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Year-End Accounting Tips from Nonprofit Financial Pros

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© October 2015 | 10761 T 800.443.9441 E solutions@blackbaud.com W www.blackbaud.com Closing the Books: Year-End Accounting Tips from Nonprofit Financial Pros Closing out the year's accounting can be tedious, so it helps to have a plan and know the common pitfalls before you get started. That's why we asked some of the industry's financial professionals to tell it like it is. Here's what they had to say. 1. Avoid having to call the search party. "My staff and I prepare all year for the close. We immediately create an audit folder and scan paperwork as we go. This way we just drag and upload to our auditor's portal when the fiscal year ends. I have all my audit reports tagged in Financial Edge ™ as Audit. At the end of the year I go into that folder and run all the reports—avoiding having to search for the reports I need."—Jennifer Johnson, CFO, Senior Resource Association 2. Find out exactly what you'll need. "We get a list of the documents and reports our auditors want three to four weeks prior to the end of the fiscal year. This gives us plenty of time to ask questions and clarify what they're looking for, as well as do some preliminary reconciliation."—Amy Barker, Membership Operations Manager, The Trustees of Reservations 3. Run reports and compare. "One of the best decisions we made was to run quarterly summary reports from our CRM solution that our finance department compares with the daily deposit report. If any discrepancies are found, it is then much easier to run a detail report to identify the issue."—Elizabeth Grover, Development and Member Services, Rhode Island Zoological Society 4. The extra step is worth it. "We have monthly maintenance queries and reports that we use to ensure that our development and accounting systems balance with each other. This year, we implemented an extra step in our balancing process. We now balance for the current month and for year-to-date to ensure that adjustments have been accounted for on both sides."—Heather Hadden, Database Administrator, St. Mary's University College 5. Find the variants before they do. "One of the best things I do is an analytical review of the financial statements. I look for variances that are greater than 10% and determine the reason why. This is a great tool to find errors in accounting entries or Continued…

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