Local government finance departments are frequently asked to evaluate the financial stability of nonprofit organizations. This could be nonprofits that the government is already working with, or to which it is considering making a grant.
In such cases, the finance department should evaluate the nonprofit organization’s financial condition. It is wise to answer questions, such as ‘is the nonprofit strong enough financially to continuously operate for at least the time specified in the contract?,’ before starting a working relationship or providing funds to the nonprofit.
The same questions should be answered for companies that a government is working with or considering working with, such as software vendors, franchisees or construction contractors.
Read below on how to effectively evaluate a nonprofit organization’s financial health.
Many government agencies use purchasing card programs for their employees now.
Audits of purchasing card programs are conducted to determine the following 3 things:
Read below what the recommended best practice for audits is.
A lot has been written about how to select a new audit firm, including lots of examples for requests for proposals (RFP) and example scoring criteria.
One of the most important elements of the auditor selection process, however, that not much has been written about, is the reference checking for new possible audit firms.
So, below we describe an approach and provide a list of sample questions to ask during reference checking when you’re in the process of selecting a new audit firm.
An important task for any finance department is account reconciliation.
Items recorded as assets and liabilities at some point usually get paid, collected, depreciated or disposed; however, the related accounting entry to remove these items from the balance sheet does not always get made.
For example, an operating department may dispose of a capital asset without notifying the finance department or a cash collection may have been recorded as a revenue instead of an offset to the receivable. Without regular account analyses, these types of errors can accumulate on the balance sheet causing both balance sheet accounts and revenues/expenses to be misstated by a significant amount.
See the 5 steps to good account reconciliation procedure below.
Properly managing grants is a complex, and sometimes tedious, process. In recent posts, we have addressed some best practices in managing grants including written procedures, status reports, monitoring sub-grantees, maintaining proper records, planning and close-out meetings, and deciding whether to centralize or to decentralize grants management.
In this post, we discuss another best practice to consider in managing grants – the use of a grants management workgroup. Below, we discuss who should participate in the workgroup, what the workgroup’s agenda should be, the recommended frequency of meetings, and the role of the facilitator in the workgroup.
Since the grants management process is usually decentralized, your agency’s effectiveness and efficiency in managing grants depends heavily on how well employees in Finance communicate with the grants managers in various departments.
In this post below, we’ll explain how to achieve the best-possible results for governments grants management by incorporating planning and close-out meetings into your agenda.
When it comes to grants management, every government entity needs to have its important procedures written-down, including responsibilities, deadlines, billing, accounting, compliance, application and acceptance, close-out, and documentation.
Read below on how to set up proper grants management procedures.
Have you ever wished you had a grant status report that showed in a simple format whether your government is billing, collecting and spending grants in a timely manner? Or have you had a problem even identifying every grant that the government holds?
We developed a simple grants report for a client that you may find useful as a template to get a head start on preparing an effective grant status report for your government. Click here to jump directly to the download of the template.
Read more below on how to keep track of your grants.
Just like a business will suffer losses when its customers are not happy, so will government officials feel a bigger burden when citizens’ needs are not being met. With smartphone apps available at their fingertips, people today are used to receiving quick, favorable and customized service. And customers today have more power in their hands than ever; if they are unsatisfied with the level of service they receive, they will let their frustrations be known – via multiple channels: in person, with phone calls, on social media platforms, through review sites or by submitting petitions.
They bottom line is: whether you're a business or a local government, the level of customer service you provide will shape your path forward. Let's shape it positively.
Organizations that collect significant amounts of cash go to great lengths to keep their own employees from stealing from them. As an article on Fortune explains, US retailers are especially affected by losing cash through employee theft, and Forbes reports that “dishonest employees steal over six times the amount stolen by shoplifters.” It’s thus critical that businesses put in place internal cash handling controls. Internal controls over employees who collect cash are often visible in venues such as big box retail stores, movie theaters, parking lots, and golf courses. Governments can learn some lessons from these private sector organizations on how to help make their cash collections safer.
ConTroll - The Government