Ideal Accounting Skills for Working with a Not-for-Profit

Needed across industries and sectors of the economy, accountants play vital roles in maintaining the financial success of any endeavor. In the not-for-profit world, accountants take on the job of securing resources and reducing operating costs to help task-driven organizations achieve more good in the world.

 

Many accountants likely see this as a good enough reason to pursue accounting as a career. Through managing nonprofit budgets and expenditures, an accountant can indirectly serve individuals and communities in need. Even ministers have switched careers to capitalize on the amount of good they could achieve through accounting.

 

But not-for-profit work isn’t the same as traditional accounting work. While many of the same skills apply, accountants in the nonprofit world must hone a unique set of talents. Here’s what you should know.

How Non-Profit Accounting Differs

Many accountants making the transition from work in the for-profit world face a steep learning curve when starting with a non-profit. These economic sectors differ, composed, and driven by different goals and overall missions. While for-profit companies will be more focused on bottom lines, not-for-profits look more at their overall goals and the ways they are using their resources.

 

Accountants in this new environment must be clear on these differences and explore how alternative goals affect accounting work in general. For instance, for-profit entities operate using an often singular ledger system that details revenues and expenditures in a self-balancing account. Not-for-profits, on the other hand, operate with a series of resources and ledgers that must be balanced for ideal application.

 

In conducting this work, there are all kinds of varying terms and practices for accountants to learn. For example, retained earnings become net assets and a net income means an excess of revenues. Rather than an income statement, non-profit accountants create a statement of operations.

 

While these differences may seem primarily semantic, they represent the different goals and practices that drive non-profits versus for-profit businesses. With a non-profit, you don’t want money left over: you want an organization that is doing the most with what it has.

 

That said, there are many useful skills that a not-for-profit accountant can hone to bring greater success to their organization.

Invaluable Skillsets for Not-for-Profit Accountants

First, while accountants can certainly specialize in non-profit work from their undergraduate program onward, any professional with an accounting degree can translate their skills into success with a not-for-profit organization. 

 

Then, it is simply a matter of learning the differences and finding methods to improve the flow of finances and resources towards non-profit goals. Aside from being adept at navigating the nuances of tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization, not-for-profit accountants require skills like the following:

Excellent Organizational Abilities

For any accountant, the ability to manage a ledger system complete with all its fluctuating account details is a must. For non-profits, however, the impetus for ideal organization is even stronger. Nonprofits depend on efficiently maintained records to prove their tax-exempt status and be able to highlight processes for investors and stakeholders.

 

Auditing experience is a highly desirable trait of a non-profit accountant as a result. With the ability to organize and review records to prove compliance with investor and governmental requirements, accountants can keep a non-profit smoothly functioning. 

Effective Management of Tight Budgets

The majority of not-for-profit organizations operate with budgets of less than $1 million. Because of this, accountants in the industry need to keep a sharp eye out for any place they can reduce operational costs while also guaranteeing that donor and grant money goes where it needs to go. 

 

Non-profits are often limited by money given with specific donor restrictions. It is the job of the accountant to ensure that these restrictions are being met and reported within financial documentation. This takes attention to detail and great problem-solving skills. 

Quality Communication

One of the most important qualities for any accountant is the ability to communicate financial information. This is even more important in the not-for-profit sector, where donors want specific things and your organization has a mission to fulfill. 

 

Honing your communication skills can be one of the best ways to excel as a non-profit accountant. This takes empathy and clarity, as well as a willingness to be open to questions and concerns. Any member of your organization should be able to come to you with a question and come away with a clear explanation. Teammates should also be able to contribute with useful feedback and clarify practices wherever necessary. 

 

Implementing these ideal skills into your own toolset can be a great way to maximize the potential of your not-for-profit. If you’re just getting started in the non-profit sector, demonstrating these skills can help get your foot in the door. 

