The CPA Desk

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Category Archives: Tax and Accounting Desk

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How Your Nonprofit Can Successfully Execute a Capital Campaign

When your not-for-profit desperately needs a new facility, costly equipment or an endowment, a capital campaign can be the best way to raise funds. But to be successful, a campaign requires strong leadership, extensive planning and dedicated participants. Leading the troops Capital campaigns generally are long-term projects — often lasting three or more years. To… Continue Reading

Year-End Giving: What You Need to Know

Charitable giving can be a powerful tax-saving strategy: Donations to qualified charities are generally fully deductible, and you have complete control over when and how much you give. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind this year to ensure you receive the tax benefits you desire. Delivery date To be deductible on your… Continue Reading

Get Usable Results for Your Nonprofit When Surveying Constituents

To make sound decisions, your not-for-profit’s leadership should periodically survey donors and other constituents. But how do you design a survey to ensure a high response rate and constructive feedback? Clarify goals The first step is to define the survey’s purpose. Determine what you want to learn and how you’ll use the data you collect…. Continue Reading

Accelerate Property Tax Payment to This Year – Here’s Why

Accelerating deductible expenses, such as property tax on your home, into the current year typically is a good idea. Why? It will defer tax, which usually is beneficial. Prepaying property tax may be especially beneficial this year, because proposed tax legislation might reduce or eliminate the benefit of the property tax deduction beginning in 2018…. Continue Reading

Maximize Donor Generosity This Holiday Season

People are naturally inclined to make charitable gifts around the holidays. With the end of the year fast approaching, your not-for-profit should prepare now to take advantage of donors’ generosity. Here are four tips for making the most of the season: Strike early. Plan events or solicitations for early December or sooner. By being one… Continue Reading

Two ACA Taxes Which May Apply to Your Executive Compensation

If you’re an executive or another key employee, you might be rewarded for your contributions to your company’s success with compensation such as restricted stock, stock options or nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC). Tax planning for these forms of “exec comp,” however, is generally more complicated than for salaries, bonuses and traditional employee benefits. And planning… Continue Reading

Is Your Not-for-Profit Board Following These Governance Practices?

Jen:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m back again with Nicole Riley, one of our Audit Senior Managers on our not-for-profit team; welcome back to the Playbook Nicole. Nicole:  Thanks, glad to be here. Jen:  Now I’ve heard you talk about Governance procedures; what does… Continue Reading

Term Limits on Your Nonprofit Board. Yes or No?

Term limits for not-for-profit board members can be a double-edged sword. They can allow you to easily let go of unsuccessful board members, but they also can cause you to lose the best sooner than you’d like. Consider some of the issues involved before making a decision. Review the pros Term limits allow you to… Continue Reading

Consider This Tax-Smart Medical Expenses Strategy

Various limits apply to most tax deductions, and one type of limit is a “floor,” which means expenses are deductible only if they exceed that floor (typically a specific percentage of your income). One example is the medical expenses deduction. Because it can be difficult to exceed the floor, a common strategy is to “bunch”… Continue Reading

What a Smart Endowment Spending Policy Can Do for Your Nonprofit

Income from endowment funds may be able to help your not-for-profit meet operating expenses, ease cash-flow problems and supplement next year’s annual budget. But you need to pay attention to several factors, including investment performance, inflation, operational changes and — the only factor you can truly control — your nonprofit’s spending policy. Know your restrictions… Continue Reading

Boost Your 401(k) Contribution Rate Before 2017 Ends

One important step to both reducing taxes and saving for retirement is to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contributing to that is likely your best first step. If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate between now and year-end. Because of tax-deferred… Continue Reading

The Potential Tax Pitfalls of Donating Real Estate

Charitable giving allows you to help an organization you care about and, in most cases, enjoy a valuable income tax deduction. If you’re considering a large gift, a noncash donation such as appreciated real estate can provide additional benefits. For example, if you’ve held the property for more than one year, you generally will be… Continue Reading

Three Audit Issues to Understand When Preparing Your Nonprofit’s Financial Statements

Annual financial statements that have been audited by a professional auditor can help assure funders and lenders that your not-for-profit is financially sound. Here are three critical audit issues to understand when preparing financial statements: 1. The auditor’s role Auditors are responsible for expressing an opinion on financial statements. Beyond that, they’re responsible for obtaining… Continue Reading

How to Avoid Investment Fraud in Your Nonprofit

Investment fraud, such as Ponzi schemes, can cause significant financial losses for not-for-profits. But the harm it can cause an organization’s reputation with donors and the public may be even worse. Nonprofits are required to disclose on their Forms 990 whether they’ve experienced a significant loss to any illegal “diversion” that exceeds the lesser of… Continue Reading

Create a Nonprofit Executive Search Plan to Stay Prepared for Future Hiring

Selecting a new chief executive or other senior staffer is one of the most important decisions your not-for-profit board is likely to face. Even if there’s no immediate hiring need, it’s smart to prepare for the process. With an executive search plan, you’ll be ready to execute an efficient executive search when the time arrives. Form a… Continue Reading

Use a Reverse Audit to Save Sales and Use Tax

It’s a safe bet that state tax authorities will let you know if you haven’t paid enough sales and use taxes, but what are the odds that you’ll be notified if you’ve paid too much? The chances are slim — so slim that many businesses use reverse audits to find overpayments so they can seek… Continue Reading

Eight Disruptive Behaviors That May Be Holding Your Nonprofit Board Back

Your not-for-profit has probably spent a lot of time and effort attracting board members who have the knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment to make a difference to your organization. Unfortunately, what begins as a good relationship can sour over time, and you may find yourself in the tough position of having to “fire” a board member…. Continue Reading