Nonprofit Fraud – from DWD Mission Minded Blog

Carrie Minnich earlier this month published a blog post about fraud in nonprofits. She points out that organizations can be targets of fraud due to limited staff and tight budgets. We often believe that it won’t happen to us; however, there have been 2,410 cases (foreign and domestic) in a 22 month period according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Carrie sites the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners report which noted that on average a nonprofit loses 5% revenue in any given year from fraud. One key step to reduce fraud risks is to have strong internal financial controls, said Carrie.

To read Carrie’s posts on fraud, click here.



Endowments – from “Mission Minded” DWD Blog

Carrie Minnich (2) (576x800)Carrie Minnich, CPA recently posted about endowments for Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s nonprofit blog.

In her post, she defines two different types of endowments. The first is donor restricted. This type of endowment is “a contribution to the organization in which the donor stipulates that the contribution be invested for a specified time or in perpetuity.” The second is a board designated or quasi-endowment. For this type, “money is being set aside for future use as opposed to supporting current activities” and is unrestricted. Carrie’s tip is no matter which type of endowment fund your organization has, be sure to have a policy regarding how the money is managed.

To read the full post, click here.

In-Kind Contributions – from “Mission Minded” DWD blog

Carrie Minnich (2) (576x800)Carrie Minnich, CPA recently posted about in-kind contributions for Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s nonprofit blog.

Bottom line – record on your financials the fair market value for most gifts, fund raising items, facilities, and services. Carrie goes into details on her blog with some of the exceptions to the rules. She also notes that it is important to record all contributions, even if not required for reporting on financials.

Read Carrie’s full blog post here.

Federal Mileage Rate Change– from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

Carrie Minnich (2) (576x800)Carrie Minnich, CPA at Dulin, Ward & DeWald Inc. recently posted about federal mileage rate change. The IRS recently released the federal mileage rates for 2016. Both the per mile rate for business and medical or moving purposes decreased. The per mile rate for charitable purposes stayed the same.

2016 rates are as follows:

54 cents per mile for business

19 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes

14 cents per mile for charitable purposes

To see Carrie’s post, click here.

990 Extension Change – from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

CPA Carrie MinnichCarrie Minnich (2) (576x800) posted on the Mission Minded Nonprofit blog about an upcoming tax change.

The change is with the Form 990 Extension. Back in July as Carrie writes, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 was passed by Congress. In this bill, nonprofits can extend their return by one six month period. This replaces the previous two three month extension for filing. The effective date is after December 31, 2015. Carrie points out for your 2015 return you would still fall under the two three month extension. Read here entire post here.



Reflections on BLF14: Post #12 – Executive Succession: Don’t Leave it to Chance!

Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Carrie Minnich. This is the last review by Carrie.

GOB Washington
The GOB in front of the Washington Monument. Carrie Minnich is standing on the right.

Executive Succession: Don’t Leave it to Chance! (Tom Adams)

According to Mr. Adams, 67% of nonprofit executives plan to leave in less than four years.

  • (10% in less than one year,
  • 24% in one to two years,
  • 33% in three to four years, and
  • 33% in more than five years.

With the increase in the number of retiring executives, nonprofits need to plan for succession to ensure organizational sustainability.

Not only will planning for the departure of the organization’s leader mitigate risk but will also increase the transition success.

Three approaches to succession planning were discussed.

  1. Succession essentials – Having an executive backup plan and succession policy.
  2. Leader development – Developing the talent pool of possible replacements; internal succession.
  3. Departure-defined – An executive director has decided that he/she will leave in two to five years. The organization does not publicly announce the executive director’s intentions but uses the next two to three years to plan for the transition.

It was recommended to combine succession planning and sustainability planning.

In addition to a succession plan for the organization’s leader, sustainability planning includes intentionally looking at the organization’s focus, asking if the right people are involved, how much cash is in the bank, and who does the organization need to work with to be successful.

Many boards are currently or will be facing the need for executive transition in the near future.   Your board should be proactive in planning for the transition in your organization’s leadership so that your organization can have a smooth transition.

Reflections on BLF14: Post #11 – Nonprofit Fraud

Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Carrie Minnich. This is the sixth of several reviews by Carrie and the session on Fraud was also reviewed by Laura Boyer.

GOB Washington
The GOB in front of the Washington Monument. Carrie Minnich is standing on the right.

The Anatomy of a Fraud (Lawrence Hoffman)

Working in public accounting, fraud seminars and especially those that give specifics as to how the fraud was initiated and how it was caught, always interests me. This session was based on an actual fraud investigation by the speaker, Lawrence Hoffman.

Nonprofit fraud is in the spotlight.

More and more we see in the news that fraud has occurred in a nonprofit organization. The IRS redesigned From 990 (the nonprofit organization tax return) in 2008 to add additional governance questions. It even added the question “Did the organization become aware during the year of a significant diversion of the organizations’ assets?”   In other words, did fraud occur?

The case described in the session included a CTO (Chief technology Officer), who during his tenure at the organization (7 years), paid a related company for a significant amount of IT equipment and software that could not be located.

It was determined that over 150 servers were “purchased” and multiple copies of the same enterprise-level software. After the CTO returned back to Russia citing “personal reasons” the new CTO (the whistle-blower) could not locate many of the equipment purchases.

It is important for nonprofit boards to be aware of the possibility of fraud occurring within their organization and how to prevent it. Often times, nonprofit organizations have an atmosphere of trust and a focus on the mission, rather than making sure proper controls are in place.

 Some of the steps organizations can implement to deter fraud are the following:

  1. Implement a whistle-blower policy.
  2. Good tone at the top.
  3. Proper internal controls/segregation of duties.
  4. Request multiple quotes from different vendors.
  5. Perform background checks.