standard could be a breeze

Adopting the new financial reporting

Annual Financial Statements: December 15, 2017

Interim Financial Statements: December 15, 2018

Let CRI help you create a rock-solid foundation for your nonprofit’s success!

Solid finances are the foundation for nonprofit organizations with financial reporting, cash flow planning, governance, regulatory compliance, and business consulting integrating to establish a rock solid basis. CRI delivers an aggregate of traditional CPA services – such as audit and tax – and non-traditional consulting, monthly client accounting, IT auditing, and financial services. Our nonprofit CPA team can ease your responsibilities by providing proactive solutions when and where you need them the most. We derive our expertise from serving hundreds of nonprofit organizations, such as:

Our clients range from start-up entities to composite organizations with $1 billion in assets. No matter the size of your nonprofit, you can expect top-line service from seasoned professionals with limited staff turnover. We are proud to serve our clients so that they can be the epicenters of our local communities.

Vern Ritter, Chief Financial Officer, LYRASIS

“CRI has been the CPA firm of choice for LYRASIS (and its predecessor Southeastern Library Network) for the last fifteen years. In that time, CRI has provided services beyond the basic audit and tax work, including internal control reviews, consulting on governance issues and assistance with due diligence on merger and acquisition transactions. Throughout the relationship, CRI has maintained a very high level of partner involvement and staffing consistency from partner down through the critical engagement leadership team, and we’ve always been impressed with the level of expertise and efficiency in which they operate. Additionally, CRI has been very flexible, reasonable and transparent about any and all fees associated with each project. We are very happy with our relationship with CRI and would highly recommend them as an extremely valuable financial partner.”

Client SNAPshot

CLIENT:State trade association in Georgia
SCOPE:64 engagements in eight years — in addition to ongoing advisory consulting
PROJECTS:CRI provided advisory consulting for structuring of new program as it relates to unrelated business income tax (UBIT).
RETURNS:Reduction of potential taxes by approximately $100,000 annually
$100,000 annual tax reduction

Straight Talk

Translating technical jargon into a plain English “text.”
It seems like we have a new audit team member every year at our current CPA firm.
It’s difficult to teach someone new about your organization and systems every year.
Exactly! Sometimes it seems like we are auditing ourselves.
We understand. It can be a common problem for nonprofit clients, especially since they are sometimes the “filler” work for many CPA firms because they often can be scheduled during firms’ non-peak times.
It would be nice to have a consistent relationship with our audit team.
We have great news for you. CRI emphasizes staff continuity and high levels of partner involvement. We believe those relationships and efficiencies provide added value beyond our basic services.
Even for not-for-profit organizations with limited resources like ours?
Especially for organizations like yours! Staff continuity and partner involvement increase efficiencies for both your nonprofit team and ours. It also allows us to identify additional ways we can help. Nonprofits are a key industry focus for us, and we value these client relationships!
We are thinking about developing a new program revenue stream selling products to non-members.
That sounds like a great idea, but I would like to hear details. You’ll want to consider any potential unrelated business income tax (UBIT) issues when structuring the program.
UBIT? We have never had to deal with that before.
Yes. It should not be a deal breaker for developing the new program. You may be able to structure the program to limit UBIT exposure, but you definitely want to factor the potential tax into your nonprofit’s budget. If you do have to file it, you also need to make sure that you file the correct tax forms and pay on time.
Sounds confusing. Can you help?
Absolutely! Let’s schedule a meeting. It’s always best to set these programs up correctly at the beginning. Surprises are for birthday parties, not tax bills!
We have a potential big donor that wants to set up a charitable gift annuity.
It’s always great news to have a big donor!
I know what charitable gift annuities are in theory, but I have no idea how our foundation should account for one—or monitor it going forward.
We can help. Basically, your nonprofit will recognize an initial contribution with a liability for the discounted value of the future payouts. There are more complexities, but we can help you with those details.
OK, we will definitely need some assistance.
We recommend consulting your attorney about the contract and legal aspects of the charitable gift annuity. Then we can help you sort out the accounting once you have those in place.
Great! I appreciate having CRI’s nonprofit CPA team as a resource for these types of things!
We have a board member who owns a landscape company, and we are considering using the company to maintain our athletic fields.
OK. Make sure you run it through your conflict of interest policy.
Good point. We adopted that policy several years ago but never had to use it. I’ll dust it off and see what we need to do. Is there anything we should consider beyond the conflict of interest policy?
You will need to disclose it in your Form 990 tax filing. The school will have to report the provided services and the amount paid for them. Just be sensitive to the fact that it will be public information, and be sure the board member knows about the reporting requirement.
Got it.
It might be clearly stated in your school’s conflict of interest policy, but you should also probably consult other schools to make sure what you are paying for landscaping services is consistent with normal market rates. You also need to be certain that the board approves your suggestion. That way, there is no question that you are being above board.
Thanks for the good advice. We will be sure to keep you in the loop on the discussions.

