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The Basics of Nonprofit Bookkeeping

By December 13, 2021May 12th, 2023Bookkeeping

nonprofit bookkeeper

Accountants will review all accounts to make sure there are no discrepancies, and balance a double-entry bookkeeping system to keep everything in check. They also take care of one-sided transactions such as paying bills like utilities, equipment fees, and other necessary expenses. Here’s how to prevent this kind of bad bookkeeping from damaging your nonprofit.

nonprofit bookkeeper

It’s important to create an annual operating budget that you can stick to throughout the year. It should be based on a combination of your history, upcoming plans, and other factors as well. This relates back to one of our earlier best practices about establishing internal controls. One of the most nonprofit bookkeeping important aspects of that process is role delegation, which is why I’m mentioning it separately. Even if your nonprofit isn’t selling anything, you’ll still need to process invoices. No matter what the case is for your nonprofit, you’ll need to conduct the same steps to hire the right person.

Implement Internal Policies and Controls

But there needs to be an equal focus on accurate accounting and bookkeeping. A full-time bookkeeper handles the day-to-day accounting functions for your office. Keeping your books in order and up-to-date is important for the basic financial strength of your organization.

nonprofit bookkeeper

As a nonprofit leader, you naturally want as much of your resources to go toward furthering your mission as possible, but of course, keeping a nonprofit’s operations in motion doesn’t just happen for free. The word “Jitasa” means “The Spirit of Serving Others.” Service is at the center of what we do. We want to serve your nonprofit so that you can better serve your community.

The Best Nonprofit Bookkeeper and Accounting Services on the Market

Because must manage restrictions, grants, and expenses in significantly more detailed ways than a for-profit bookkeeper. When you’ve decided to hire a nonprofit bookkeeper or accountant, you should first examine your nonprofit’s needs. Make a list of the services your nonprofit needs help with, then decide if those are in the realm of nonprofit bookkeeping or accounting.

  • Because nonprofit bookkeepers must manage restrictions, grants, and expenses in significantly more detailed ways than a for-profit bookkeeper.
  • All of this happens while ensuring a steady stream of donations in an increasingly competitive nonprofit environment.
  • Outsourcing nonprofit bookkeeping and accounting duties to a nonprofit-specific firm like Jitasa.
  • One of the most important aspects of that process is role delegation, which is why I’m mentioning it separately.

Bookkeeping for some small nonprofits may be as simple as creating invoices for donations received and paying salaries and day-to-day expenses. But expense allocation is even more complex in nonprofit bookkeeping, thanks to the need for functional expense reporting. That’s why we recommend most nonprofits work with a payroll processing service rather than trying to do it themselves. Whether you decide to recruit volunteers, outsource the services (our recommended route), or hire internally for these positions, your organization should understand what you’re looking for in each role.

Do the Owners of Nonprofit Organizations Make a Profit?

If you find that your nonprofit is leaving money on the table, then you need better financial management. Money lost not only represents a missed opportunity for your organization, but it can also make it more difficult for you to be selected to receive funding in the future. Foundations want to choose nonprofits where their money will go to the best possible use, and that typically doesn’t involve their dollars sitting, unused, in your bank account for the duration of the grant period. Bookkeepers lay the foundation for the accounting processes that will follow. They organize the data and ensure accuracy so the accountant can create reliable and timely financial reports. Nonprofit bookkeeping is the process of entering, classifying, and organizing financial data for the purpose of creating accurate financial records for your organization.

nonprofit bookkeeper

These guidelines are made to showcase the morals and values of your nonprofit. It’s a reminder to your donors, employees, and board of directors that the code of ethics must always be upheld while they’re working. Every business, including nonprofits, must protect themselves from fraud. While you’d obviously like to trust everyone that volunteers or works for your organization, you cannot assume that you’re immune from these types of problems.

Your Organization Is Growing

We have extraordinary capacity and expect the same from everyone on the team. As a part of your team, Supporting Strategies will bring streamlined processes and enhanced controls to your organization, so you can focus on your mission. Accountants also are in charge of completing the necessary nonprofit tax forms, such as the required Form 990 that allows you to keep your 501(c)(3) status each year. Bookkeepers will be in charge of making deposits to the nonprofits’ bank, and be your go-to individual for writing checks or signing off on reimbursements. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many organizations do not adhere to the latest accounting standards in the industry. So, relying on them to operate the back office can lead to costly mistakes with tax filings and donation tracking.

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