For Financial Staff

Procedures Manual: Rental Lease

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November might be NaNoWriMo —National Novel Writing Month. Here at Fun with Financials 2012 is NaProMaWriYe —National Procedures Manual Writing Year.

If you’ve been playing along at home, congratulations! You are on your way to finishing your Procedures Manual. When you complete this chapter you will have one remaining. If you need to catch up, you can start by clicking here.

Do you pay rent or own your building/space? If you answer yes to renting, add your answers to the following questions to your manual. If you answer no, you can stop reading and take a coffee break.


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Posted 11/28/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Know Your Insurance

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Congratulations!!! If you’ve kept up with this Procedures Manual production schedule, you are 3/4s of the way to completion. If you need to catch up, you can start here.

After writing about insurance, only two sections will remain. Just in time to ring in the new year!

Insurance. Not the sexiest topic in the world. Until you need it. Let’s talk about a few types of insurance that many nonprofits carry.

Read on...

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Posted 10/31/12 by Carol

Webinar Recording: Managing Cashflow

Have you had to use your reserves in the last few years? Is cash becoming scarce?

Or maybe you've built reserves and want to maximize the interest you earn.

You'll learn:

  • when to use a cashflow report and when not to use it.
  • how to keep your cashflow report up to date. 
  • when to show the report to your board.
  • what to do about negative balances.

Click here to register. 


Check out these tools:

excel icon image Cashflow for Investing

excel icon image Cashflow for Emergencies


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Posted 10/3/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Annual Information Returns

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Now that you’ve successfully answered questions about providing financial reports to your board, let’s tackle the financial reports you must send to Uncle Sam and to your state government. When you finish this chapter, you will be 3/4’s of the way home.

As Benjamin Franklin said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for death and taxes.”

I’m amending his quote for nonprofits, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except for proposal deadlines and filing tax forms.”

Complying with federal and state tax laws can prove a daunting task. Missing the filing date(s) can prove a costly mistake.

This chapter of the Procedures Manual will walk you through a series of questions related to each form. 

Continue reading...

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Posted 9/26/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Financial Reports

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Now that you have successfully written the chapter on Reviewing General Ledgers, it’s time to move to Financial Reports.

These reports communicate your organization’s financial health to the board of directors. Reviewing them, understanding them and discussing them enables board members to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility. Here’s how you can help them excel at their job.


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Posted 8/29/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: General Ledger Review

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Guess what time it is? Time to write another installment of your Procedures Manual.

If you’ve been playing along at home, you’re now halfway through creating your manual. And if you need to catch up, start by clicking here.

This time you get to answer questions about reviewing your General Ledger. You do review your General Ledger, right? General Ledgers need reviewing to make sure that entries happen correctly so your reports are accurate.


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Posted 7/11/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Bank Reconciliations and Transfers

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In honor of the 45th anniversary of the installation of the world’s first ATM (location: Enfield Town, England), Fun with Financials raises its glass to celebrate. And then asks you to complete the next chapter of the Procedures Manual about reconciling your bank statement and transferring money.

Read on...

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Posted 6/20/12 by Carol

Fiscal Sponsorship – Are You Ready, Willing and Able?

Last week we talked about the role fiscal sponsors play in the nonprofit world and why they are the right model for some organizations. Today, we’re exploring the world of being a fiscal sponsor. Should your organization think about serving as a fiscal sponsor?

Has your organization or agency been asked to serve as a fiscal sponsor?

Are you thinking about it but you don’t know how to do it or how to assess if you’re ready?

If the answers to these questions are yes, let us help you determine your readiness and willingness to assume this important role by using our handy-dandy step-by-step guide.


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Posted 5/30/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Employee Entries and Exits

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This month, you’re writing Chapter 4 of your Procedures Manual about new employees and departing employees. When you finish answering these questions, you will have completed one third of the manual! Or are you still working on the previous chapters (Payroll Processing and Entering and Paying Bills). Don’t worry there’s still time to catch up!

It’s easier than you thought, isn’t it?


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Posted 5/9/12 by Carol

Happy Admin Week!

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If you are an Administrative Professional, congratulations this is your week!

Administrative Professionals Week formerly known as National Secretaries Week started in 1952 “as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace, and to attract people to secretarial/administrative careers.”

Today the term secretary has become a bit obsolete. Replaced by administrative professional. And that’s who you are if you are an administrative assistant, receptionist, budget manager, bookkeeper, maintainer of the website….

