Archive

Archive for the ‘Audits’ Category

Automate Processes & Go Paperless with Workflow Management!

October 6th, 2014 No comments

Many of our nonprofit accounting users have found automating processes with workflow management helps them be more efficient and cuts down on paper use.

According to Jerry McGlaughlin, Senior Director of Information Technology Services Planning and Business Management at the American Psychological Association (APA), the IT team knows that after implementing Serenic Navigator, the organization as a whole has a better, up-to-date grasp of its finances, and Serenic Navigator’s built-in workflows are having a big impact. Read more…

Preparing for New Super Circular Audit Requirements

August 11th, 2014 No comments

For nonprofits or NGOs that receive federal awards, recent changes to A-133 audit rules take effect later this year. Previously, organizations receiving federal awards exceeding $500,000 included a mandate that the recipient undergoes an A-133 audit. Going forward, that threshold has been raised to $750,000 for audits of fiscal years beginning on or after December 26, 2014, and requires that a single or program-specific audit be conducted.

An audit has one primary requirementRecent changes to A-133 audit rules – provide evidence that the recipient has complied with award requirements and the federal dollars have been utilized as intended. For organizations that wait until the end of the year to create or accumulate records in support of their compliance efforts, preparing for the audit can be a nightmare.

To make preparation simpler, we recommend the following:

  • Take a proactive approach.
  • Apply a strong combination of formalized policy and procedure guidelines.
  • Rely on a solid software toolset for help in streamlining business processes.
  • Keep detailed documentation.

By taking this advice, we feel organizations can minimize the effort gathering evidence for the auditor and spend their time focusing on their mission.

Dealing with the federal government is complicated enough. Award recipients needn’t be in a position where the cost of compliance exceeds the value of the reward. With the right software, staying compliant doesn’t have to mean increasingly complicated business processes. When used properly, it can streamline the process by helping centralize information, safeguard assets, ensure appropriate approvals and adequate documentation for expenditures, and automate reporting even in the funder’s required format.

To read a complete whitepaper on audit complications and streamlining compliance with audit rules, check out our whitepaper online.

Allocations – What Are They Costing Your Organization?

June 9th, 2014 No comments

Recently, we started tracking how much time it takes nonprofits and government organizations to allocate their expenses to the appropriate fund and/or dimension (project, program, department, etc) at the end of the month. The initial numbers are quite high and the cost to the organization is quite shocking.

Here at Serenic, we learned long ago that the best way to “empower your mission” is to reduce the effort spent in the back office managing manual spreadsheets and making sure more effort can be focused on your organization’s mission. Since we are in the business of building financial and accounting software for nonprofits and governments, it’s appropriate that we built a solution, “Batch Allocations,” that eliminates the effort needed for this task. We have nonprofit and government clients running our standard “Line Allocations,” however, when they need to perform complex matrix math calculations, they use our Batch Allocations. These allow them to completely eliminate their spreadsheets. Here is a relatively simple scenario.
Read more…

Reporting to Federal Agencies – Don’t be Tied up in Knots

March 24th, 2014 No comments

Part 6 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules.

In this last post, we address reporting, ensuring you are ready for federal agency requests and are allocating program funding properly.

Read more…

Can You Afford Not to Handle Your Award Restrictions with Confidence?

March 17th, 2014 No comments

Part 5 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules

In this post, we address matching funds, service and expenditure levels, and earmarking;  ensuring your organization is in compliance with any and all award restrictions. Federal Awards ebook

Matching

When federal awards include a matching component, the recipient must be able to show that matching funds have been received and are from an allowable source.

Potential complication: The auditor must determine whether the minimum amount or percentage of contributions or matching funds was provided. They must also consider the value of any in-kind contributions that were received.

Streamlined: Use Serenic Navigator’s AwardVision to create rules to monitor matching requirements while ensuring matching costs are appropriately tallied on a recurring basis. By defining the matching requirements at the receipt of the award, organizations will have evidence of their guideline compliance over the life of the award. Read more…

Where Did that Laptop Go? Track Your Assets

March 10th, 2014 No comments

Part 4 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards? Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules.

In this post, we address tracking purchased equipment and real property, ensuring you are safeguarding your equipment and even being compensated for your share. Federal Awards ebook Read more…

The Devil is in the Details – A-133 Audit Rules

March 3rd, 2014 No comments

Part 3 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules

In this post, we address managing funds and tracking the eligibility of recipients, ensuring you are compliant and keeping you and your auditor happy. Federal Awards ebook

Read more…

Is Your Cost of Compliance Exceeding Your Award Value?

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Part 2 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules

In this post, we address tracking allowable activities and costs for your federal awards, ensuring you are compliant and not increasing complicated business processes.
Federal Awards ebook

Activities Allowed

Federal award recipients must pay careful attention to application details and award requirements. It is the duty of the nonprofit to use funds only for allowable activities and to properly track and accumulate transactions related to these activities.  In many cases, an organization must not only be able to show compliance after the fact, it must also be able to show evidence of internal guidelines that foster an environment of compliance.

In addition to coding transactions appropriately, your nonprofit accounting software should provide ample notes and file attachment features that create a complete and accurate picture of expenditures.

Potential complication: The auditor will seek to identify the types of program activities which are either specifically allowed or prohibited by the laws, regulations, and the provisions of contract or grant agreements.   Read more…

Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?

February 17th, 2014 No comments

Federal Awards ebookFederal awards always come with strings attached. When awards exceed $500,000, they include a mandate that the recipient undergoes an A-133 audit. This audit has one primary purpose: to provide evidence that the recipient has complied with award requirements. For nonprofits that wait until the end of the year to create or accumulate records in support of their compliance efforts, preparing for the audit can be a nightmare. But for organizations that take a more proactive approach and rely on their financial software for help in streamlining processes, while also managing and documenting compliance for awards of all types, documentation is the easy part. These nonprofits and NGOs will spend more time at year-end trying to locate a free workspace than gathering evidence for the auditor.

Dealing with the federal government is complicated enough. Award recipients needn’t be in a position where the cost of compliance exceeds the value of the reward. With the right financial management software, staying compliant doesn’t have to mean increasingly complicated business processes.

Follow this blog series to learn how to streamline compliance with A-133 audit rules. Read more…