Monday, February 24, 2014

Fiscally Speaking - When does your year end? Part II

Last week I suddenly realized that the 990 was due for the local charity I serve as Treasurer.

The good news is I finished the return and had it e-filed by the end of the day. Luckily in our state of New Jersey, they give us more time to file our report with the Division of Consumer Affairs.  So I can say now with a smile they were timely filed!

In last week's blog I reviewed the reasons why you might want to choose a fiscal year end date in a month other than December.  In the case of the baseball league in which I volunteer, an October fiscal year-end makes the most sense since the season ends by early September and we begin taking registrations for the new season in November and December.  This gives our Treasurer plenty of time during the slow months of November through January to get the records in order for filing the returns.  It also allows our board ample time to recruit volunteers for the next season.  A task that has now been made much easier because of Treasurer's Briefcase.

Last week I promised I would provide instructions on how you can change your fiscal year end if it is less than ideal.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fiscally speaking - When does your year end?

It’s February 15th here in our accounting office.  We are in the Northeast suffering a bad winter.  We've lost power for three days, had three days of lost employee time due to State of Emergency closings, and I just realized as the Treasurer of a local non-profit here in our town…our 990 is due today!

Frustrated with myself at forgetting this due date I mumbled to myself, "Who picked a fiscal year end of October 31st anyway!"

It dawned on me perhaps a lesson in fiscal year ends is in order.

Monday, February 10, 2014

What is Accounting?

The word accounting is derived from the root word account which, according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary can mean to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation.

In a previous post I spoke about the importance of reporting (or accounting for your organization's activities; specifically explaining the reporting of donations. In that post we talked about why that task can be a bit confusing to a treasurer with no bookkeeping or accounting experience!

This week I was asked by a Treasurer to explain how she should be coding her activity so it not only reports donations properly but the other financial activities of her club as well. Reporting this activity correctly to your board, the public and the IRS, is a close second in level of importance to safeguarding the organization’s assets AND REPUTATION! Here’s my brief refresher on categorizing (coding) your activity.