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Publications

  • 1-46 of 46
  • 09/27/2017
    Essential Guidance for Navigating Impactful Disaster Relief Assistance Opportunities

    Knowing your options for providing assistance is the first step toward making a big impact on communities that have been devastated by disaster. Even the most seasoned donors or nonprofits can fall victim to opportunistic entities that divert funds from charitable causes to pad their own pockets. In the wake...

  • 08/29/2017
    The Future of Charitable Giving, Part II
    By Sarah Avery, CPA, Director

    Incorporating donor-advised funds and other giving vehicles in your fundraising toolkit

  • 08/07/2017
    The Future of Charitable Giving:
    By Audrey Sherrick, CPA, Partner

    A Pulse Check on Tax Reform Proposals

  • 06/27/2017
    Capacity Building: Is Your Organization Ready?
    By Sylvia Mazur, Audit Manager

    “Capacity building” is a broad term which is in vogue among non-profit organizations. In a nutshell, capacity building refers to any effort to improve an organization by implementing internal strategies that will enhance the organization’s effectiveness and take it to the next level. These strategies encompass development of leadership/staff, strategic...

  • 04/25/2017
    UBIT: What Your Organization Should Know
    By Michael F. Sutter, CPA, Partner

    Most organizations exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 501(a), including charitable, religious, scientific, and other organizations described in IRC Section 501(c), may be subject to tax on unrelated business income (UBIT), depending on the nature of the activities producing that income. It is important for an organization...

  • 03/31/2017
    The Top Five Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Millennial Involvement
    By Matthew Blank, Business Development Officer

    Every nonprofit board in America has had a conversation similar to this at least once: -Board Member #1 – “We have to get more young people involved in our organization.” -Board Member #2 – “I agree; their money is important to our future.” -Board Member #3 – “My neighbor is a millennial and...

  • 02/23/2017
    Understanding the Differences between Lobbying, Grassroots Lobbying, and Advocacy
    By Sarah Avery, Director, CPA

    The current political climate has landed tax advisors in an unpleasant quandary, forcing them to be the bearer of both good and bad news. The good news is most taxpayers are expected to benefit from the current administration’s plans to lower tax rates. The bad news, for tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), charitable...

  • 01/11/2017
    Do your numbers tell the story?
    By Denise McKnight, CPA

    As we begin 2017, many non-profits are entering the year with a level of uncertainty about how the upcoming changes in our government’s leaders will affect the funding that they receive. Non-profits will look to individual and corporate donors to provide those valuable charitable donations to sustain or enhance their...

  • 12/21/2016
    The New Administration’s Proposed Tax Plan’s Impact on Nonprofit Organizations
    By Amish Mehta, CPA, Partner, Not-for-Profit Practice Leader

    With the President-elect now officially confirmed through the Electoral College vote and expected to take office on January 20, 2017, there is cause for concern among nonprofit organizations as to what impact the administration’s proposed tax plan will have on charitable giving. Specifically, the tax plan proposes to place limits...

  • 11/28/2016
    Compliance Considerations for 403(b) Plans
    By Marie DeCicco, CPA, Principal

    Since the reporting requirements for 403(b) plans changed in 2009, our audits have uncovered certain common deficiencies. In this article, we will take a look at these deficiencies, the questions your organization should be asking, and compliance areas you should be aware of. Make Sure You Know What The Reporting Requirements...

  • 10/26/2016
    5 Key Governance Practices for Nonprofits
    By Audrey J. Sherrick, CPA Partner

    Amid mounting concerns over cybersecurity, social media scrutiny and reputational risk, it is crucial that not-for-profit organizations (“NFP’s”) have good governance practices documented and in place. Good governance consists of a framework of rules and practices to ensure accountability, transparency, and ethical conduct. Governance and risk management policies and procedures can...

  • 09/27/2016
    New Financial Reporting Rules for Nonprofits
    By Amish Mehta, CPA

    In August of 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, “Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958)”. The issuance of this update represents the most significant change to not-for-profit financial statement reporting rules since 1993, when the FASB issued Financial Accounting...

