2018 Nonprofit Finance Conference

2018 NFC Breakout Sessions

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Jump to Breakout Sessions Round One, Round Two or Round Three

Breakout Sessions: Round One (10:00am – 11:00am)

1A: Where is Your Organization on the Talent Sustainability Continuum?
Presenter: Lisa Brown Alexander, Nonprofit HR

How can you know if your organization has achieved talent sustainability on the path toward overall organizational sustainability? How do you know if you haven’t? There are typically three categories organizations and their leadership fall into on the talent sustainability continuum:

  • Leadership is “talent oblivious,” or does not invest in talent.
  • Leadership is “talent aware,” but not intentional.
  • Leadership is “talent focused.”

During this session we’ll take a closer look at each of these categories, and help you determine where your organization currently sits on the talent sustainability continuum. From there, you can determine what changes need to be made in order to achieve talent sustainability, and in turn, overall organizational sustainability.

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

1B: Financial Literacy for Board Members
Presenter: Anne Cloutier, CPA, FHFMA, Baker Newman Noyes

Boards of directors have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the assets of a charitable nonprofit are used in accordance with donors’ intent, and in support of the charitable mission. This session will help your board members understand how to read and analyze financial statements so that they are equipped to perform their fiduciary responsibilities, set realistic financial goals, evaluate your organization’s performance, and make informed decisions.

Level(s): Novice, Intermediate
Audience: Board Members, Executive Director/CEO

SESSION FULL 1C: A Road Map to Implementing the New Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting Standards
Presenters: Peter Montano, CPA, and Nancy Chase, CPA, CIA, CFE, PGM Accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, to improve the current net asset classification requirements and the information presented in financial statements and notes about a not-for-profit entity’s (NFP’s) liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows. The ASU will result in significant changes to financial reporting and disclosures for all NFPs. The standard is effective for annual financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017 and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. In this session, we will walk you through a step by step implementation process. We will discuss the standard’s requirements, effective dates, and provide detailed examples in order to help you gain an understanding of how to implement and comply with the new accounting standard.

Level(s): Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

1D: Get Ready…The Auditors are Coming!
Presenters: Grant Ballantyne, CPA, and Jason Badeau, BerryDunn

Getting ready for your annual audit is often times a dreaded task, but it doesn’t need to be. The annual audit is essentially a verification process relative to your organization’s already existing financial systems and statements. Throughout this presentation, we will discuss: why being prepared for an audit is important and how it can have a positive impact on the audit process itself; what preparations can you, as the organization, do ahead of time that may help move the process along; what information auditors may ask for; what are some communication strategies with your auditor during the audit process; and what the auditor’s conclusions and reports really mean.

Level(s): Novice, Intermediate
Audience: Finance Staff

1E: Good Growth Know How
Presenter: Joseph Drago, Joseph Drago Strategic Financial Consulting

Through this session, participants will learn the areas of Know How that boards and organizations must have to successfully assess and execute a major growth initiative:

  • Know your role: Consider how board governance and committee structure are critical to the success of a major initiative. Identify the organizational capacities that enable good growth. Assess if your organization is ready.
  • Know the opportunity and why it makes sense to pursue it: Explore the right due diligence steps to take to really know the opportunity and how to speak about it to stakeholders
  • Know how your organization will function as a growing entity: Envision and prioritize what needs to be in place your growth initiative to be successful

Level(s): Advanced
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

1F: Endowments: What You Need to Know and Tools for Success
Presenter: Jack Moore, Harpswell Capital Advisors

This session will provide a broad overview of endowment management. Participants will learn how an effective investment management program can help with finances, sustainability and even development. Development and endowment management go hand-in-hand and a variety of topics will be covered including: best practices; oversight practices for institutions with varied resources; impact analysis for major gifts/distributions; spending policies; and projection analysis (illustrating the way to show “how a major gift will be a long-term transformative resource for the organization”). Trend in ESG (environmental, social and governance-based investing) will also be discussed. Participants will come away with a broad understanding of several important concepts relating to financial sustainability and a framework to insure their investment manager is aligned with their organization’s best interests.

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

Breakout Sessions: Round Two (11:15am – 12:15pm)

SESSION FULL 2A: Program Budgets and Allocations
Presenter: Kenneth Bustard, MBA, The Accounting Coach

Allocating costs to various programs and grants is not always “black and white.” How do you maximize reimbursement, generate meaningful reports, and spread those “indirect costs” out? What is the difference between “direct” and “indirect” costs and why is that important regarding allocation? Federal and State grants are particularly important to understand regarding cost allocation and what is allowed. Agencies can easily lose funds from not understanding the allocation process.

