Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Internal Controls


  • Compare all check logs for cash receipts to the amounts applied to receivables.  This will be done by an individual separate from those processing cash receipts and accounts receiva

Recording Other Transactions

The general ledger is the journal where all transactions are posted throughout the year and balances are maintained.

Revenues/Deferred Revenue

  • Establish policies for revenue recognition.  Certain types of revenue (including: dues; subscriptions; and meeting registration fees) may be received in advance of the product

Sending Invoices

Invoices may need to be prepared for a number of reasons. Some organizations sell books or newsletters for a fee. Others require registration for meetings or bill for dues.

Three Easy Ways to Safeguard Your Church's Assets

As church members, we probably do not want to entertain the idea that the people handling the church finances could be dishonest.

Time Sheets

Not-for-profits must record expenses on a functional basis. Salaries are generally the organization’s largest expense.

Travel Expenses

  • Create a standardized travel reimbursement request form with instructions for completion.  Excel can be used for the form so totals will be automatically calculated once the form is

Who is Reviewing Your Key Contracts?

Ensuring that the appropriate individuals are reviewing key contracts is essential to identifying, quantifying, and, if necessary, reporting financial liabilities in a timely manner.

Writing Checks

Having the appropriate number of people involved in processing transactions, the less likely it is that a problem will occur.


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