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2016 Nonprofit Finance Conference

2016 NFC Breakout Sessions

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Breakout Session One (10:00a – 11:00a)

1A: Setting Executive Compensation
Presenter: Dave Schneider, Attorney, BernsteinShur

Board members must be prepared to justify executive compensation package decisions – with the public, with their employees, and with the IRS. This workshop will review compliance issues related to executive director wages and benefits, and attendees will leave understanding best practices for setting appropriate CEO compensation.

Audience: Board Members

1B: Budgeting Dynamics
Presenter: Ken Bustard, MBA

Budgets are liberating and can transform your organization.  You would not take a cross country trip without a road map.  Likewise, the budget is your tool for PLANNING, CONTROL and DECISION MAKING.  We will highlight each of these three critical areas and the powerful impact they can have on your organization.  We will identify common shortfalls in the budgeting process that often dilute their value and usefulness.  This session will lay the groundwork for a new approach to your organization’s budget process.

Audience: Novice, intermediate level. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

1C: Investment Portfolio Oversight: Perils, Pitfalls and Possibilities
Presenter:D.J. Shaughnessy, CFA, Vice-President, Portfolio Manager – F.L. Putnam Investment Management

Back by popular demand! Non-profit boards and investment committees that oversee investment portfolios take on a great responsibility. The oversight function can be a high visibility, and sometimes heavily scrutinized, position. This scrutiny can come from within the organization, as well as from outside regulatory sources.  Both staff and volunteer board/committee members should be equipped with a toolbox of best practices that will lead to more efficient and effective governance and oversight of investment assets. This session is less about developing investment expertise and more about developing process and creating a productive investment committee. Among the topics covered will be: Understanding investment oversight vs. understanding investments; What are the regulatory aspects of non-profit investment oversight; The value and structure of a sound Investment Policy Statement; Avoiding the administrative pitfalls of ongoing oversight in the current environment.

Audience: This session is targeted toward staff and board members of non-profit organizations that currently have, or hope to have, an investment portfolio dedicated to the support of their organization.  The size of the portfolio is largely inconsequential.

1D: Updates to Nonprofit Accounting Standards
Presenters:Peter G. Montano, CPA, Principal, Macpage; Hadje A. Esmiller, CPA, MBA, Manager, Macpage; Elena B. Mikuzis, CPA, Manager, Macpage

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released update to its accounting standards for nonprofits. These standards providing more clarity and transparency, the update includes changes to the presentation of cash flow information, restricted net assets, and more. We will provide a hands on approach to prepare for the new reporting standards. The changes are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017.

Audience: All levels. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

Breakout Session Two (11:10a – 12:15p)

2A: Small Changes to Create Big Improvements in your Accounting Systems
Presenter: Marc R. Roy, CPA, Audit Manager, Berry Talbot Royer

Small and medium-sized organizations often have accounting systems that aren’t particularly useful when it comes to making economic decisions or reporting their results of operations to external users.  Fortunately, the usefulness of your accounting system can be greatly improved by making a few small, easy-to-implement changes.    This session will focus on three possible changes your organization can make: 1) improving your chart of accounts, 2) learning how to use the Class functionality in QuickBooks, and 3) creating information-rich Treasurer’s Reports.    With these three small changes, your organization will be able to more easily meet its internal financial reporting objectives (e.g., monthly board meetings, or day to day monitoring of financial objectives), its external financial reporting (e.g., making your annual financial statement preparation easy and seamless), and its external compliance objectives (e.g., making preparation of the Form 990 much easier to accomplish).

Audience: Novice, Intermediate. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff. Small and medium-sized nonprofits with finance directors  who do not have professional accounting training.

2B: Revenue Recognition
Presenter: Tracy Cassidy, CPA

This seminar will teach you to understand the different types of contributions and when to record them as revenue and at what amount. Topics: Agency vs. Exchange transactions, Membership dues, Naming opportunities, Donor status/recognition levels, Donor-imposed restrictions and conditions, Contributed services, Pledges, Conditional promises, and Intentions to give.