Improving your Status as a Non-Profit Accountant

Getting started as a non-profit accountant requires proper networking and professional qualities. While improving your skills, you can adapt your work and academic experience to write a great accounting resume. In turn, you’ll be able to improve your status as a non-profit accountant and land work with your dream organization. 

 

Your ability to do so, however, will come down to how well you showcase your skills on your resume. Highlight your soft skills like listening and communicating effectively alongside harder skills like experience with certain accounting software. Translate relevant job experience into applicable traits for non-profit work, or express a willingness to learn and adapt. 

 

Not-for-profits need skilled and attentive accountants to streamline the effectiveness of their resources. Demonstrating effective organization, budget management, and communication skills can help you get in the door with the non-profit of your choice. 

 

Then, hone these skills to ensure that your organization does the most good that it is capable of doing. By implementing skillsets and strategies like these, accountants can make a real difference in the world.

Lastly, become a certified Professional Bookkeeper that is both trained and certified in both For-Profit & Non-Profit accounting.

Universal Accounting Center Receives 2020 Best of Salt Lake City Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Universal Accounting Center Receives 2020 Best of Salt Lake City Award

Salt Lake City Award Program Honors the Achievement

SALT LAKE CITY June 15, 2020 — Universal Accounting Center has been selected for the 2020 Best of Salt Lake City Award in the Business Development Accounting Services category by the Salt Lake City Award Program.

Each year, the Salt Lake City Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Salt Lake City area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Salt Lake City Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Salt Lake City Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Salt Lake City Award Program

The Salt Lake City Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Salt Lake City area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Salt Lake City Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Salt Lake City Award Program

CONTACT:
Salt Lake City Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@2020city-top-selection.net
URL: http://www.2020city-top-selection.net

How to Become an Entrepreneur Without Quitting Your Day Job . . . Yet

There’s plenty of reasons why one should consider becoming an entrepreneur. For one thing, the prospect of being one’s own boss is extremely compelling, as are the flexibility to do what you wish with your time and the freedom to work wherever you want. For another, it can also be quite a grand adventure as you will undoubtedly learn countless lessons, both good and bad, as you run and grow your business (or, heaven forbid, fail at it). 

But of course, not everyone has the luxury, resources, and even courage to plunge head-on into entrepreneurship. For most people, taking baby steps and testing the waters is a lot more preferable, if only to keep a steady income from employment and other sources coming in. So if you’re not quite ready to give up your day job just yet, but also want to find out if you’re cut out for the exciting new world of business, here are some of the best tips.

Know what you want to do.

First thing’s first—before starting a business, it only makes sense to know what kind of venture you want to go into. Choosing the right business for you is, therefore, a crucial step, which is why you need to spend some time with your thinking cap on.

Many people go into business because they’re chasing a passion. While this can potentially work, the reality is, it can also be a mistake. This is because as you’re faced with the myriad responsibilities of running a business, you could invariably find yourself veering further and further from something you love; hence, extinguishing that flame and, subsequently, the motivation. 

Possibly a better way of going about it is by starting a business based on what you’re good at. For instance, perhaps you’re an accounting professional or a marketing person or a technical writer. You can easily leverage your core skills and offer them as services because you already know the nitty-gritty. 

Start part-time.

Again, quitting your day job may not be an available option for you at the moment, but don’t let it stop you from pursuing the business you had in mind. These days, the gig economy makes it possible for just about anyone to go into business for themselves by offering their services part-time. And best of all, it’s easy enough to get started, too. There are, in fact, several online job boards where you can create a profile and connect with potential clients, which is undoubtedly a great start.

On the flip side, the part-time, gig economy works to your favor, too. For instance, running a business means that you’ll need to stay on top of your financials, which can be a challenge, if you’re not well-versed in accounting. Thankfully, you don’t need to hire someone full-time (and pay employment taxes) to take care of your accounting needs, as you can easily hire a CPA through a job site like Upwork—that is, someone who’s qualified in accounting practices and tax laws and well-versed in QuickBooks and other accounting software.

