Finance and Accounting

Bookkeeping Workshop

I attended a quickbooks bookkeeping workshop by Karen Schiller at Compasspoint www.compasspoint.org recently, it was very helpful.

Here are some helpful tips that I took away from the workshop:

1. When recording classes in Quickbooks you don’t have to record classes with asset or liability accounts.

2. Membership is a support service defined by the IRS.

3. Administration (or Management and General) expenses include: Bank Charges, Legal Fees, Accounting Fees, General overview of time spend managing the organization, and time spent negotiating govt. contracts.

How to improve your nonprofit operations in under two months!

<p class="MsoNormal">I had the opportunity to attend Tech Soup&rsquo;s Net Squared Conference in San Jose on May 30<sup>th</sup> and 31<sup>st </sup>2006.&nbsp; Aspiration&rsquo;s own Allen Gunn facilitated several sessions at the conference and I had the opportunity to learn a lot about Web 2.0 and all the exciting new things that nonprofits are and can do on the web <a href="http://www.netsquared.org/">www.netsquared.org</a>. </p>  <p class="MsoNormal">I also had the opportunity to lead a small Q &amp; A session during the Tips and Tricks part of the afternoon session titled <strong>&ldquo;How to improve your nonprofit operations in under two months.&rdquo;</strong>&nbsp; I came up for the title for my Q &amp; A session because I recently noticed a trend I take when I start working for an organization.&nbsp; I follow a sequence of steps during the first two months of working for an organization to improve its operations and ultimately save the organization MONEY. Its not that the organization is running their nonprofit poorly, its just the organization can do things to improve its operations, save the organization money, which in return will help it to better achieve its mission.&nbsp; </p>

A few nonprofit accounting tips

I am certainly not a CPA but here are a few nonprofit bookkeeping tips and advice I have learned along the way.

1.  I am very glad that I can enter my programmatic budgets into Quickbooks. First, I associate each program with a class in QB. For example, Aspiration's Field Community Building program is a class. Second, I associate each project within each program as a subclass. For example within the Field Community Building program there is the Penguin Day class.

2. I also designate in QB each Foundation that funds my organization as a customer:job. 

3. Furthermore, I use the Unified Nonprofit Chart of Accounts that the California Assocation of Nonprofits provides http://www.canonprofits.org/  

A few tips to know when looking for a Bank Account for your nonprofit

Recently one of the organizations that Aspiration fiscally sponsors asked me questions about finding a bank account. Here are a few tips, I told her.

You can get a Wells Fargo business credit card with just your nonprofit tax-id number. You don't even have to have a bank account there.  You do have to have positive net income on your 990 form from the previous two years, which may be challenging for some nonprofits who receive multi-year grants so one year net income is positive and another year it is negative.

Each Citibank branch gives money to local nonprofits so it is good to establish a relationship with your local Citibank branch manager.  In addition, Citibank has a great benefit and gives employees of any small business free financial planning and seminars through Citipro.

Bank fees are the killer, all banks have a minimum balance for Business Checking and Savings Accounts. Choose one bank and stick with it. I have hesitations about choosing small local banks, they may say they work with nonprofits in reality they are just saying that in hopes to get your business.

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