  • 08/23/2016
    Recent Litigation Affecting Not-for-Profit Pension Plan Fiduciaries

    It was recently reported that the Schlichter Bogard law firm filed lawsuits against NYU, MIT, Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Emory and Penn on behalf of numerous participants in retirement plans sponsored by the universities. The suits allege, among other things, that the participants were charged excessive fees. Many similar...

  • 07/25/2016
    How the DOL Overtime Rules Apply to Nonprofits
    By Sarah Avery, Director

    On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Overtime Final Rule. Since then, volumes have been written about the ramifications of the final rule, which is effective December 1, 2016. While you may be aware of the new salary thresholds required by the final rule, what you...

  • 06/29/2016
    Form 990: What Are 6 Key Compliance Requirements?
    By Ralph Citino, Director, Stu Katz, Senior Tax Manager and Brooke Karafin, Tax Manager

    To help you better understand the Form 990, and as a follow-up to last month’s Nonprofit Advisor article on marketing considerations, we’ve prepared this Part 2 article that takes an in-depth look into what you should know when it comes to complying with the Form 990. 1. Review the Form 990 Carefully:...

  • 05/26/2016
    Marketing Considerations When Filling Out the Form 990
    By Ralph Citino, Brooke Karafin and Stu Katz, Friedman LLP

    As most exempt organizations know all too well, preparing federal tax Form 990 can be a time consuming and complicated process. However, the form does have considerable value for the marketing of your organization. We have compiled a list of 5 important marketing considerations on a Form 990. 1. Using the...

  • 04/21/2016
    The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Donor Acknowledgements
    By Sarah Avery, Director, Friedman LLP

    In our practice we find that “Donor acknowledgements” is an area that raises frequent questions by not-for-profit organizations. Donor acknowledgments are part of a comprehensive system of internal controls for recording contributions that include complying with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) substantiation and disclosure requirements. What are donor acknowledgements exactly and...

  • 03/24/2016
    Allocation of Functional Expenses: Why the Increased Scrutiny?
    By Amish Mehta 

    The allocation of functional expenses continues to receive scrutiny from donors, board members, regulators (e.g. the Internal Revenue Service), watchdog groups (e.g. Charity Navigator and Guidestar) and the general public. Some governmental agencies have been modifying their audit protocols to focus on the cost allocations reported to them each year....

  • 02/23/2016
    Google Gives Nonprofits a Break on Advertising

    At a time when digital and social marketing is becoming an essential component of overall advertising strategy, nonprofit organizations often struggle to convey their message and benefits due to lack of funds.  Many nonprofits are unaware of a program implemented by Google that allows nonprofits to overcome this challenge by...

  • 01/28/2016
    Here’s How Upcoming Revenue Recognition Changes May Impact Nonprofits
    By Sylvia Mazur

    Financial Accounting Standards Board issues simplified revenue recognition guidance effective for annual reporting periods after December 15, 2018. How will this standard affect your nonprofit organization?In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) issued new guidance on revenue recognition, with the goal of developing...

  • 12/22/2015
    The Overhead Myth: Moving Toward the Solution

    In 2013, Guidestar, BBB Wise Giving and Charity Navigator, three of the leading sources for information on nonprofit organizations, joined forces in a campaign to promote the concept that the “Overhead Myth” was harmful to the operations and sustainability of a charity’s success. In a series of actions over the...

  • 11/19/2015
    Six Steps to Engage Your Board Using a Performance Dashboard
    By Peter Manzetti

    For busy nonprofit business leaders and board members, a seemingly endless stream of reports, meetings, emails, phone calls and text messages can create a strain on their time, limiting their ability to focus on critical business information and interactions. This begs the question: “What can be done to make every interaction...

  • 10/21/2015
    Filling out the 990: How to use it and why it’s important
    By Sarah Avery

    Charitable organizations continue to be subjected to increasing scrutiny by the public and by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). In recent speeches, the IRS Exempt Organizations Director has reported that IRS priorities include improving data analysis capabilities for analyzing Form 990. The IRS plans to use the data to identify...

  • 08/24/2015
    Investors, Hackers and Idealists: Understanding Millennial Donors
    By Robert Evans

    What’s the secret to unlocking the philanthropic spirit of the millennial generation? Robert Evans, president of nonprofit advisory firm, Evans Consulting Group, shares why for many not-for-profit leaders this is an important, top of mind question. For many nonprofit leaders, this may be the million dollar – or perhaps billion dollar...

  • 07/27/2015
    Financial Accounting Standards Board Proposes Overhaul to Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting
    By Sarah Avery

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued an exposure draft on April 22, 2015 proposing sweeping changes to the not-for-profit financial reporting model encompassing liquidity, cash flows, operating results, expense reporting and other disclosures intended to enhance comparability between nonprofits. But changing a model that professionals, management, and other users have become accustomed to may shake up the not-for-profit reporting world for financial professionals.

  • 06/29/2015
    Step-by-Step Compliance: Get Your Not-for-Profit Retirement Plans in Check
    By Amish Mehta

    When it comes to not-for-profit organizations and their retirement plans, enterprise-wide governance and internal controls are critical considerations for senior executives. The ultimate goal is to create and administer retirement plans that offer employees viable savings opportunities and that comply with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulations. What factors should be considered as you strive to achieve that goal?

  • 05/29/2015
    Challenges of Reporting Net Assets in Appropriate Classifications
    By Audrey Sherrick

    One of the more difficult reporting issues facing not-for-profit organizations is the classification of net assets between unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted categories.  These categories are based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions, and are defined in the accounting standards under FASB ASC 958-210-20.  Readers rely on these classifications to determine what assets have external purpose or time restrictions or to put it simply, what assets are spoken for and what assets are available for use.  While this net asset reporting model has been around for quite some time, challenging classification issues and reporting pitfalls still exist. 

  • 03/25/2015
    OMB Revisions Governing the Management and Audit of Federal Programs
    By Amish Mehta

    OMB Circular A-133 requires higher education and nonprofit institutions that expend a specific threshold of federal funds to annually undergo a detailed, organization-wide audit that complies with the criteria established under its provisions.  The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has revised OMB Circular A-133 in the Federal Register entitled "Uniform...

  • 02/28/2015
    A Summary of New Jersey Sales Tax Exemptions Available to Exempt Non-Governmental Entities
    By Andrew Cohen, J.D., LL.M

    In a previous article in the Non-Profit Advisor (see Tax Exempt Organizations: Don't Forget About New York State Sales Tax), the author reviewed the rules regarding New York State sales tax. Because these rules "are" so complex...

  • 01/28/2015
    Challenges Faced By Private Foundations Today
    By Kimberly Dula

    As the world continues to get smaller and as more and more taxpayers want to see the instant benefit that their charitable giving provides, private foundations are faced with some unique challenges.  Traditional giving to qualifying charities continues to be the norm; however, grants to foreign charitable organizations and scholarship giving...

  • 11/25/2014
    Governance by Design
    By Sylvia Mazur

    This past October, the Friedman LLP team was a first-time sponsor at the 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum (BLF) held in Washington, D.C. The annual two-day conference was attended by BLF members from around the United States, which included nonprofits' board members, chief executives, staff and professionals. BoardSource's mission is dedicated to the advancement of the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards who will aspire to quality board service.

  • 10/22/2014
    Accounting and Disclosures for Planned Gifts
    By Sarah Avery

    Recent issues of the Nonprofit Advisor have focused on developing a planned giving program (see October 2013 and July 2014). Implementing a planned giving program in-house or by using outsourced providers is considered a best practice and essential to accomplishing your organization's charitable mission.

  • 09/29/2014
    New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act: Implementation Tips from The Charities Bureau
    By Amish Mehta

    Earlier this month, the New York State Society of CPAs' Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee hosted a presentation and webinar on The Charities Bureau and the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the "Act") during which James G. Sheehan, Chief of the Charities Bureau, explained the reasons behind the Act, as well as best practices for implementation. The Charities Bureau, run out of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, provides regulation, guidance and support to the over 80,000 registered nonprofit organizations throughout New York State.

  • 08/25/2014
    Enhancing Governance Structure - Interview with Center Against Domestic Violence
    By Amish Mehta

    John L. Miscione, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Judith Kahan, Chief Executive Officer, spoke to Friedman LLP Partner Amish Mehta about the governance challenges their organization, Center Against Domestic Violence (www.cadvny.org), faces.

  • 07/24/2014
    Seven Action Steps That Will Transform Your Nonprofit Organization
    By Bob Evans

    It was a very good year, Frank Sinatra once crooned. And after seeing how charitable giving increased in 2013, those of us concerned about strengthening nonprofits and propelling more philanthropy should be singing, too. The Giving USA annual report on philanthropy - released last month by the Giving Institute and Indiana University's Lilly School of Philanthropy - showed that total giving grew by 4.4 percent in 2013, reaching $335 billion.

  • 06/30/2014
    Tax Exempt Organizations: Don't Forget About New York State Sales Tax
    By Andrew Cohen

    As a New York State tax- exempt organization, the revenues you raise to fulfill your mission are generally not subject to Income Tax. However, there may be other tax obligations, such as collecting and remitting sales tax to New York State. These obligations generally depend on the type and frequency of sales. New York State has developed intricate rules for determining which transactions made by tax- exempt organizations require the collection of sales tax. A basic knowledge of these rules will help you avoid possible sales tax assessments in the future.

  • 05/29/2014
    Proposed Tax Reform: What to expect from the EXPIRE Act and Tax Reform Act of 2014
    By Sarah Avery

    Encompassed in sweeping tax reform changes proposed by the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance are many provisions that, if passed, would significantly impact nonprofits and other tax-exempt organizations. As of mid-May 2014, the proposed tax code extenders included in the Senate Committee on Finance's EXPIRE...

  • 04/28/2014
    Fundraising Consultants: A Good Idea for Your Organization?
    By Audrey Sherrick

    Given the challenging economic times we find ourselves in, many nonprofit organizations are questioning whether to hire a professional fundraiser to supplement their own fundraising efforts. Often the perception is that professional or paid fundraising campaigns are expensive and only for the larger nonprofit organizations. So, does size really matter, and when does it make sense for a charity to work with a professional fundraiser?

  • 03/25/2014
    Perspectives: New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act - What You Need to Know Now
    By Amish Mehta

    Friedman LLP Partner and Director of Not-for-Profit Services Amish Mehta, CPA, and Nixon Peabody Partner Michael J. Cooney, recently hosted a seminar for nonprofit leaders at Friedman LLP's office in New York City on the new requirements surrounding the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act.

  • 02/28/2014
    The Next Level of Transparency: GuideStar Exchange
    By Sarah Avery

    GuideStar, a public charity that provides unbiased information about nonprofits, is one of the nation's most visible advocates for advancing nonprofit transparency.

  • 12/19/2013
    The New Internal Control Framework - For Nonprofits
    By AMish Mehta

    The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) is a joint initiative of five private sector organizations that is dedicated to improving organizational governance through the development of frameworks and guidance on risk management, internal control and fraud deterrence.

  • 11/25/2013
    Increasing Challenges to Tax-Exempt Status of Nonprofits
    By Audrey Sherrick

    According to the IRS, tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations have their tax-exempt status revoked every year.

  • 10/24/2013
    Planned Giving: An Introduction
    By Sarah Avery

    The practice of philanthropy has played an enormous role in the building and promoting of education, religion, social welfare, the arts and charitable institutions.

  • 09/30/2013
    Services Received from Personnel of an Affiliate
    By Amish Mehta

    Earlier this year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2013-06, "Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958)...

  • 08/28/2013
    The Time is Now - Preparing Your Nonprofit for Healthcare Reform

    If you haven't already taken steps toward compliance with the next wave of Affordable Care Act requirements, now is the time to do so.

  • 07/16/2013
    Focus on International Affairs
    By Sarah Avery

    Increasingly, globalization is impacting the tax-exempt sector's activities including fundraising, grantmaking and investing.