Often employers celebrate this day by giving their administrative support staff flowers, candy or a catered lunch. But we’ve got a better idea. How about providing your admin staff with some tangible benefits?

Read on...

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Posted 4/25/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Payroll Process

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Today’s the day to write the third chapter of your Procedures Manual. Once you answer these simple questions you will have written the first quarter of the manual. Congratulations!

Be honest. Haven’t the first two chapters already come in handy?

Let’s have some fun with payroll.

Continue reading...

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Posted 4/4/12 by Carol

Procedures Manual: Entering & Paying Bills

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Today’s the day! The day to complete your second assignment in the fun-filled Let’s Write a Procedures Manual challenge.

Last month you answered 4 short questions about making bank deposits. [Click here if you missed last month's entry.] 

Even though you may make deposits weekly and it’s rote to you, writing it down makes the process accessible to everyone. Today we’re tackling entering and paying bills!

Here’s the drill. Answer each question in the order given with as much detail as possible. And then Voila! You will have written two more sections in your Procedures Manual.


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Posted 3/21/12 by Carol

Start Your Procedures Manual Today

I bet one of the 30,000 genes in the human body belongs to procrastination. Because we all have a tendency to put off something we don’t want to do. Let me guess, have you put off creating a Financial Procedures Manual? A required document for any organization. Even for those with a stable staff that knows their jobs.

If you have, we’re here to help.

Sooner or later the time will come when someone on staff will take an extended vacation, get sick or leave suddenly. Without a financial procedures manual, how will the replacement know what to do?

To help you undertake the inevitable, we’re going to provide you with monthly step-by-step instructions. If you follow them, you’ll have a completed manual in 12 months or less!

Read on...

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Posted 2/8/12 by Carol

Five Things to Do to Prepare for 990s

Before you get too immersed in the excitement of a new fiscal year, schedule some time now to organize the documents you will need to file your Form 990. Whether you prepare this tax form in house or hire an accountant to complete it, gathering the documents directly after the fiscal year closes will ensure greater success.

The filing deadline may seem far in the future*. But if you wait until a month before the deadline to get started, the financial and programmatic activities of the previous fiscal year will live in the far distant past. If you start today, these activities will be fresh in your mind.

To help you get started, take a look at this list of five things to do. You’ll be happy you did.

Continue reading...

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Posted 2/1/12 by Carol

Upcoming Webinar: Fun with Finance Committees

 Thursday, December 22nd at 1pm ET/12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT
Do you even need a finance committee? If you have one, what should they be doing? This webinar will focus on the role of the finance committee and what they should and shouldn't be doing.

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Posted 12/14/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #17: A Financial Health Bill of Rights

As we celebrate the 219th anniversary of the Bill of Rights on December 15th, let’s thank James Madison for introducing ten revolutionary concepts in the world of government.

Reading over his radical proposals got me thinking about creating a financial health bill of rights for nonprofits.  Here are my first five.

Let me know what you think. Send me yours. I’ll post your submissions and we’ll take a vote on the best. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Amendment I

Funders shall make no law...continue reading

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Posted 12/14/11 by Carol

Webinar Recording: Recordkeeping & Reporting

Recordkeeping & Reporting Webinar

This training is perfect for finace staff who are new to nonprofits and for groups that have been fiscally sponsored and are thinking about becoming an independent nonprofit.

Topics covered:

  • Federal, state, and local reporting requirements for nonprofits
  • What financial records to keep and for how long
  • What to keep in personnel files and what NOT to keep in them

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Posted 11/24/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #15: Give Thanks to Your Finance Staff

Thanksgiving is the time to be grateful for…

your finance people. That’s right. Finance people deserve your gratitude. On this day. and everyday.

It’s their job to make sure you have the right financial information to make sound decisions about your organization’s health and well-being.

Your finance people may not have the sexiest job on the planet. They may not appear on the frontlines, receive the applause at the awards ceremony or bask in the media spotlight. But I would argue they have one of the most important jobs around.


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Posted 11/16/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #13: Why should you care about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?

Dow Jones Industrial Average Chart

With protesters Occupying Wall Street, understanding the Dow Jones Industrial Average may not be your top priority. But the truth is that your nonprofit's financial health may depend on how well Wall Street does. Yes, you read that correctly. Read on to learn why...

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Posted 11/2/11 by Carol

GJ Entry #12: Podcast #2 Geeky Cool

Interview with Hillary Brooks, Director of Finance & Operations at Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice 


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Posted 10/26/11 by Carol

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