Level(s): Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Fundraising Staff

2B: Business Continuity & Disaster Preparedness
Presenter: Joshua Peskay, RoundTable Technology

Sometimes things go wrong – a data breach, malware infection, data loss, power outage, or personal emergency can cripple your organization if you’re unprepared. The best thing you can do for your organization is put together a plan before things go awry. In this session, we will focus on what to do when something unexpected happens and ensure you are fully prepared to weather the storm. Learn exactly what to do before, during, and after an incident occurs. Just as important as knowing which steps to take, is knowing what not to do when things go wrong.

Key takeaways from this session will be:

  • Identifying types of disasters that can strike
  • How to think about impact of those different disasters
  • Scenario planning exercise to practice preparedness

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

2C: Developing Your Side Gig: Considerations for Developing Unrelated Business Income to Support Your Mission
Presenters: Kristin A. Mendoza, Bernstein Shur

A growing trend among non-profits is to open retail stores as a way of driving revenue to support their mission. Using case studies of those who have done so successful (and not-so-successfully), this program will provide examine when such activities should be operated through the non-profit versus a for-profit subsidiary, the fiduciary duties of using non-profit resources to develop a for-profit activity versus the funding of service delivery, the governance and operational challenges of a non-profit board and staff operating a for-profit business line, dealing with unrelated business income taxes and understanding the legal limits of how much unrelated business income can be generated without jeopardizing the organization’s tax exempt status.

Level(s): Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

SESSION FULL 2D: Finance Staffing Models for Small to Mid-Sized Organizations – Panel Discussion
Moderator: Jessica Burton, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative
Panelists: Andrew Butcher, Fourth Economy Consulting; Tracy Cassidy, CPA; Craig Lapine, Cultivating Community; + Barbara Leonard, Maine Health Access Foundation

This session will featured a moderated panel of nonprofit leaders sharing their on-the-ground experiences (good and bad!) with putting the right people in place to ensure financial management efficiency and effectiveness. How can nonprofits assess internal capacity? What makes sense to outsource? What are the benefits and challenges of sharing finance staff with other organizations? What are the risks and rewards of hiring versus contracting?

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

2E: Nonprofit Mergers and Joint Ventures: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Presenters: Ari Solotoff, Esq., and Jennifer Riggle, Esq., Bernstein Shur 

With increasing frequency, donors and Boards are encouraging conversation among nonprofit leaders around mergers and collaborative partnerships. Whether driven by competition over limited philanthropic resources or overlapping missions and service areas, nonprofits are exploring mergers and joint ventures as critical tools to leverage impact. This session will identify best practices, timelines, and costs for structuring nonprofit mergers, including how to have initial discussions among internal and external stakeholders. The presentation will provide a roadmap for completing a legal merger among nonprofits in the State of Maine. The session will also explore common pitfalls when beginning a merger and how to avoid them. The presentation will also briefly touch on the design, uses, and Internal Revenue Code challenges of joint ventures by nonprofits interested in pooling resources, whether for the delivery of health care services, administration and management, shared electronic databases, or any other reasons. Finally, this session will explore several real-life case studies in structuring nonprofit mergers.

Level(s): Intermediate, Advanced
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

2F: The Investment Policy Statement: Mapping your Organization’s Financial Destiny
Presenter: Michael Neff, CFA, People’s United Bank

Writing an effective Investment Policy Statement is a crucial process for investors to take control of their financial outcomes and move towards realizing investment objectives. This session will focus on writing the Investment Policy Statement (IPS) as an institutional investor. The act of writing an IPS can be educational for participants in the investment process and encourages the writers to think through the unique circumstances impacting their organization’s finances. The IPS serves as a governing document that can be highly customized to the needs of an organization and should therefore be given time and attention beyond the convenience of a template. While this can seem like a daunting task, the process serves to ensure that constraints, objectives, and attitudes about risk and return are properly understood and defined. The IPS becomes a living document that can reliably guide the parties responsible for the investment process during market or organizational upheaval when the absence of a plan can lead to irrational decisions. The IPS is instrumental in setting the organization’s asset allocation, so participants will also learn a great deal about considerations related to asset allocation decision.

