Monthly Archives

December 2016

How to Prove Abila MIP Fund Accounting is “Budget Worthy”

By | Abila, Accounting, MIP Fund Accounting, Nonprofit | No Comments

How to Prove Abila MIP Fund Accounting is “Budget Worthy”

Would you love to implement MIP Fund Accounting for your agency but you are concerned with getting a buy-in from executive leadership, your IT department and the board? These tips from The Center for Association Leadership can help you pitch and sell your nonprofit tech budget with minimal pain.

MIP Fund Accounting tends to be easier to advocate for than other types of software due to its’ efficiency and productivity. Of course, you’ll have to explain the needs to your board and others for funding, but let Abila and Welter Consulting help make the case to purchase MIP fund accounting by taking these two easy steps.

Step 1: Link It to Member Needs

The better you can build a case linking your technology purchase to member needs, the more likely you are to get the green light and the budget. The directors and supervisors at your organization are tasked with keeping members’ needs in mind at all times. That includes clients and constituents, or the people you serve. When you build a case linking technology budgets to solving problems for members and constituents, the directors will be more likely to approve it.

MIP Fund Accounting provides your organization with greater transparency and better accuracy when tracking expenses. Detailed reporting on every aspect of your organization’s finances will fulfill your members’ needs for accurate, timely information on how their funds are being managed and used to fulfill the organization’s mission.

Step 2: Set Mission-Critical Metrics

From the start of your tech budget request, communicate the specific metrics by which you will measure success. Specific metrics provide an objective benchmark by which to assess how well the new purchase has helped you achieve your goals. Whether it’s reducing costs by 5 percent or maximizing investments, you can show how your MIP fund accounting purchase will help achieve specific goals.

Presenting Your Case

Presenting your case for new technology purchases to members, the board of directors, or C-level executives can be challenging. Each stakeholder has different information needs; everyone looks at the ideas and information through the lens of their own self-interest. Executives want to be sure the purchase will help the organization grow. The board may wish to limit costs. Fellow members and coworkers may simply want to know what this new technology purchase will do for them.

To present your case, gather all your background data and facts and distill them into the simplest ideas possible. Don’t overwhelm your ideas with tons of facts, but present the most important items first, then build a supporting case. People’s attention spans are short, and you’ve only got seconds to get them on board.

Practicing your pitch beforehand often helps. If you’re on a team evaluating the purchase together, then ask team members to listen to your pitch and offer suggestions. The right MIP fund accounting software can make accounting tasks easier. It can also make your organization’s funds transparent and easy to understand for all. By approaching the request for funds in a logical fashion and using these steps, you stand a better chance of successfully acquiring the budget for your purchase.

Abila MIP Fund Accounting from Welter Consulting Welter Consulting offers Abila MIP Fund Accounting software to help nonprofits manage their accounting needs. Abila MIP Fund Accounting enables you to report and track the most important information for your board, your supervisors, and others eager to see how your nonprofit’s resources are being used. MIP fund accounting software is perfect for many nonprofits. At Welter Consulting we are committed to finding you the most affordable technology, the most powerful solution, and providing expert support. We are dedicated to assist you in achieving your mission by leveraging technology and superior reporting. We are passionate professionals who choose to work in the nonprofit sector for the same reason you do – helping others. Please give us a call at (206) 605-3113 or by visiting our website at to see a complete listing of upcoming training and webinars, including the free NonProfit Enrichment Series, hosted by Welter Consulting, LLC or by clicking on the following link: NonProfit Enrichment Series Webinars.

Evaluate the Internal Controls at Your Nonprofit Organization

By | Nonprofit | No Comments

Internal controls are important for both nonprofit and for profit organizations. Simple, yet effective internal controls prevent losses, theft, and mistakes. While it may seem as if you are being overly cautious, even the most honest employees can be prone to temptation when lax security and internal controls are the norm.

Situations Requiring Internal Controls

Some nonprofits may need internal controls at charity shops, boutiques, or retail outlets that sell members goods, books and so on. Others may need internal controls only when hosting charity events or fundraisers. Evaluate your nonprofit’s needs and list the situations calling for internal controls. Then consider these situations and suggestions for internal controls.

* Cash deposits: Nonprofits that run thrift shops and charitable stores to raise funds for their operations should treat cash deposits the same way that a retail store would treat them. Keep cash registers locked. Always have an employee near the register to guard against theft. Set a limit on how much cash is stored in the drawer. Have a strict policy in place for how register drawers are counted out and stored at the end of the day or end of shift. A manager or other senior staff member should be the one to take deposits to the bank, and two people should be present at all times when cash drawers are counted.

* Check storage: Checks received as donations, payment of membership dues and the like should also be treated like cash and stored with good security. It is not uncommon for checks to be lost or stolen at places with lax internal controls. Establish protocols for recording checks immediately upon receipt. Place them in a safe and limit access to the safe to managers or only the few people in the accounting department who need them. Designate bank drop days and times to deposit checks in a timely fashion.

* Petty cash: Petty cash should always be kept in a safe or a locked drawer. Implement a policy in which at least two employees must be present at all times to count out the petty cash. Record petty cash amounts in a receipt book. Sign cash in and out, and do not make exceptions to this policy.

* Events: Fundraising events, raffles and carnivals tend to generate cash and small bills which are easy to overlook. Volunteers should store cash at the event in a lock box until it’s time to finish the event. Train volunteers and workers to never leave cash unattended at the booth or table. Instruct them to place all cash into the secure box or official cash register, never in their pockets or purses. Reconcile ticket sales with cash that night before everyone goes home to make sure no one has made mistakes.

