Is your nonprofit required to have an independent financial audit performed?
Author: Tom Callahan
An independent audit is the examination of a nonprofit’s financials by a certified public accountant.
• Many states require the packaging of an audit with state charitable registrations for fundraising, but the requirement usually involves a certain level of revenue/contributions received. The amount that requires an audit is different from state to state.
• State government contracts may also stipulate an independent audit.
• Many private foundations expect an independent audit included with the request for funding from the charity. This expectation is usually outlined along with the criteria to apply for the grant.
• Federal law requires an independent audit if the nonprofit revenue raised is $750,000 or more.
• If a nonprofit organization receives funding from the state or federal government, an audit may be required.
• If an audit is required, it would most likely be due at the end of the calendar year, your fiscal year, or a date specified by the state or federal government.
An independent audit report is issued by the certified public accountant(s) to be reviewed by the nonprofit’s board of directors. An Adverse Opinion from the auditor can have a significant impact on funding efforts.
The cost of the independent audit can be over $10,000 every year for small nonprofits and much more for larger charities. It can be a severe setback for a new organization during its infancy if it cannot afford the audit. As I mentioned earlier, many private foundations require the approval of an independent audit for funding. If the nonprofit cannot provide the audit, it very well may affect fundraising efforts overall. The charity is unable to apply for a grant from the grantor.
As the charity grows in size and revenue, the audit will become part of the nonprofits yearly experience.
This above blog post is for informational purposes only. The material discussed should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult legal counsel concerning your own situation and any legal questions.