Monthly Archives

September 2020

The New IRS 1099-NEC Form: What You Need to Know

By | Tax | No Comments

The IRS is typically on the ball when it comes to changing their forms. After all, the organization is perhaps the “king of forms” and juggles hundreds of forms, schedules, and instructions to manage the complex U.S. tax code.

That’s why it was so surprising when they made a rather glaring error on the updated 1099-MISC. The mistake: assigning two different deadlines to the same form. (Oops.)

Their solution: separate non-employee commission from all the other income types reported on the 1099 to create the new 1099-NEC form.

Here’s what you need to know about the 1099-NEC.

What Is 1099-NEC?

Starting in the tax year 2020, all non-employee compensation should be reported using the new 1099-NEC form. Instructions for both the 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC may be found on the IRS site.

The new 1099-NEC separates non-employee compensation from all other forms of compensation, such as royalties, rents, and other income payments.

Why Did the IRS Change the 1099-MISC?

Initially, the IRS tried to change the filing deadline for Box 7 on the 1099-MISC form. The problem, however, is that they ended up with two deadlines for the same form. As you can imagine, that caused considerable confusion.

To address the issue, they split out the information formerly reported in Box 7 of the 1099-MISC into the new 1099-NEC. This enabled them to assign different deadlines for the information because each deadline is now assigned to a unique form.

What Are the New Deadlines?

The new filing deadlines for the forms are January 31 for the 1099-NEC and March 31 for the 1099-MISC.

Will the Changes Affect Your Organization?

You’ll need to review the IRS publications linked above to determine how to report income from any non-employees compensated by your organization. For example, if you have independent contractors providing over $600 in services to your organization, you may need to file 1099-NEC for each contractor according to the earlier deadline.

Those who may receive royalties on book sales, however, would continue to receive the 1099-MISC.

Other changes to the 1099-MISC may be confusing. Boxes have moved and changed, so be especially careful when completing the form to avoid common mistakes.

Abila MIP Software Takes the Confusion Out of 1099 Reporting

This is one of the many reasons why we recommend using Abila MIP accounting software. Starting in 2020, Abila announced they’d added the 1099-NEC to their software. To code items to the new 1099-NEC in Abila MIP, you’ll need to:

  1. Update your version of Abila to the latest edition.
  2. Change vendor defaults to the new box.
  3. Make sure to use the new box in transaction entry.
  4. Move historical information from MISC-07 to the NEC via 1099 Adjustments.

If you aren’t running Abila MIP but are interested in true fund accounting for nonprofits, give Welter Consulting a call. We’ve helped many nonprofits transition their accounting and finance software to packages such as Abila, explicitly created for the nonprofit world.

Accounting for nonprofits includes fund accounting and unique setups to trace income and expenses to grants and other specific budget lines. Only with software created specifically for the nonprofit world can you do this easily and quickly.

For more information, contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113.

A Telecommuting Cyber Security Checklist for Nonprofits

By | cyber security, Nonprofit | No Comments

Many nonprofits are discovering that telecommuting offers a viable alternative to working in an office. As concerns about the coronavirus continue, more organizations are relying on telecommuting to ensure their operations continue.

Telecommuting offers many benefits, but some drawbacks too. Many organizations worry about cybersecurity in the age of video conference calls, instant messenger conversations, and myriad other cloud-based software that enables people to meet, share, and collaborate on projects.

If you’re among those concerned about security when employees work from home, you’re not alone. We’ve put together a three-point checklist to help you think through all aspects of telecommuting safety. Apply this information to your organization’s telecommuting policies and procedures and safeguard your nonprofit’s data and reputation.

Three-Point Telecommuting Security Checklist for Nonprofit Organizations

There are many areas of concern when employees work from home. Everyone has access to different technology and internet services yet logs into central cloud-based systems. Viruses, hacking, phishing, and other threats remain, while new ones emerge. There is no one size fits all policy for all organizations embarking on a telecommuting program, but there are guidelines you can put into place to reduce the risk of problems.

Below you’ll find three areas to review and address as part of your cybersecurity checklist. For more on this topic, we recommend listening to Cybersecurity Advisory. Working From Anywhere, Rebooting Securely.

1. Review hardware configurations and security settings

Many organizations purchased laptops and other hardware to enable critical employees to work from home. This helped them ramp up quickly and get everyone online, but they failed to review each unit’s software and security configurations. The result: the potential for serious security flaws that offer criminals the opportunity to attack an organization’s critical systems.

To address this issue, have an IT specialist review all of the devices and ensure standard configurations. Install antivirus software and make sure it is run periodically. And create a policy and procedure to ensure that in the future, all hardware purchased meets minimum security standards, and IT reviews them before they are distributed to staff.