* Payroll: Fraud occurs in payroll as well as with cash receipts. Employees may tag a little extra time here or there to their payroll accounts so that it adds up to overtime. To prevent payroll padding, ask managers to pre-approve overtime and sign off on time cards.

The old adage to trust, but verify, is very important for nonprofit internal controls. Although it may feel as if you do not trust your employees or volunteers, often having internal controls in place is enough of a deterrent to prevent problems. Employees typically appreciate having internal controls in place since it prevents problems and inaccuracies that can reflect poorly on them as well. Internal controls are necessary at nonprofit organizations.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting helps nonprofit organizations bridge the gap between people and technology. Software support, implementation and training, as well as audit support, are our main areas of service. If you would like assistance with your nonprofit accounting needs, please call us at 206-605-3113 or email us at

New Methods to Obtain Professional Education Credits for CPAs

By | Accounting, Nonprofit | No Comments

CPAs now have two new ways in which they can obtain Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. The AICPA and the National Association of State Board of Accountancy recently changed the standards for CPE providers as well as NASBA’s Field of Study document. These new opportunities to earn continuing education credits seek to open more opportunities for CPAs to earn valuable continuing education credits so that they can better serve the organizations they work with.

Computer and Live Events: Blended and Nano Learning

The two new methods now accepted are blended learning and nano learning.

* Blended learning includes a combination of learning methods such as seat-based (classroom) sessions, self-study, and video lessons on demand.

* Nano learning consists of short 10-minute modules, usually focused on a specific task. This type of learning is often used to help CPAs acquire specific skills rather than master overarching concepts.

Not all states accept these methods, so you must check with your local branch of the AICPA and the NASBA to find out if your state accepts nano and blended learning.

Additional changes are also being made to the Fields of Study document. These changes update categories and descriptions so that they are both current and relevant. The biggest change occurs in the Specialized Knowledge field of study, which now separates computer science application and information technology into its own categories. Specialized knowledge topics can now be specific to industries or categories.

Continuing Education and the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit financial managers need excellent quantitative as well as qualitative skills to best serve their constituents. These skills including exceptional accounting and financial management, as well as good communication skills.

Specialized skills that nonprofit accountants may also need include:

* Presentation and public speaking skills: Nonprofit CPAs may be called upon to address board meetings, and conferences. These are valuable opportunities to educate the public as well as members and donors.

* Interpersonal communications: Communications inside your office as well as throughout your organization are essential to good management. Persuasion and articulation of thoughts, ideas and concepts is essential for department leadership.

* Social media skills: Social media may seem like an esoteric area for accountants, but even accountants and financial leaders use tools such as texting to reach colleagues with quick messages. Learning the proper methods of communicating via social media is now an essential skill for CPAs.

* Data visualization: Data visualization helps non-accountants understand the nuances of the materials you are presenting. Understanding how to share information via charts, graphs and other methods can help both colleagues and the public understand the nonprofit’s financials easily.

Online learning and the new blended and nano learning methods may provide you with opportunities to build these skills and more. Professional development is essential for CPAs.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting helps nonprofit organizations bridge the gap between people and technology. Software support, implementation and training, as well as audit support, are our main areas of service. If you would like assistance with your nonprofit accounting needs, please call us at 206-605-3113.

New FASB Rules Go into Effect for Enhanced Clarity in Nonprofit Financial Reports

By | Accounting, Nonprofit | No Comments

FASB announced changes to Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities. This landmark set of guidelines is the first update since 1993 and will change how many nonprofits report their numbers.

Summary of the New Guidelines

The new guidelines call for the following changes:

* Reducing the net asset classifications from three to two, net assets with donor restrictions and net assets without donor restrictions;

* Underwater amounts of donor-restricted endowment funds in net assets with donor restrictions are now required to be reported;

* Enhanced disclosures about underwater endowments are also required;

* Preparers can now choose between the direct method and indirect method for presenting operating cash flows;

* The requirement to reconcile the direct method with the indirect method is now waived;

* Requires a not-for-profit to provide in the notes qualitative information on how it manages its liquid available resources and liquidity risks;

* Requires reporting of expenses by function and nature, as well as an analysis of expenses by both function and nature.

The new standards take effect for fiscal years beginning December 15, 2017 and for interim fiscal years after December 15, 2018.

Enhanced Clarity for Donors, Members, and the Public

The impetus behind the changes is twofold. First, FASB sought to update the rules after a long period of consistency. The last update occurred in 1993, and an update was thought long overdue. With the changing nature of nonprofit organizations, donations, and information access by the public, new guidelines were thought necessary for enhanced clarity and confidence in the financial management of nonprofit finances.

The rules also seek to simplify financial reporting for nonprofits. FASB has no wish to complicate reporting for anyone, and the new guidelines, once understood and implemented, will likely make financial reporting easier for nonprofits.

Making the Switch Easier on Your Organization

How the changes may or may not impact your organization depends greatly on how your accounts are currently kept. For those who need to adjust their accounting methods, now is the time to begin planning to meet the compliance deadline of December 2017.

Reducing net asset classifications should not be too difficult for most nonprofits. Many already used two net asset classifications, and the former classifications can be rolled into three without too much difficult by most.

If you need assistance making these changes, Welter Consulting can help. We bridge people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. Your accounting software is an important component of the changeover from the older 1993 regulations to the new rollout. We can help you with the change and more.

Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113.