It’s Good to Be Back!

Carol & Carrie Walking in Garden-Flipped 315 x 315It’s been a long time since Carrie and I posted to our blog. It’s good to be back!

I had to eat a piece of humble pie last year when I realized I had allowed myself to get too busy for things that mattered most to me, including writing this blog. As Michael Hyatt observed, “We’ve bought into the myth that we can do everything.” Certainly that was my case. I kept adding projects and commitments without taking anything away. I got so busy last year I actually missed my father’s birthday! That day was a turning point for me. I realized I needed to reevaluate my priorities.

Greg McKeown, in his book, Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, says we need to “discern the trivial many from the vital few.” If you run a nonprofit, I have no doubt you can relate.

Nonprofit leaders face a perfect storm of accounting troubles.

Carrie and I are motivated to grow Nonprofit Accounting Academy in light of the ongoing needs we see in the nonprofit community. Most nonprofit leaders simply don’t know where to turn to get good accounting help, never mind the cost! Adding to all this is the fact that many nonprofit leaders are too overloaded to give much time to their accounting system. And as if this weren’t enough, nonprofits are facing major changes in nonprofit accounting standards (ASU 2016-14) and ongoing changes in accounting software/technology. The result is a perfect storm for accounting troubles.

Bad accounting leads to daily frustrations.

It’s no surprise to us that many nonprofit leaders continue to be frustrated by accounting. They can’t easily produce the financial information they need to complete their audit, file their 990 or communicate with their board. They have trouble processing payroll, filing correct payroll tax returns and getting checks to contractors. They struggle to manage cash flow. They open themselves up to fraud as people take advantage of the fact that no one can easily understand how money is spent. Most nonprofit leaders know all too well that creating a good accounting system falls into the “vital few” camp, essential to their organization’s success. If only there was a simpler way!

Our goal is to make great accounting achievable for your nonprofit.

After clearing my plate of things that were not furthering my priorities (a work-in-progress), I was able to focus on the “vital few,” including Nonprofit Accounting Academy. Carrie and I took down our first web site and built this web site, a complete overhaul of the original. Here we will keep a more organized blog and provide other free information, tools and resources. In the future we plan to develop more in-depth fee-based resources and online courses.

It is our sincerest desire that through the resources we make available on this web site, we will provide you with what you need to create a successful accounting system for your nonprofit.

Get started with our foundation blog posts.

The new website contains blog posts we wrote as foundation material. We notice in working with clients they want to solve specific problems, but they don’t always realize these problems are actually symptoms of a problematic accounting system. To that end, we’d like to draw your attention to a few “big picture” posts.

The first one is 12 Ways Accounting Can Make You an Awesome Nonprofit Manager. This post covers things that you should expect your accounting system to do for you – not only creating reports but also serving as a financial workhorse to facilitate day-to-day transactions such as receiving gifts from donors and paying employees and vendors.

The next post is Read This Before You Buy QuickBooks (Or Any Other Accounting Software). It explains how QuickBooks (or any accounting software) fits into the framework of an overall accounting system. If you only buy the software and you ignore all the other elements of an accounting system you are only going to be frustrated. This blog post outlines the components of a functional accounting system, of which your accounting software is only one part.

The next post is Select the Right Accounting Software for Payroll and Contractors. For most nonprofits paying people for services is the largest expense, often comprising 80% or more of total expenses. It can also be a complex area, made even more complicated if you have to keep track of payroll funded by restricted grants. If you can get payroll done right and recorded properly in your books you’ve accomplished quite a bit! So doesn’t it make sense to make payroll functionality a priority in selecting accounting software?

We also brought forward our ever-popular blog post with new updates called 1099-MISC in a Nutshell. We get so many questions on contractors and preparing 1099s. If you pay people who are not employees, please read this post. It is short and to the point, and will give you the essentials you really need to know about paying independent contractors.

We want to make your accounting system work for you.

That’s how we will strive to go forward, giving you blog posts and other resources that are concise, useful and actionable. We know you are short on time. Our goal is to help you make your accounting system work better and harder so you can run your organization, make progress on your mission and effectively communicate your financial story.

Carrie and I are excited to be back!


  1. Sheila Westerveld on July 25, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I can’t wait to read the articles that Carol and Carrie will be publishing here on their blog. They truly make accounting seem easier when they explain the principles and how to get the software to present what you are looking for. Way to go!

  2. Terri Geiger on July 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    good to see you again. looking forward to future articles.

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