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CASE STUDY: Auditing and Consulting with an Association to Navigate Financial Challenges
When the accounting firm that had worked with a $20 million association for several years stopped responding to calls about an upcoming audit and questions about ownership of a new building, the association’s chief executive officer was in a dilemma. With an upcoming Board meeting and the deadline for an annual report looming, and with no audit scheduled, he called Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman with whom he had worked in the past.
Despite a busy schedule, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman assembled a team to perform the fieldwork and help the association meet its goal of completing the audit in time for the Board meeting and annual report deadline. When the association formally went out to bid for new auditors the following year, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman was selected. In addition to the firm’s responsiveness the prior year, GRF also had decades of experience working with nonprofits.
During the next several years, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman’s accounting specialists not only worked with the chief executive officer and chief operating officer on the annual audit, but also assisted with other operational concerns. Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman consulted with the association to improve procurement policies, advised on alternative investments and helped train staff to better understand unrelated business income tax. When the association expressed concerns about management of the building it had just purchased, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman evaluated the management company and identified problems related to a lack of monthly reconciliations and the absence of some supporting schedules. The findings validated the earlier uncertainty and the association subsequently moved to hire a new management company.
Finally, association management wanted to ensure it was sufficiently protected against fraud and, separately, respond to staff complaints about a lack of timely reimbursement. After investigating these issues, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman established that the association’s internal controls were sufficient to protect against evidence of past attempts at fraud and that it was a lack of clear documentation by staff, and not weaknesses in accounting processes, that had led to reimbursement delays.
Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman established from the beginning that it could respond effectively to the satisfaction of the association. From the client’s need for a quick but thorough audit, to working closely with executive management on several operational and growth areas, Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman demonstrated its expertise as a valuable professional services partner that helped maximize the success of its client.
Ian was invaluable throughout the complex process of setting up our accounting and payroll system, developing our internal controls and reporting systems, and launching our financial management in an efficient and sound manner. Ian is simply delightful to work with.
Amy Hawthorne | Former Executive Director
Hollings Center for International Dialogue