February 23rd 2011 by Gregg Bossen, CPA
When Intuit first asked me to write an article about working with the nonprofit sector, I was a bit reluctant. You see, those of us who specialize in nonprofits know something other accountants and bookkeepers do not: the nonprofit world is an untapped goldmine, full of benefits.
When looking at which business sectors an accounting firm should concentrate in, nonprofit organizations can, and should, be held up to the same economic lens as any business. In fact, charities, social service agencies, arts organizations, schools, membership associations and even churches are ultimately businesses that happen to have a motive other than making money. Just because they aren’t there to make a profit does not mean that they aren’t a profitable niche for your firm.
I think it all boils down to supply and demand, one of the basic economic tenets of our society. Let me explain.
With more than 1.4 million nonprofits registered with the IRS, the demand for quality, solutions-oriented accounting is huge. Most of these organizations are small, but no matter how small they are, each one has a board of directors requiring monthly financial statements.
This is certainly not true for other businesses who usually don’t show up until April 14 and would never pay for monthly compiled financial statements. Because nonprofits frequently do not have the resources to hire staff to perform these functions, that’s where we come in!
Better still, most of these organizations survive on government and foundation grants that require an annual audit. This is true no matter how small the organization is, which can prove difficult financially. Nevertheless, an audit is a must in order for any nonprofit to be viable. Those of us who went to the trouble of getting those three extra letters after our name – “CPA” – find performing these audits actually quite lucrative and rewarding.