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Why Outsourcing Your Accounting Is Right for Your Nonprofit

8/3/20 – Stephanie Allgeyer

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Co-authored by Rhonda Seibert, Manager, CPA

If you manage or oversee a nonprofit organization, you have a lot of things to balance on a daily basis. The time it takes to handle various projects and responsibilities ultimately hinders you from focusing on your organization’s mission. One of the biggest struggles for nonprofits is the management, allocation, and distribution of time and funds across the organization all while adhering to the countless laws and regulations that apply to nonprofits. Outsourced accounting returns invaluable time and provides peace of mind when it comes to the demanding and complex world of government regulations and compliance.

Is Accounting Outsourcing Right for Your Organization

Accounting for nonprofit organizations can be extremely time-consuming. The laws and regulations that apply to nonprofits are not only difficult to understand, but the margin for error is minimal. If you aren’t in full compliance, you’ll quickly find yourself in hot water. Not only are there numerous rules and regulations but, by the nature of nonprofit organizations, resources are extremely limited. This translates to a number of different situations for the organization. Many nonprofits lack the funds to hire a full-time accountant and an unqualified employee is made responsible for the accounting functions.

If your organization is providing in-house accounting, you need to consider the following:

  • Is someone on your staff qualified and able to handle the complex accounting for your organization?
  • Do you have the infrastructure (computers hard drives, etc.) necessary to do this accounting?
  • What is the total cost to your organization, and do you have a backup if this person can no longer fulfill this task?

If you are unable to answer “yes” to any one of these questions in confidence, you need to consider outsourcing your accounting.

The Benefits of Outsourcing

Handling the accounting and finances for a nonprofit is not only time consuming, but it can be extremely costly to your organization if you don’t know what you are doing. One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing your accounting needs to a CPA firm is that you eliminate the possibility of making costly mistakes and putting your organization in legal jeopardy. Every year, nonprofit organizations are forced to shut down due to non-compliance from innocent accounting mistakes – mistakes that could have been avoided by outsourcing their accounting responsibilities to a nonprofit accounting specialist.

Aside from the legal ramifications, enlisting the services of an outsourced accountant frees up invaluable time that could be spent focusing on what matters most, the organization’s mission.

Choosing the Right Accounting Firm

So you’ve decided your organization would benefit from outsourced accounting, and now you are left with the difficult decision of selecting the right accounting firm. The first thing you should consider, is identifying a firm that specializes in the nonprofit industry. It is critical that the individual handling your accounting is an expert in the nonprofit sector.  With the ever-changing landscape of nonprofit compliance, you need an advisor who is abreast of the constant updates to new and existing regulations and procedures.

VonLehman’s specialized team is comprised of professionals dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations with outsourcing needs. Contact VonLehman today at sallgeyer@vlcpa.com or 800.887.0437 to determine if your organization would benefit from an outsourced nonprofit accounting expert.