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New AICPA Not-for-Profit Section is Chock-Full of Resources for Practitioners

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May 12th 2015
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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A new membership section for practitioners and other finance professionals who serve or work for the ever-growing not-for-profit sector in the United States was launched by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) on May 11.

The AICPA Not-for-Profit Section will provide training and practical tools in the areas of audit, financial accounting, and tax to CPAs and other finance professionals.

In addition, those who have management or governance responsibilities with respect to a not-for-profit entity, including those who serve as board members or as volunteers, are eligible to join the AICPA as a non-CPA associate. AICPA members, including associates and non-CPA associates, are eligible to join the Not-for-Profit Section.

“The Not-for-Profit Section provides high-quality, timely information, tools, and resources that are designed to improve the governance, financial reporting, and tax reporting of not-for-profits,” Clar Rosso, AICPA vice president for member learning and competency, said in a written statement. “Additionally, the section is a valuable educational hub for those who are new to not-for-profits and want to learn more about the business of running one.”

The Not-for-Profit Section provides members with comprehensive financial management and governance resources, as well as an extensive learning library. Practical tools intended to help simplify and streamline tasks include work-paper templates, checklists, illustrative examples, and sample letters, reports, and policies in areas such as tax compliance, governance, financial reporting, auditing, and accounting.

Section members will also stay up to date through webcasts covering hot topics and timely e-alerts that provide breaking news and insights on the issues not-for-profit organizations can expect to encounter. Due to the unique issues faced by healthcare entities, they will not be included in the scope of the Not-for-Profit Section, according to the AICPA.

A recent ORC International CARAVAN survey commissioned by the AICPA found that 57 percent of the 1,009 people polled said they would be more likely to contribute to a not-for-profit organization whose employees receive regular updates about financial management trends. In addition, specialized professional training was considered to be significant to 78 percent of those surveyed. Respondents indicated that not-for-profit staffers would benefit from the same training and resources as finance professionals in other walks of life.

In response to the results of the CARAVAN survey, the AICPA last month launched a Not-for-Profit Certificate Program, a 40-hour on-demand experience covering the essentials of not-for-profit financial responsibility. The certificate program will allow finance professionals to earn an award of educational achievement for their knowledge in the areas of accounting, tax, audit risk, and governance.

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