Have the right setup.

Finally, in order to really get your business off the ground, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right setup and tools to operate. This will, of course, vary. If you’re a bookkeeper or a copy editor or a coder, for example, you will undoubtedly need a good computer and maybe even a home office.

Starting a business for the first time can be daunting, but there’s really no requirement to go all out, all in. So go ahead and move at your own pace because success waits for those who move toward it.

Written by

Derek Goodman

Set Your Sights on a Successful Accounting Career

Embarking on a new career is always emotional.  Obviously, you’re excited, and at the same time, it’s daunting knowing you need put yourself in a position for long-term success.  Here’s how to set yourself up for a satisfying and prosperous career in accounting.

Embrace professionalism

A career in accounting hinges on more than your ability to accurately crunch numbers.  As someone others will entrust with their finances, how you present yourself is of paramount importance.  Honesty and trustworthiness will weigh heavily on your success.  With that in mind, embrace a mindset of being a professional on all fronts.  Think in terms of reputation management, and keep your image pristine both in your personal interactions and on the web.  Polish your social media accounts and be conscientious of how others might perceive what you post and how you respond to people.

Choose your style

Many people believe accountants are quiet, behind-the-scenes workers.  However, Career Trend points out people of various personality types can be successful as accountants.  In fact, they cite studies noting accounting professionals are often extroverts.  Bear in mind it’s important to be able to discuss details, concerns, and future goals relating to the accounts you’re addressing.  It’s crucial to develop solid communication methods for working with peers and clients.  Be sensitive to your clients and their needs, and maintain a human connection.  Some experts point out there are a number of different job types, so as you climb the ladder, look for opportunities that help you blossom, whether sitting behind a computer most of the time, or in a meeting room.  Whatever suits you best can be your niche.

Learning and growing

When it comes to advancing your career, there is no substitute for on-the-job experience.  It’s a chance to develop an impressive resume as you advance through various stages.  It shows you’re able to manage real-world deadlines, workplace dynamics, and can handle the hurdles that come along with the job.  There are times when it’s necessary to make your own opportunities.  If you’re struggling to find the right window for broadening your skills, or you can’t seem to find an open a door, one way forge a path is through volunteering.  As The Muse explains, it looks great on your resume, you can expand your network, and there are plenty of charities looking for volunteers to help with their ongoing bookkeeping duties.

Keep in touch

Throughout your career, it’s important to develop some networking strategies to help you stay abreast of industry trends, stay in touch with those who can help further your career, and connect with other professionals for ideas and support.  Also, when someone is directly or indirectly instrumental in helping you, whether a customer, mentor, or peer, be sure to acknowledge that assistance.  It’s a chance to reinforce the relationship, and everyone loves to be appreciated.  Also, consider making it part of your professional development routine to attend career-oriented events.  You can make new contacts, learn about changes in the field, and promote whatever you’re working on.

Put technology at the forefront

Portrait Of Mature Businessman Calculating Finance At Ofiice

We live in an electronic age, and the field of accounting is directly affected by technological trends.  As an example, embracing the cloud has a direct impact on accounting efficiency, as does automation.  Being able to send and pay invoices from anywhere, and doing so automatically, can be a game-changer for many businesses.  There are also numerous tech tools that are shaping the world of accounting.  Adaptive security can keep data safe and even anticipate risks.  Firms are using videos for outreach to clients, conversational platforms to ensure customer satisfaction, and digital recruiters to engage top candidates, just to name a few current trends.  Remain aware so your skills and knowledge are relevant.

Pursuing a career in accounting is exciting and full of unique opportunities.  As you face the challenges of advancing your journey, pay attention to trends, tend your connections carefully, and ensure others can see you as someone worthy of handling their finances.  You can ensure a successful and prosperous career when you base it on integrity, perseverance, and positive networking.

By Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Qualify Your Clients for the BizBench Top 10% Award

BizBench Top 10 Logo 300Instead of just producing financial statements that report the past, imagine what difference it would make to you and your clients if your mutual objective was to get them to the top 10% of their industry for businesses their size for overall business performance as measured by the key Return on Assets?

You can achieve this now with BizBench!

The Importance of Recognizing Excellence – Our Own Experience

When Universal started it’s incredible growth curve in 2004, we were awarded by the State of Utah Department of Economic Development the UTAH 100 Award, for being one of the 100 fastest growing companies in Utah, and looked forward each year to making sure we achieved it the following year as well. We now have hanging on our Wall of Fame, a whole string of awards for that and each subsequent year.

UAC Wall of Fame

Roger Knecht, President of Universal, proudly displays UAC’s 6 year run of Utah 100 Awards, and our 5 year run of Inc. 500/5000 awards.

Then in 2006, we were awarded by Inc. Magazine the Inc. 500 award for the first time for qualifying as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States Again we were motivated to do everything possible to continue to receive these awards. Today we have hanging on our Wall of Fame, a line of Inc. 500/Inc. 5000 awards.

The BizBench Top 100% Award – An Evolution of Excellence

Since 2001, we have been using BizBench as a tool to manage our key financial performance metrics as a business, one of the major contributing factors to receiving the awards above. We valued this tool so much that in 2012 we purchased BizBench, and in 2013 we reintroduced it to the marketplace.

We have just launched BizBench 2.0 this year. It is now available to you as an accountant, consultant, business owner, or business executive to be that powerful tool to move from exigency to excellence! We found that it doesn’t take any more work to manage a well run business that it takes to run a struggling company, and often it’s much easier.

So we are excited to make an announcement:

We are launching an award of our own – The BizBench Top 10% Award!

Top 10 Certificate Acme SampleThis is available to any business for which a BizBench Report verifies that they are in the top 10% of their industry by NAICS code in Return on Assets.

Return on Assets (ROA) measures management’s effective use of the entire asset base to generate profit. The ratio is computed by dividing Pre-tax Net Profit by Total Assets, and then expressing that number as a percentage.

This is an extremely important ratio where the higher the return, the more effectively all assets are being used to generate profits. The ratio is a good indicator of management’s ability to conduct profitable operations. It is particularly critical for a company’s initial growth phase they have a high return on assets.

Does your business or a client’s business already qualify for this award? It’s impossible to know for sure unless you know the statistical distribution for similar businesses in the same industry.

BizBench takes a company’s key data from the Income Statement (profitability) and the Balance Sheet (equity), calculates, tabulates, graphs and explains over 50 key RMA Logomeasurements including ROA, and then compares each one to the statistical distribution of scores for each for a particular NAICS code and range of business size, using the respected Risk Management Association (RMA) database of business financials for the previous year. BizBench details the specific percentile achieved in each measurement. It provides specific suggestions for corrective actions in each area.

Virtually all measurements affect and culminate in ROA, and BizBench shows what the levers of the business are, where to find them, and how to operate them to reach the top 10% ROA for your industry.

If you are an accountant or business consultant using BizBench, you will receive an award as well as each client scoring in the 90th percentile or above for ROA. Imagine a wall of fame with many of your clients’ awards handsomely displayed for prospective clients to see. Imagine the focus it gives both you and your clients. Imagine the opportunity it gives you to reward your clients who follow your direction to make their companies great!

If you a business owner or executive, imagine the pride and motivation involved in knowing and SHOWING to the world that you are in the Top 10% of businesses of your size in your industry by NAICS code. Imagine what that could mean to your prospective clients, existing clients, vendors, lenders, and prospective partners. You will get a handsome award to display.

Order BizBench today and start getting your clients on board your ride to the top 10%!

 Visit http://www.BizBench.com for more information or to download actual sample reports, or to subscribe to BizBench and start working your clients to the Top 10%!

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