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Articles for category Not for Profit/Government/Education

The new lease accounting standard, ASU 2016-02 (Topic 842), is set to take effect for not-for-profit organizations that have issued, or is a conduit bond obligor for, securities that are traded, listed, or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market, with fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2018 and for all other not-for-profits for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019. Issued by the FASB in February 2016, the new standard significantly affects the way leases are recorded on the balance sheet. While there has been considerable emphasis placed on understanding what will change under this new standard, it is just as important to understand what will remain the same.

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When it comes to maintaining a proper accounting environment and having effective internal controls, not-for-profits (NFP) have essentially the same requirement as commercial organizations do. Having both are critical to capturing accounting data to provide for proper financial reporting, decision making, third party requirements, etc. However, in the increasingly competitive landscape of charitable organizations, smaller NFPs face some unique constraints that can significantly impact the internal control environment.

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On December 20, 2018 the FASB issued a draft proposal that extends the private company accounting alternative for goodwill (ASU 2014-02) and business combinations (ASU 2014-18) to nonprofit entities and is intended to simplify the subsequent accounting for goodwill and for certain identifiable intangible assets in a business combination.

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At a recent board meeting for Urban Harvest STL, one board member raised an interesting question, “What is the ideal percentage of the budget we should spend on salaries?” As with most questions like this, the answer is - It depends. In particular, it depends on the operating requirements and strategy of the organization. Some organizations are more labor intensive, while others may be more volunteer driven.

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Have you ever wondered if the way an agreement is titled would make a difference in when or how to recognize revenue? Not-for-profit (NFP) entities frequently have multiple types of revenue ranging from grant awards, contributions, contracts, sponsorships, cooperative agreements, fees, etc. Often times, a written agreement may even have multiple revenue components included in one contract.

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On Aug. 23, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations governing the availability of charitable contribution deductions when a taxpayer expects to receive a corresponding state or local tax credit.

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After several years of stability in the accounting standards for nonprofit organizations, the new FASB standards need to be addressed soon on several different issues. Most of the preparation has focused on ASU 2016-14 Presentation of Financial Statements, which is effective for years beginning after Dec.15, 2017. Some organizations have not yet begun to consider the standards of ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which will be effective for most nonprofit entities for periods beginning after December 15, 2018, except for certain entities who have conduit debt which is not a private placement that have earlier adoption requirements.

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The Tax Cuts and Job Act was passed in December 2017, but the total impact to nonprofits will not really be known until we get through 2018. The reason, not only are there direct impact items in the Act, but there are also indirect impact items. It is very likely that the indirect impact items will have a greater effect on nonprofits.

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Commencing in 2018, as enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress provided that deductions for state and local taxes are to be capped at $10,000 per married couple. Many high tax states such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have considered that this was inequitable to their residents, and have passed or are drafting legislation which would allow taxpayers to make payments to state or local municipal charitable organizations in exchange for credit against their real estate or state and local taxes.

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GuideStar® is a major player and one of the top charity watchdogs in the United States. Through their website at www.guidestar.org, they provide all tax exempt entities in the US with the ability to tell their story, share their mission and solicit program funding. This article highlights how big data from tax exempts and their tax filings of form 990 can be leveraged to provide valuable information to the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector.

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