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Not-for-Profit Advisor - Fourth Quarter 2014


Fourth Quarter 2014

Uniform Grant Guidance for Not-for-Profits - Analyze the Impact of New Rules Now

In December 2013, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a comprehensive overhaul of grant reform rules titled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Superseding and combining the requirements of eight existing OMB circulars, the new guidance – also referred to as the “Supercircular” or “Uniform Guidance”  – provides a framework for grants management that aims to curb waste, fraud and abuse, strengthen oversight of Federal awards, eliminate unnecessary and duplicative requirements, and improve performance and outcomes while lowering costs. The new guidance takes effect December 26, 2014, with new Federal awards and additional funding to existing awards issued after that date subject to the Uniform Guidance.  Audit requirements will apply to audits of fiscal years beginning on or after December 26, 2014.

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Whistleblower Policies: What are the Recommendations and How Does Your Not-for-Profit Organization Measure Up?

As part of CohnReznick’s ongoing commitment to provide value to our clients and contacts, earlier this year we announced our first Not-for-Profit and Governance Survey. The survey, which covered topics such as audit committees and conflicts of interest policies, also included the topic of whistleblower policies. Why? Because, as highlighted in the American Society of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 2014 Global Fraud Study, whistleblower tips remain the most common way that acts of fraud are initially detected. Based on the 2014 study, whistleblower tips accounted for 42.2% of initial detection of occupational frauds – a significant percentage and one that has remained consistently high for more than a decade.

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Complying with Increased Scrutiny: Best Practices for Not-for-Profit Organizations

The implementation of FASB Interpretation Number 48 (FIN 48) and revision to Form 990 made clear the intent of the IRS to promote transparency and improve the governance behaviors of organizations. Not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations must now follow a strict road to compliance, a process that requires significant resources and information gathering in an effort to protect the organization’s reputation, its relationships with board members and stakeholders, and ultimately, its tax-exempt status. Preparing Form 990 thoroughly and accurately is critical in avoiding an IRS inquiry or audit. Before the close of the calendar year, not-for-profit organizations should encourage their boards to consider adopting a compensation policy as a best practice to ensure good governance in accordance with the expectations of the IRS.

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Benefit Corporations: What Are the Advantages, Disadvantages, and Impact on Not-for-Profit Organizations?

Benefit corporation legislation has been enacted in 27 states with the original legislation first appearing in Maryland in 2010. Most recently, Connecticut’s law became effective in October 2014. What has been the impetus behind the addition of the benefit corporation legislation? While a traditional for-profit corporation’s sole purpose is to maximize shareholder profits, a benefit corporation may pursue socially-minded purposes as one of their corporate objectives. Therefore, incorporating as a benefit corporation legally protects a company’s social goals by mandating considerations other than profit, allowing the business to align with and address altruistic commitments.

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Any advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues. Nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its members, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.

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