monitoring the financial status of the organization by tracking and gathering accurate and timely data;
- Safeguarding the assets of the organization through proper internal controls for the handling of income and expenses, investments and property;
- Communicating both internally and externally to all stakeholders about your organization’s financial status through periodic financial statements, annual audited financial statements and any required interim financial reports and forms; and
- Complying with all government and funder requirements by the complete and timely filing of financial reports and forms.
Get started by familiarizing yourself with the language of finance for nonprofits (Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Activities, Statements of Cash Flows and budgets) and signing up for training that can help you increase your skills and confidence. Ideally, organizations should have up to date information on a frequent enough basis to identify any pending issues and take corrective action. Monthly financial statements are a best practice, but more frequent access to financial information may be optimal. Plan for a surplus, practice regular cost containment, be ready to reduce the budget strategically in any crisis, create contingency plans, and fund a reserve.
- Running QuickBooks Nonprofits Comprehensive Edition on Amazon by Kathy Ivens
- Basic Overview of U.W. Nonprofit Financial Management by Authenticity Consulting, LLC
- Resources for Nonprofit Financial Management by the Wallace Foundation
- Nonprofit Financial Management Self Assessment Tool by Nonprofit Association of Oregon