Auditors—every year, ready or not, here they come, like clockwork. And yet as each audit approaches, some associations invariably fall into a panic of finding and preparing all the necessary records for review. With complicated accounting requirements around things including member development, fundraising, donations and program services, and assets tracked as permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, or unrestricted, the auditing process demands vigilance and accuracy.
As any Scout worth their salt will tell you, being ready is half the battle. To be fair, auditors perform necessary services and help keep financials accurate and appropriate. But as each audit approaches, the requirement to prepare records for review and generate the necessary reports definitely adds work for your team. What’s more, the unique accounting requirements for associations as non-profits add a layer of complexity to an already demanding task. Plan ahead – you know what’s coming.
Whether it’s statements – of financial position, activities, cash flows – or basic balancing of accounts or reporting of revenues, expenses, gains, and losses – keeping up with the multifaceted requirements surrounding association financial management can seem endless, and daunting.
And then you find a mistake, giving daunting a whole new meaning.
Identify the Problem
One of the most common accounting problems associations run into is balancing accounts receivable on a monthly basis. Whether you work by manual entry or an input/export feature like the one in iMIS, sometimes batches may not match up to what is in your G/L account.
Deferred revenue can also be a problem area. Simple errors – recording revenue in the wrong income category, or assigning the wrong general ledger account – can result in funds winding up in the wrong bucket, throwing your balance sheet off track.
Similarly, internet transactions can be complicated by something as simple as using the wrong batch date. And credit cards come with their own set of potential pitfalls. For example, some credit cards delay access to funds for longer than others. While the transaction might process on Monday, it might not clear the bank until Thursday.
Any of these discrepancies can throw things off in small or large ways. Regardless of the size or scope, out of balance is out of balance.
Find the Solution
Luckily all of these potential problems are relatively easy to identify, and once identified, simple to correct. As one of the top Authorized iMIS Solutions Providers (AiSP) in the world, ISG supports staff with research, reports, and reconciliations. We have generated hundreds of reports for our clients, including hundreds of financial reports. In most cases, we will have a template for the exact report you need to zero in on where the problem is, and how to fix it. And if we don’t have the precise template you need, we can create it.
The ISG staff have decades of experience working with accounting staff to help them prepare for an audit. We certainly know the rules and the players, and we stand ready to support your team with information and analytics needed to beat the audit blues.
For more information on how ISG can help your team contact firstname.lastname@example.org.