Times are tough for Not for Profits. There is extreme competition for donations and with the current state of the economy, it is that much harder. Not for Profits need to run a tight ship in order to maximize their organizational effectiveness based on funding available.
Not for Profits require strong Boards to ensure their viability and success. We can help implement best practises to ensure the effectiveness of Boards.
Examples of best practises include:
- Board Composition– does the Board have the right people and mix of individuals?
- Defined roles and responsibilities– does the Board delegate tasks and effectively communicate with other members to ensure the Not for Profits goals are being reached?
- Ethics– does the Board hold itself to high ethical standards? Not for Profits rely on donations and a Board that is proven to be unethical could significantly hamper its viability.
- Evaluating Performance– are you tracking the individual Board members and the Board as a whole?
- Risk Management– Is the Board actively identifying and mitigating key risks to the Not for Profit?
Policies and Procedures
Accurate, easy to read policies and procedures are essential for an effective organization. Whether it is to help train new employees, retain corporate knowledge in the event employees depart, or just providing a better understanding of processes for all employees within the organization, having these documents will enhance the company. We can help design, document and implement key policies and procedures based on your company’s needs. Having documented numerous business processes, and evaluated policies and procedures, we can perform the assignment in an efficient manner and minimize disruption to your current staff.
Cash Flow Management
A primary concern of Not for Profits relates to ensuring sufficient cash flow is available to fulfill its mandate. Whether this is through grants, donations, fundraising or performing a service, producing cash flow is paramount to the Not for Profit’s success.
We can help implement policies and procedures to ensure that you have strong controls over cash and to ensure that you are tracking it effectively.
Some of the services we offer include:
- Bank reconciliations– does the information in your bank account match what is showing in your receipts and accounting system? If these differ for any reasons other than timing, there is the potential for fraud/theft.
- Budget/cash flow projections– Do you know if you are going to have enough cash to cover your bills? Do you want to estimate how your company is going to perform in the future based on foreseeable events? We can help you forecast what your cash needs will be in the future. In addition, we can create templates such that we can make changes to the document as new information becomes available and circumstances change. We can track actual results to what you budgeted and help determine the root cause of why results did not match budget. This information can be parlayed to help future results.
- Expense Reduction– Are you paying too much for products/services? Or paying for things that your organization doesn’t require? We can help perform analysis to help you identify those costs that don’t provide any value to your business. Alternatively, we can provide cheaper solutions to help maximize overall cash flow and business success.
- Cash vs. Debt Balance– Are you holding too much in cash? Are you aware there is an optimal amount of debt you should carry to help the business thrive? We can help you find the balance between the two to help your business. In addition, we can help you in your relationship with your Banker to help negotiate favorable terms.
We will use your financial results to help drive performance. We can determine certain trends to determine how you are performing in comparison with previous results and how your results match with competitors/industry best standards (where information is available). We will create templates to compare year-over year results and month to month comparisons. We will determine the causes of fluctuations in accounts to help you better manage your organization.
We will identify key ratios that you should track and explain the importance of why these are determined as key. In addition, if you have a bank loan, the bank will likely have ratio covenants you must meet in order to qualify for the loan.
Most importantly, we will teach you to perform this analysis yourself, although we are always happy to help.
Non-Financial Performance Measures
We can help establish metrics that may not be financial in nature, but are good measures of future success.
Some examples include:
- New donors– are you tracking how many new donors you add per month? Are you setting goals of what this number should be and methods to make it happen?
- Quality of product/services– are stakeholders happy with your services? Do you have methods to track this?
- Web site traffic results– where applicable, are people visiting your web site or making online donations? What is the rate of success (e.g. the ratio of a person visiting the web site that leads to a donation)?
- Competitors– there is a lot of competition amongst Not for Profits for donations. Are there practises you could learn from competitors and incorporate in your own organization to help drive results.
- Public Relations– are you getting involved in the community or with local business chambers? Are you teaming up with other organizations? Getting involved in other ventures can help increase the presence of your Not for Profit and build goodwill.
- Others– there are numerous metrics which may apply based on the nature of your Not for Profit.
We can help implement key internal controls to ensure the achievement of the organization’s objectives in operational effectiveness and efficiency, reliable financial reporting, and compliance with laws, regulations and policies.
Key processes to implement controls over include:
- Revenue (via Donations, Grants, Restricted Grants etc.)
- Human Resources
- Capital Projects
We have access to an exhaustive list of controls and will implement those that apply specifically to the Not for Profit.
Are there special projects that you would like completed but don’t have the time or necessary skillset in house to complete? We are happy to discuss any such projects and let you know if we can complete the desired project.