Audience: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. Executive Director/CEO, Finance Staff

2C: Navigating Conflicts of Interest – How to Steward Disclosure and a Culture of Candor
Presenters: Ari Solotoff, Associate Attorney, Business Law Practice at Bernstein Shur; Nelson Toner, Chair of Tax Practice Group at Bernstein Shur

Every nonprofit must have a written policy governing conflicts of interest.  By combining a strong conflict of interest policy with a culture of disclosure and candor, individuals who govern nonprofit organizations (“fiduciaries”) can best adhere to their two primary duties: 1) the duty to administer the affairs of the charitable enterprise with due care; and 2) the duty of loyalty, which prohibits fiduciaries from using their positions to obtain personal gain for themselves or others.  In order to help spot conflicts, this session will first define a conflict of interest from the perspective of Board members and executive leadership.  Participants will then learn how to adopt a conflict of interest policy consistent with IRS guidelines, and will also gain an understanding of the essential elements of a conflict of interest policy.  Using real life examples, this presentation will provide participants with the tools necessary for managing potential conflicts as they arise.  Because nonprofits and the individuals who benefit from conflicting transactions risk loss of exempt status and possible penalties from the IRS, this session will review the penalties and assessments that may be applied to an organization and responsible parties, including Board members and officers.  Finally, the presentation will highlight practical strategies for developing a culture of disclosure and candor, which are necessary ingredients for financial sustainability and programmatic success.    Takeaways: Participants will receive a sample annotated conflict of interest policy and a checklist of governance best practices for managing conflicts of interest.

Audience: Novice, Intermediate. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

2D: NPO Workouts or Mergers. What is the answer?
Presenters: Peter G. Montano, CPA, Principal, Macpage; Nancy A. Chase, CPA, CIA, CFE, Manager, Macpage

NPOs from time to time go off track. We will discuss how to realign finances, personnel and mission to become profitable again. We will also discuss various aspects of merging two nonprofit entities together whether brought on by key personnel retiring or financial issues.

Audience: Intermediate, advanced. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

Breakout Session Three (1:45p – 3:15p)

3A: Bank On It! Top 10 Cost Saving Strategies (Session Cancelled)
Presenter: Robyn Bonville, CFO, Aroostook Mental Health Services

Are current state of affairs making it so you have to cut back $$$ significantly in order to keep the doors open?  Have you heard the term, “going concern”?  Find out cost saving strategies that will make you say, “Say what?  We reduced borrowing from our line of credit by 75% in six months!?!”  You will learn about the top 10 proven money saving strategies that come from profitable businesses as well as nonprofit agencies that will turn your financial frown upside down.  Did you realize proper leadership and basic grassroots marketing efforts have a very large bang for your buck?  Get energized around saving money, cutting costs, retaining employees, and providing mission-critical services and/or products via passion and drive.  Problem solve, brain storm, practice and hear the power of a variety of experiences that will lead you down the right financial path in the very near future!

Audience: Novice, Intermediate. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

3B: Where Have All the Dollars Gone? – A practical look at internal controls 
Presenter: Robert N. Brown, Jr., CPA, CFE – Managing Partner of The CPA Solution, LLC

Back by popular demand! The fact is, 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. This session will show you the essentials.

Audience: Novice, Intermediate. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member

3C: Having the Hard Financial Conversations – From Reactivity to Creativity
Cathy L. Ramsdell CPA, CGMA, Executive Director at Friends of Casco Bay, Nonprofit Financial Consultant

Back by popular demand! If you are a Board Member or Executive Director of a nonprofit, do you find yourself faced with the dilemma of recognizing 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: Novice, Intermediate. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member. Small and medium-sized nonprofits.

3D: Risk Keeping You Awake? Get More Sleep with the Risk Bow Tie Technique
Presenter: Melanie Lockwood Herman, Executive Director, Nonprofit Risk Management Center

Have you ever worried about risks that threaten the mission and programs of your nonprofit? Don’t let risks keep you awake all night! Attend this workshop to train your brain in risk assessment skills that will help you and your colleagues sleep more soundly. Learn how to use a risk ‘bow tie’ diagram to identify and assess the risks facing your nonprofit, and get hands-on experience thinking through the nuances of a realistic risk event. The risk bow tie will help you brainstorm preventive and reactive controls that you can put into place to reduce the likelihood and the severity of the risk. You’ll leave the workshop with practical ideas to protect your organization, and you’ll be ready to teach the risk bow tie technique to your own team. Stop worrying and get ready to count sheep and catch some ‘Zzzzzs!’

Audience: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff