The budget challenges of a non-profit firm can be tricky. Non-profit companies get into the business to make a difference and to help people with the money that they raise, but it becomes necessary to have a CPA firm on your side. Chartered public accountants help with the financial balance that is important to every non-profit organization.
Non-profit companies have good intentions, but they have to remember that the basic business principles are the same as they are for profit companies. Employees must be paid, and a steady inflow is needed to support the outflow. In short, it’s a business, and it needs a good CPA firm, or someone with accounting know-how behind it.
Make a business plan
A CPA firm can help you be sure that your business is starting off right. You need a plan to make sure that all your employees and executives have the same vision and are taking the organization in the same direction. A good business plan is an essential part of this vision. If you cannot make a financial justification for moving forward, then maybe you need to do a re-think. You will be relying on continuous revenue that has to be sought out and supported. You must have a constant plan for what you need money for, and how you will control it.
A CPA firm can help
Many non-profits are finding that it is a good idea to outsource their accounting services to a CPA firm. It is often a cheaper option, with a higher level of expertise. It also improves the internal controls on the organization’s financial practices. Another reason is that an outsourced firm can help you with the financial information that you need to make a greater success of the organization. Knowing how to plan to be a success in the next ten year is a greater challenge for non-profits. Finally, non-profit organizations can make poor hiring decisions, as they hire from the heart, not with the long-term needs in mind. Accounting is too important to be left in the hands of someone from the inside of the organization who has limited understanding of accounting practices.
Experienced CPA firms inspire confidence, bring trust in your organization and can fight the financial fight for you. But there is other accounting work that needs to be done. You need someone to handle payroll, post transactions, maintain your donor database, and create monthly statements. This is work that needs to be done, but it takes time away from the other duties of the business. Bookkeeping work can also be outsourced. Having the right people for the job will result in better financial management across your non-profit.
Choose the right provider
Find a CPA firm with the proper understanding of the unique needs of a non-profit, and who has experience working with organizations of your size. They should also be familiar with the goals of the organization and the long-term needs. They need to be willing to partner with you and constantly work towards the strength of the organization.