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

Breakout Sessions: Round Three (1:30pm – 2:30pm)

3A: Annual Update: Uniform Guidance and the 2018 Compliance Supplement
Presenter: Alyssa K. Hemingway, CPA CGMA, Albin, Randall & Bennett

As we enter Year 4 of the audit requirements in Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR 200 (UG or Uniform Guidance) this session will review what has been learned through implementation. In addition, we will discuss common questions, and best practice tips using the Uniform Guidance and Compliance Supplement. The session will review key changes made to the 2018 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Compliance Supplement (Supplement).

Level(s): Intermediate
Audience: Finance Staff, Operations Staff, Compliance Staff

3B: Get Cyber Savvy
Presenter: Joshua Peskay, RoundTable Technology

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by cybersecurity. Whether it’s data breaches, ransomware, hacked webcams or botnet armies powered by millions of smart light bulbs, many of us in charge of protecting our organizations’ and our clients’ information can be forgiven for wanting to curl up into a ball and hide. There are so many threats, how can we even keep track of them, let alone protect ourselves, our organizations and our constituents from them?

This session will help you make a plan you can implement right away. We’ll introduce the guide “Ten Steps to Cybersecurity Maturity” and walk you through how to use the guide help your organization move toward greater cybersecurity maturity.

Key takeaways:

  • Ten Steps to Cybersecurity guide
  • How to improve your understanding of current cybersecurity at your organization
  • 3 things your organization can do to immediately improve cybersecurity
  • Templates, tools & services to help you take action

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Finance Staff, Operations Staff

SESSION FULL 3C: Internal Controls for Small and Midsized Nonprofits: How To Avoid Becoming the Next Cautionary Tale
Presenters: Robert H. Levin, Attorney at Law, and Peter Montano, CPA, PGM Accounting

How can you make sure that your organization is not the face of the next embezzlement scandal written up in the local paper? What kinds of Internal Controls should your nonprofit have in place? Internal Controls is an accounting term for a system of safeguards to ensure that an organization’s funds are properly administered. This session will provide practical and accessible advice and cut through the clutter to the essentials of what you need to know. We’ll be in search of that sweet spot between two extremes: relying on a vague gut sense that the finances are just fine and dandy, and spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary audits or the wrong kinds of insurance policies.

Level(s): Novice, Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff, Operations Staff, Fundraising Staff

3D: Tax Reform Changes and the Potential Impact on Your Organization
Presenters: Julia Howland, CPA, and Nick Crosman, CPA, MSA, Wipfli | Macpage

The Tax Cuts and Job Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, is the largest overhaul of U.S. tax policy in decades. We will help attendees understand the key provisions that affect nonprofits, including providing an understanding of the potential impact on donor contributions and the specific elements that will effect nonprofits tax compliance requirements.

Level(s): Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

3E: Using Legal and Tax Best Practices to Propel Results and Fulfill Your Mission
Presenters: Ari Solotoff, Esq., Bernstein Shur, and Nicholas Porto, CPA, MSA, Baker Newman Noyes

This session will provide participants with a “holistic” view of the legal and tax best practices that lie at the heart of strong nonprofit performance.

With a special focus on developing habits of governance, financial management, and program planning, the presenters will assist participants in identifying the monthly, quarterly, and yearly legal and tax practices that support positive operating results and engaged boards. This training will also explore key issues that new exempt organizations face when preparing the Form 990 tax return. From advocacy efforts to grantmaking activities to managing contributions, participants will reverse-engineer the Form 990 into a series of legal and tax milestones that can be implemented to support sustainable and strong operating results over time.

Level(s): Novice, Intermediate
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

3F: Think Ahead: Executive Transition Costs, Compensation & Considerations
Presenter: Mary Budd, Starboard Leadership Consulting

Reality check: Your senior leaders are leaving. Maybe not next week, maybe not in the next five years, but eventually your nonprofit will experience a leadership transition, and planning for that change is essential to minimize disruption and ensure continuity of service. This session will help board leaders and staff prepare for the inevitable transition of senior leaders, especially executive directors, by outlining the key steps in succession planning, including:

  • Setting competitive, equitable compensation: Can you reasonably expect to secure top talent at the rate you’re currently paying?
  • The hidden costs of transition: Are you familiar with your policies concerning accrued leave time and other deferred compensation, which may require the expenditure of unbudgeted funds?
  • Getting ready for both planned and unplanned departures: What’s involved in emergency succession planning and a typical executive search?
  • Optimizing the opportunity: How can you use the succession planning process to strengthen your organization today and moving forward?

Level(s): All
Audience: Executive Director/CEO, Board Member, Finance Staff

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