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October 2012

I Used to Hate Audits But Not Anymore

By | Good Governance

I always tell my kids “Hate is such a strong word”, but in the case of corporate audits, it really seemed appropriate.  We had to pay a bunch of money for outsiders to come in and nitpick over our books, which resulted in a document that was ancient economic history by the time it was produced.

What a waste.

Now that I’m a Treasurer for a nonprofit, however, I feel totally different about audits.  We just completed our audit and its been distributed to the Board for approval at the next meeting.  And the document is a source of celebration!  We got a “clean” Management Letter.  There were no Material Findings, and the Auditor’s Report said the financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position” of our nonprofit.

Why the turnaround?  It’s because having complete financial integrity and transparency are essential for your nonprofit constituencies.  Grantors and donors demand this or they won’t give you more money. Clients, members and volunteers also need to know that your organization has financial integrity.  And of course the Attorney General needs to insure that the public interest of your tax-free status is upheld.