2015 Nonprofit Finance Conference

2015 NFC Breakout Sessions

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Morning Breakout Sessions (9:45am – 11:15am)

1A: Budgeting Effectively

Presenter: Tracy Cassidy, CPA

Budgeting can be a time consuming and stressful procedure each year.  There are steps, however, that can be done to prepare for the activity and make it more productive and accurate.  Knowing what information you’ll need, involving the right people, and knowing what the end product should look like are keys to successful budgeting. This session will address timing, people involved, things to have on hand before you start, delegation and presentation.

Audience: executive directors, finance directors, development directors, treasurers, bookkeeper and program directors

1B: Having the Hard Financial Conversations – From Reactivity to Creativity

Presenter: Cathy L. Ramsdell CPA, CGMA, Executive Director and Casco Baykeeper Pro Tem at Friends of Casco Bay, Nonprofit Financial Consultant

If you are a Board Member or Executive Director of a nonprofit, do you recognize that you have financial oversight responsibility but find you are at a loss about what you should be asking to understand the financial health of the organization? Do you find yourself in a reactive mode when faced with financial questions and reports? Do you find you have no clue about the degree to which your organization may be facing financial uncertainty? We will discuss why we are having trouble figuring out the right financial conversations to have. We will identify the conceptual challenges to help us meet them head on, weigh what we need to know to ask the right questions, and review specific tools and frameworks that can help Executive Directors and Boards create transparent tools that encourage the right conversations.

Audience: Small to medium sized organizations; executive directors and board members

1C: Size Doesn’t Matter: Cybersecurity Considerations for All Organizations

Presenter: John Rogers, CISSP, Sage Data Security

The presentation will review the current Internet environment, including the most common threats, the four common types of adversaries, and the power inherent to all users of technology to defend against common attacks. We’ll focus on Social Engineering and the human psychology factor, as humans are the biggest vulnerability and also the greatest defense against malicious activity, and what organizations of any size can do to protect sensitive information.

Audience:  Applies to all nonprofit staff and board members

Early Afternoon Breakout Sessions (1:00pm – 2:30pm)

2A: Linking Money to Mission

Presenter: Sandi Clement McKinley, Vice President of Advisory Services and Beth Doreian, Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund

This breakout session will help nonprofit leaders develop the skills to examine and interpret core financial statements and understand the implications for mission and programs. Further, we will explore tools available to monitor ongoing financial health and support organizational decision-making. Leaders will leave with expanded comfort in articulating their financial story to staff, constituents, board, and potential funders.

Audience: Senior leaders from small to large organizations (CEOs, COOs, CFOs); Board members and finance / audit committee members

2B: Trusted to Busted – Big Risks in Small Shops 

Presenter: Robert N. Brown, Jr., CPA, CFE – Managing Partner of The CPA Solution, LLC

Discover the truth surrounding the frequent headline grabbing crime that so often goes under reported and undiscovered for years.  Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention are not just terms for CPAs and Auditors.  Regardless of the entity you work for, manage or volunteer on behalf of, relying on the history of an organization, high profile board members, and the well-established placement in the community can result in the perfect storm.

Long gone are the days that executive directors and board members could leave their organization’s internal workings to the bookkeepers, accountants and auditors.  Today’s reality is that those at the top must take responsibility.  The fiduciary responsibility to properly record, protect and use the assets of the organization has crept into corner offices and boardrooms across the country.  Developing a proper internal control system is essential to all organizations.

Audience:  Anyone actively involved in the nonprofit community can benefit from this session.  This is not for just accountants and CFOs.  Board members, executive directors, staff members at all levels will benefit from learning non-accounting red flags, areas of concern and preventative steps to help ensure their nonprofit does not become the next victim of a devastating fraud.

2C: Functional Expense Allocation and Federal Indirect Cost Rates

Presenters: Hadje Esmiller and Peter G. Montano, Macpage

There has been renewed scrutiny of functional expenses by the AICPA which coincides with the OMB changes to Indirect Cost Allocations for federal funds. We will explore best practices for functional expense allocations, including documentation of the allocation process. On this we will build a Federal Indirect Cost Allocation plan under the new OMB rules.

We will walk you through an example of how to calculate an Indirect Cost Rate and the submission documents to DHHS for approval.

Audience: Organizations that receive federal funding should attend this session. This would include audit committee members, CFOs and accountants that are responsible for accounting for federal funds. The federal regulations apply to any organization that receives federal dollars regardless of the dollar amount.

Mid Afternoon Breakout Sessions (2:40pm – 3:40pm)

3A: Business Planning – Trip Tik Approach for Nonprofits

Presenter: Stefan A. Hershfield, Richard van Bergen and Christopher D. Van Curan, Executive Service Corps

Before 1990, GPS, and cellphone apps the AAA (American Automobile Association) had a vacation road trip planning program called Trip Tik, which was a segmented road map outlining where you were going and how to get there and back. It was an essential planning tool for vacationing families just as business planning is an essential planning tool for nonprofits. If you don’t have a road map for your nonprofit, you can easily get lost and off mission. (“A fool with a plan is more likely to succeed than a genius without a plan”.)

A business plan can be divided into four planning steps:
Step 1 – Strategic Thinking (Vision, Mission, Goals & Objectives, etc.)
Step 2 – Marketing (Target Market, Value Proposition, Website, Revenue Generation)
Step 3 – Financial (Projections, Budgeting, Income & Expense Control)
Step 4 – Execution (Accountable Action Plan)

We will take you through each of these 4 steps and provide some guidance on crafting a business plan for your nonprofit organization.

Audience: Small to medium sized organizations; Executive Directors and staff members responsible for fund raising and operations.

3B: So Now You’re Treasurer – What Do You Do?

Presenter: Gregory Csikos, CPA, CFE, Assurance Manager at Purdy Powers & Company

Treasurers fulfill a unique role on the board of directors of a non-profit organization. They are entrusted with ultimate responsibility for financial management as well as serving as the board’s internal financial expert. This session will discuss the role of treasurer within a non-profit organization and how a treasurer interacts with both management and the larger board of directors. A guided discussion will be held on best practices for financial reporting and internal controls. New and experienced treasurers alike will gain greater confidence in what they should be doing to serve their organizations.

Audience: Treasurers, executive directors, board members, and financial managers with intermediate experience. This session will focus on the role of treasurer for organizations where the board is not involved in day-to-day operations.

3C: The OMB Uniform Guidance

Presenters: Hadje Esmiller and Peter G. Montano, Macpage

The OMB has revised and condensed eight OMB circulars into one. These revisions could have a significant impact on nonprofit organizations that receive Federal funding, pass-through federal funding and or provide federal funding to sub-recipients. These new rules became effective for implementation in December of 2014, and the audit requirements will be effective starting in December 2015. We will review significant changes to the cost principles, administrative and audit requirements.


  • Organizations that receive federal funding should attend this session;, including audit committee members, CFOs and accountants that are responsible for accounting for federal funds.
  • The federal regulations apply to any organization that receives federal dollars regardless of the dollar amount.