501(c)3 and Non-Profit Help
BFS offers provisions that are often overlooked in the Articles of Incorporation of the organization. There are other oversights that may slow the processing of the application, too. The oversights may create problems during start-ups if not handled at the onset.
501c3 start-ups should give special consideration to their purpose. Board members should be chosen to meet the considerations of the organization’s mission. Bylaws, conflicts of interests and conflicts in hiring should be considered. And there are many other factors that must be considered at the beginning of start-ups. Additionally, the IRS will require resolutions to address several concerns.
Applicants for 501c3 status should not avoid larger application fees simply to save on the expense. Problems may be faced later where grant applications or proposals are made. Foundations review the non-profit’s form 1023 too. They also want to see if they meet the terms of grants for which they provide. Foundations fund nonprofits. They check to see if requested grants amounts exceed the amounts forecasted amounts in the form 1023.
Filing Form 1023
Any organization, that wishes to be recognized by the federal government as a non-profit charitable organization, must complete the form 1023. The form is also referred to as the 501(c)3 application. And only then can funds donated to the organization become tax-deductible to its donors. So the question is often raised how to setup a 501 (c) (3)? We have tried to simplify the answer to this question for many clients. Finally, we have concluded you let professionals do it. The 501c3 start-up application requires several supporting documents and forms to be setup. The process can be time-consuming. And if not done properly, and in its proper order, the 501(c) 3 application can take longer than it should. It may also become more costly.
A 501c3 start-up should consider its purpose and its mission before choosing its board members. Bylaws, conflicts of interests, conflicts in hiring have to be considered. Also, you must take into account many other factors at the beginning of start-up phase. And at some point, it will also need to consider a business plan for the organization. Business & Financial Solutions is experienced in processing 501 (c) 3 start-up applications. And we are knowledgeable in expediting the process. There are also provisions that are often overlooked in the Articles of Incorporation for the organization. These oversights may create problems during start-up if not handled properly at the onset. BFS simplifies the entire process.
Non-profit Accounting and Tax Prep
Business & Financial Solutions offers support to non-profit organizations in a number of areas. And this work is considered a nonprofit business service. Yes, a nonprofit organization is considered a business. Our firm offers everything from setting up a nonprofit to accounting and tax preparation too.
There are two basic types of grants. There are general purpose grants or unrestricted funds. And there are special funds, often referred to as restricted funds. Hense the word restricted. So these funds can’t just be used for anything. Maintaining the integrity for these is critical in meeting the expectations of the grantors. The grant, fund or program accounting is also crucial if your organization expects to continue to receive funding over the period of the grant or in future years. A grant could be lost if you fail to provide the proper accountability for it. You could also lose future opportunities to get this, or other grants. And you could also face criminal charges
There are challenges in writing a grant proposal. Most grant applications require similar information. Grant proposals are a part of any fundraiser’s portfolio. And, grant proposals should be a part of your overall fundraising plan. Grant proposals are necessary to achieve optimal success. Grants may be from a variety of sources such as a foundation or a government entity. They will all require similar information. Therefore a business plan should be developed which encompasses the proper elements for the process.
Accountability for the funds from grants should be done by professional accountants, where they have experience with project, program, fund or grant accounting. Furthermore, avoidance of this expense may be costly in the long run. And it is preferred that your firm has experience in filing the Form 990 tax return as well.
Not all CPA or tax preparation firms will offer this as a part of their services. Because these returns must be prepared to meet federal and local government standards they should be prepared with integrity. The 990 tax return is also a matter of public record too. Preparation of this tax document is for all of your funders and the general public to see in an open forum. Let BFS assist you in meeting these high standards.
General-purpose funds can be used for general operating expenses, such as rent, salaries, supplies, and other general overhead-related expenses that are necessary for the organization to keep its doors open. However special funds are generally restricted to use for programs and services that the organization or entity provides.
The accountability for special funds must be as stringent as their application. There are two main entities that regulate grant or fund accounting for non-profit organizations. At the federal level, the regulating entity is the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). At the local or state level, the regulating agency is the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
Our firm also prepares tax returns for nonprofit organizations. We Prepare the form 990 income tax returns for a variety of nonprofits. And there is also the 990 Postcard which may be filed by organizations that had little or no revenue. However, even if an organization qualifies for the postcard it may not be wise. The postcard doesn’t take much to file. But there are good reasons why you may opt to file the full 990 tax return.
Budgets & Forecasting
Assuming that an organization already has a business plan, the budget and forecast for the organization is changing from time to time. Budgets change at least yearly. Forecast can change weekly. To keep your organization in line with its spending, we are constantly running the numbers. How frequently depends on the level of service you have hired us to perform. Non-profit organizations’ budgets need to always be ready to go. It is most certainly a part of most any grant application. As well, the form 990 tax return is becoming a common request in the grant application process.
Forecasting is a tool, necessary in helping organizations avoid overspending. It is also essential in planning and scheduling the grant funds over the accounting period. Many grants only disperse the funds in parts. Each part has to be spent and an accounting for it has to be provided, before the organization can draw down on the next part. In our forecasts, we can determine how much of the grants will be spent and when.