2. Bring your own device (BYOD)

As an alternative to purchasing hardware for all employees, some organizations allowed employees to use whatever equipment they had at home to log in to their network and systems. This is called “bring your own device” or BYOD and is common among many companies and organizations.

The problem with implementing BYOD on the fly is that everyone in your organization is connecting with a unique device, some of which may be infected by trojans and malware. Some people may be diligent about running security scans and updating their software, while others don’t know they should be taking such actions. The results could be catastrophic if someone uploads a document infected with a virus or malware.

To fix this problem, make sure that you ask employees to use a VPN to connect to the corporate network. Remind employees to run security checks and update software. Have your technical specialists draft a process by which employees can use their own devices safely. This may include steps taken on the organization-owned hardware and systems to secure sensitive data, upgrading security measures on an organization-wide level, and other steps indicated by your technology team.

3. Temporary changes that (accidentally) became permanent

Many organizations implemented temporary changes to address the confusion of the early stages of the pandemic. These included forgoing required password changes, allowing employees to share logins, and other things that at the time solved problems but now pose a threat to the organization.

The solution is to return to the pre-pandemic best practices and procedures as soon as possible. Speak with your teams and ensure that everyone understands why the changes are implemented and why it is essential to return to “all systems normal” as soon as possible.

Cyber Security Training Remains an Urgent Priority

According to the University of San Diego, phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. Increasing vigilance and protection against all types of cyberattacks is critical.

Many cyberattacks can be thwarted simply by user awareness. That’s where training for your team comes into the picture. Make sure that you frequently offer, uptodate training to remind staff about the many ways in which criminals use the internet to attack and steal data. Update policies that address cybersecurity and offer virtual training to ensure that all staff remains alert to cyber attacks.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.

Encouraging Diversity in Nonprofit Organizations

By | Nonprofit | No Comments

You can’t turn on the news today without hearing something about equality, diversity, and racial disparities. Not since the 1960s has the topic of racial equality been so prevalent in our society and culture. Discussions about how every organization, from schools to businesses, can welcome and include greater diversity are critical to ensuring that all voices are heard from the boardroom to the classroom.

Importance of Diversity in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits are better positioned to plan for the future and embrace current challenges when they have a diverse staff and board. Diverse people bring unique perspectives, life experiences, and opinions to the table to add to discussions.

Another reason why diversity is essential in nonprofit organizations is to ensure that the staff reflects the populations served. People from similar backgrounds share common approaches to problem-solving, shared understanding of cultural norms, and other attributes that make it easier to connect and communicate. Having people of diverse races, genders, and other factors that reflect the demographic your organization services improves your ability to reach others to achieve your mission.

Many nonprofit organizations address sensitive issues as part of their mission: reproductive rights, healthcare, child and family needs, domestic violence, hunger, poverty, religious freedoms, education. It can be difficult for people to talk about their needs with nonprofit volunteers and staff who do not look like them or do not share the same cultural background. Improving diversity can lead to better outcomes because people may open up more to others from the same background.

Diversity Improves Performance

Many reports indicate that having diverse teams and boards improves an organization’s fundraising and revenue-generating ability. Forbes reports that companies with ethnically diverse executive teams were likely to achieve 33% more profits. Boards that were racially and ethnically diverse led companies to achieve 43% more profits.

Another study found that nonprofits with a higher percentage of women on their boards engaged more in fundraising and advocacy. The Association of Fundraising Professionals agrees that diversity improves an organization’s outreach efforts and leads to better fundraising.

Diversity Among Accountants Still Lacking

The accounting profession has made some inroads in diversity, but much work remains to be done. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the 1.9 million auditors and accountants in the United States, just about 9% are black. There is much room for improvement in these statistics.

How Can Nonprofits Improve Diversity?

Nonprofit organizations can take many steps to improve diversity throughout all levels of their organizations, including their accounting team. As we have seen, a more diverse organization can lead to better advocacy, communications, and fundraising activities.

To improve organization-wide diversity, your organization can:

  1. Establish organization-wide policies on diversity and inclusion.
  2. Appoint resources for diversity training.
  3. Review policies and hiring practices for potentially hidden biases.
  4. Train hiring managers and recruiters to be “color-blind” when hiring candidates.
  5. Seek board members who reflect the diversity of the population that your organization serves.
  6. Include diversity and inclusion language in job postings to welcome potential candidates of all ethnicities, races, genders, etc.
  7. Create and measure diversity goals.

It is only by becoming aware of a problem that we can confront it head-on and address it. Becoming aware of any diversity issues in the workforce is a necessary part of growth. “Futureproof” your nonprofit organization by ensuring a diverse workforce now.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.