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Handle your nonprofit’s restricted gifts with care

Most not-for-profits encourage donors to make unrestricted contributions that will give the organization flexibility to use the money where it’s needed most. But there will always be some donors who place restrictions on their gifts — and these require a higher level of responsibility.

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3 steps to a more financially resilient future

It’s a new year with new opportunities for your not-for-profit to boost its financial resilience. Although COVID-19 continues to make forecasting difficult, your staff and your board’s finance committee can take steps to negotiate obstacles. Here are three.

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Looking for a 2022 safety net for your business? Act on EIDL funding before year end

As the new year approaches, the future of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) — and the strength of the economic recovery — remains uncertain. One thing that’s not uncertain when it comes to your business is the impending deadline to apply for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funding, some of which needn’t be repaid.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) expanded eligibility in September 2021. While you may not have qualified or considered EIDL funding necessary previously, you might want to reconsider in light of yet another wave of COVID infections. But you’ll have to do so quickly, as the application deadline is December 31, 2021.

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Rolling forecasts provide flexibility in uncertain times

Forecasting how your company is likely to perform over the next year can be challenging, especially when it’s unclear where the markets are heading. But accurate forecasts are critical when managing a business.  As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, many companies have responded to these challenges by switching from static forecasts to rolling ones. 

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A credit card use policy can help prevent abuse

During the busy holiday season, not-for-profit executives may rely on staffers to purchase gifts and holiday party supplies for the organization. But before you hand over a credit card, you need to make sure that the employee is trustworthy and understands your nonprofit’s credit card use policy.

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Established nonprofits must continue to build and grow

If your not-for-profit was well-established before 2020, it has probably weathered the pandemic and economic stress of the past year-and-a-half better than younger organizations. But as you transition out of “survival” mode, challenges remain, including those faced by most nonprofits, such as finding staffers and fundraising in an inhospitable environment. Then there are obstacles specific to mature nonprofits. Here are some to watch for.

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10 financial statement areas to watch for COVID-related effects

The COVID-19 pandemic is still adversely affecting many businesses and not-for-profit organizations, but the effects vary, depending on the nature of operations and geographic location. Has your organization factored the effects of the pandemic into its financial statements? You might not have considered this question since last year if your organization prepares statements that comply with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles only at year end.

As we head into audit season for 2021, it’s time to evaluate whether your financial situation has gotten better — or worse — this year. Here are 10 financial statement areas to home in on.

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4 red flags of an unreliable budget

Every business should prepare an annual budget. Creating a comprehensive, realistic spending plan allows you to identify potential shortages of cash, possible constraints on your capacity to fulfill strategic objectives, and other threats.

Whether you’ve already put together a 2022 budget or still need to get on that before year end, here are four red flags to watch out for.

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Businesses must navigate year-end tax planning with new tax laws potentially on the horizon

The end of the tax year is fast approaching for many businesses, but their ability to engage in traditional year-end planning may be hampered by the specter of looming tax legislation. The budget reconciliation bill, dubbed the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), is likely to include provisions affecting the taxation of businesses — although its passage is uncertain at this time.

While it appears that several of the more disadvantageous provisions targeting businesses won’t make it into the final bill, others may. In addition, some temporary provisions are coming to an end, requiring businesses to take action before year end to capitalize on them. As Congress continues to negotiate the final bill, here are some areas where you could act now to reduce your business’s 2021 tax bill.

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Debate continues in Congress over proposed tax changes

Negotiations continue in Washington, D.C., over the future of President Biden’s agenda. Tax law changes may be ahead under two proposed laws, the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIB), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The final provisions remain to be seen, but the BBBA and, to a lesser extent, the BIB, contain a wide range of tax proposals that could affect individuals and businesses. It’s also unclear when the tax changes would become effective, if one or both of the laws are enacted.
Here’s a summary of many of the proposals that could change the tax landscape in the near future.

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Is it time to upgrade your accounting system?

Timely financial data is key to making informed business decisions. Unfortunately, it’s common for managers to struggle with their companies’ accounting systems to get the information they need, when they need it. Often, it takes multiple, confusing steps to enter and extract data specific to customers and/or projects.
Businesses and accounting software solutions evolve over time. So, what worked for your company years ago may not be the optimal solution today. For example, you might prefer a different solution that’s more user-friendly, more sophisticated or customized for your industry niche. Here are four factors — beyond just cost — to consider when evaluating your current accounting system.

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