Protecting Nonprofit Volunteers from Negative Tax Consequences

Nosy Questions on Form 990 Part VI

Putting the “Fun” In Nonprofit Fundraising Expenses

Solutions Simplified

Down-to-earth descriptions of our services.
Accounting & Auditing Services

Services Also Available for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Uniform Grant Guidance / OMB A-133 Audits (Single Audits)

When a nonprofit entity receives significant federal funds, the provisions of Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 and the more recent Uniform Grant Guidance come into play. These make it even more important to comply with the related rules in order to avoid potential penalties and sanctions. CRI’s nonprofit auditors work with entities impacted by A-133 and Uniform Grant Guidance daily. We share this valuable experience with our clients, guiding them to navigate through the Single Audit details – from the definition of major programs to the relationship of internal controls over compliance. Whether funding is direct or generated by a pass-through entity, an experienced and knowledgeable audit firm performing your nonprofit organization’s Single Audits is a key to successfully and efficiently addressing the requirements.

Advisory Services

Business Support & Transactions Services

Employee Benefit Plan Services

Services Also Available for Nonprofits

Nonprofit 403(b) Plan Audits

Employee benefit plan audits are a highly specialized service with continually increasing scrutiny by the DOL and other regulators. Therefore, it’s imperative to choose a firm that understands not only benefit plan audits but also the specific accounting applicable to nonprofit organizations. Although 403b benefit plans are similar to 401ks and other benefit plans, there are significant differences, such as the allowable investments within the plan (e.g. typically annuities or mutual funds), the permissible vesting schedules, and the lack of a requirement for discrimination testing.

Governance, Risk & Assurance Services

Services Also Available for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Single Audit Compliance Assistance

Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on federal grants as a supplemental source of funding. Whether funding is needed for capital asset purchases or for personnel costs related to specific programs, federal grant resources are valuable, but the related compliance requirements are often complex.  CRI can assist your organization in complying with grant regulations unique to federal grant awards – specifically requirements related to creating, documenting, and implementing internal controls over the handling of federal funds. CRI provides training and assistance for your staff on Single Audit compliance, documentation, grant reporting, and indirect cost calculations. CRI also furnishes guidance on the creation of your Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards, which is crucial for annual grant reporting.

Federal Single Audit requirements frequently change, as with the new Uniform Grant Guidance, and CRI is your resource for navigating the federal rules related to Single Audits. CRI offers assistance to your entity from the initial grant award through the completion of the grant reporting via expertise in grant accounting, internal controls, and regulation compliance.

IT Audits & Assurance Services

Tax Services

Services Also Available for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Forms 990 Services

A Form 990 is not only a requirement; it is also an important document that should reflect an accurate picture of the nonprofit entity’s operations for the year. CRI’s nonprofit team understands that the 990 is a public form that contains both financial and nonfinancial information that may be the only source of data for many people, increasing its overall importance. With growing nonprofit organization scrutiny by regulatory bodies, as well as the use of tax documents by potential donors in considering their contributions, accurate presentation of data in the 990 is critical. From the reporting of revenues and expenses to the responses to questions on policies and board governance, CRI’s knowledgeable CPAs understand the requirements of the 990 and the opportunity to communicate the entity’s mission and purpose. We do more than simply help nonprofits to comply with The Tax Code. We also aid our clients in accurately and effectively communicating their activities to the public.

Nonprofit Formation and Structure

Nonprofit entities are most often created by groups of people who share a common passion for a particular purpose or specific need. Such purposes may be those that enhance the health, education, or welfare of individuals or groups for religious purposes or one of many other objectives. When forming a new nonprofit entity, there are a number of considerations that should be taken into account to aid in the effectiveness of fulfilling the stated mission and objectives. Among these structural issues are considerations of the composition of the board of directors and best practices for policies that should be adopted. Additionally, there may be a need for the creation of a for-profit subsidiary or related entity to conduct activities that are taxable in nature. From the determination of the specific purpose of the organization to the filing of the request for tax-exempt status, the specialized knowledge of CRI professionals can guide the way to the nonprofit structure that best suits your organization.

Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Status Elections & Maintenance (Forms 1023 and 1024)

One of the starting points for becoming a tax-exempt entity is the preparation and filing of either Form 1023 or Form 1024  with the IRS. The determination of which form to file is made based on the IRS code section under which the entity wishes to apply for the tax exemption. Each of these forms requires the entity to include a full description of the proposed activities that will be conducted, including fundraising activities and information about anticipated receipts and expenditures. If the entity is already active, historical financial data must be provided with the application for tax-exempt status.

The importance of Forms 1023 and 1024  cannot be overlooked since the initial request to become a nonprofit will determine the organization’s status under the income tax law. The proper completion of Form 1023 and Form 1024  is well-understood by CRI’s nonprofit professionals, who have many years of experience in guiding organizations through this process. Our experience is a key to successfully navigating the complexities of the countless IRS regulations that surround the tax exemption application and helping you get on your way to accomplishing your organizational objectives.

Nonprofit Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)

The operations of a nonprofit organization are thought to be exempt from income taxation, and this tax exemption is generally true. However, some activities conducted by nonprofits can produce revenues that are outside of the usual scope of the entities’ tax-exempt operations, thereby subjecting the net earnings to taxation by the IRS. While these taxable operations may still be a very useful part of the nonprofit’s activities, it is important to have a CPA with an in-depth understanding of the complex IRS rules to be sure that taxes are minimized and that the overall tax-exemption of the organization is not jeopardized. CRI’s nonprofit specialists are experienced in the intricacies of this area of tax law and routinely work with our clients to properly analyze the specifics of your activities to aid in effective planning, as well as compliance with the UBIT rules.