An outside financial audit may seem like an extravagance to not-for-profits working to contain costs and focus on their mission. But undergoing regular audits allows your organization to identify risks early and act quickly to prevent problems.

overhead view of someone highlighting documents with numbers in pink on top of a stack of papers; image used for blog post about not-for-profit preparing for financial audit

Independent audits also provide valuable reassurance to donors. Fortunately, you can reduce the cost of external audits with good preparation.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director in our Entrepreneurial Advisory Services group. Danielle, welcome back to the Playbook.

Danielle: Thank you for having me again.

Jen: I know revenue recognition is a hot topic right now; we’re getting ready to go into audit season. What are some trends you are seeing where clients need to get ready since it’s kind of a new thing that they should be ready for?

Danielle: A lot of clients, particularly certain industry types, have a tendency to kind of not dismiss revenue recognition, but they don’t perceive it as large of an impact. There’s a lot of areas where the revenue recognition rules effectively didn’t change too much, but there’s some really specific nuances that did change, as well as the auditors are going to be looking at how did somebody assess to see if it changed or not. So even in industries that didn’t change very much, there is a certain amount of documentation that needs to be in place for the company having assessed it.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director on our Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team. Danielle, welcome back to the Playbook.

Danielle: Thanks for having me again.

Jen: So a few episodes back we talked about revenue recognition. Another one of

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I am back once again with Marty Lindle, one of our audit directors and one of the faces of PKF Texas’ Broker-Dealer team. Marty, welcome back to the Playbook.

Marty: It’s nice to be here.

Jen: So, we’ve talked a little bit about what’s in the eighth annual report. Now, is there anything new coming up on the horizon that’s not in there already?

Marty: Well, the SEC and Congress still haven’t issued the final rules for an inspection program, so we’re still in the interim program.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Nicole Riley, an audit senior manager and one of the faces of the PKF Texas Broker-Dealer team. Nicole, welcome back to the Playbook.

Nicole: Great to be back.

Jen: So, the last time you were here we discussed FINRA and the SEC in relation to broker-dealers. Are there common issues that FINRA tends to find when they’re looking at broker-dealers?

Nicole: One of the more common things that we continue to see coming out of these audits that they’re doing, even though the rules have been around since 2003, are issues with expense sharing agreements.


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Some of your not-for-profit’s communications are of interest only to a select group of your supporters. But your organization’s annual report is for all stakeholders — donors, grantmakers, clients, volunteers, watchdog groups and the government.

a person's hands holds paper with circle and arrow diagrams and a pie chart, showcasing an annual report with data to engage support for a not-for-profit organization

Some report elements are nonnegotiable, such as financial statements, but you also have plenty of creative license to make your report engaging and memorable for its wide-ranging audience.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Kristin Ryan, an audit senior manager and one of the faces of PKF Texas’ Employee Benefit Plan team. Kristin, welcome back to the playbook.

Kristin: Good to be here.

Jen: So, we’ve talked about fiduciary responsibilities, but