The GRF Blog


GRF's partners, auditors and accountants share their professional insights into financial management issues of interest to nonprofits, international non-governmental organizations, government contractors, businesses and individuals. Subscribe to our posts in the right column.



The Role of the Form 990: Developing a Strategy for Managing Your Charity’s Rating

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Just like in business, competition in the nonprofit sector is evolving each year. These days, individuals are continuously solicited over social media to volunteer and support various charities. Would-be donors are encouraged by the media and watchdog groups to be more conscious about how the money they give is ultimately used. Charity Navigator, Great Nonprofits and other websites have been gaining popularity among potential donors, who rely on these sources for accurate information to inform their giving decisions.

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Beyond the Audit: Nonprofit Accounting, Tax Talk, The Auditor’s Perspective
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Leveraging an IT Assessment Can Protect Nonprofits from Cybercrime

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“Cybercrime keeps climbing” was the key finding of the 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey recently completed by PwC. In fact, the survey results show cybercrime “jumping from 4th to 2nd place among the most-reported types of economic crimes .” While organizations are embracing new ways to make their operations digital for efficiency and effectiveness, criminals are becoming progressively more skilled at obtaining valuable information. As a result, cybercrimes such as phishing, ransomware, hacking, identify theft and malware are on the rise.

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Beyond the Audit: Nonprofit Accounting
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Chart Your Course to Compliance Under the New Procurement Standards

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Time is up for many nonprofits! The two-year deferral period for implementation of the procurement standards under Uniform Guidance (UG), Title 2, CFR 200 for non-Federal entities was officially over as of January 1, 2017. . Effective immediately, federally funded organizations with a calendar year end of December 31 must implement appropriate policies and procedures to be in compliance. . As your organization begins to review current policies and procedures and consider revisions, your leadership should not underestimate the significance of the new procurement standards, not to mention the staff time and resources required to ensure compliance. . What does procurement look like under the new standards? What can you do to make sure your organization is compliant without causing an unnecessary burden for those involved in your procurement process?

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Beyond the Audit: Nonprofit Accounting
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Foreign Bank Account Reporting – New Due Dates and Recently Announced Extensions

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The FinCEN Form 114, Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), is filed by taxpayers (both individuals and entities) that have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a foreign financial account.  In prior years, the FinCEN Form 114 required filing by June 30 to report foreign accounts for the previous calendar year and no extension was available.  In legislation signed last year, the due date to report 2016 (and future years) foreign bank accounts changed to April 15, with a maximum six-month extension available. 

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Tax Talk
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The Potential Impact of Tax Reform on Exempt Organizations

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With a new administration taking office, tax reform is a topic that has received a lot of attention.  While what will ultimately pass and be signed into law is anyone’s guess at this point, there are a number of potential provisions that could have an impact on charitable giving and ultimately, on the tax-exempt sector.

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Tax Talk
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Understand, Assign and Update: Best Practices for Compliance Under Uniform Guidance

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Uniform Guidance was implemented over two years ago, but many Federal award recipients are still challenged by compliance and struggle with the organizational changes necessary to meet the requirements. By following some simple best practices developed by organizations already successfully achieving compliance, non-Federal entities can easily implement policies and procedures to thrive under Uniform Guidance.

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The Auditor’s Perspective
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Overcoming the 3 Most Common (and Persistent) Implementation Challenges with Uniform Guidance

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In 2014, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) implemented the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, or “Uniform Guidance” to replace the guidance of eight earlier OMB circulars. While the intent of Uniform Guidance was to streamline administration and improve “performance, transparency, and oversight for Federal awards”, three areas remain challenging for many organizations receiving federal funding.

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Beyond the Audit: Nonprofit Accounting
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What is Uniform Guidance?

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The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements, also known as the “Uniform Guidance,” to deliver on the promise of a 21st-Century government that is more efficient, effective and transparent.

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Beyond the Audit: Nonprofit Accounting
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Springtime Isn’t Just About Taxes

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It’s springtime and it’s THAT time of year again…that’s right, it’s accounting system time.

Surprised?

While most businesses and individuals are hard at work on making sure they’re ready for tax time, many government contractors are also focused on a major bidding opportunity (proposals due mid-April).

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The Auditor’s Perspective
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The 401k vs. the Roth 401k

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When it comes to limiting your taxable income; pension plans are great first steps. I recommend that whatever plan you choose you always try to contribute the maximum. The sooner you start contributing the maximum the better because it builds up over your working life and you can take advantage of the compounding tax free. If you’re faced with the decision of whether to invest in a 401k or a Roth 401k, the following will explain key differences.

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Tax Talk
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David S. Stofa |  Principal and Chief Executive Officer
Archbishop Carroll High School