Before your nonprofit’s fiscal year-end, you may want to create a checklist that includes what you need to accomplish. Though checklists can vary from organization to organization, you likely want to include automating your bookkeeping and accounting process, filing your IRS tax reports, scheduling your annual board meeting, and completing the necessary reporting.
What Is the Fiscal Year for Nonprofits?
A fiscal year for a nonprofit is the period used to calculate annual financial statements, and for many nonprofits, the fiscal year-end is June 30. However, this isn’t a required year-end date, and your organization can base your organization’s fiscal year on a few different factors. For example, you can correlate your fiscal year-end with your program year or grant cycles. Consider your busiest season, as you may want to plan your fiscal year-end during a different time of the year. Consider making the following steps part of your fiscal year-end checklist.
Automating Bookkeeping and Accounting Processes
Keeping up with your nonprofit’s bookkeeping and accounting needs throughout the year can be difficult and time-consuming if processes are entirely manual. By automating these processes, you can simplify your bookkeeping and accounting while gaining a clear understanding of your finances at any time. During the fiscal year-end, you must enter all your data, balance and reconcile your accounts, and accurately record all your transactions. You can ensure the easy completion of these tasks by automating these processes with MIP Fund Accounting®.
Fill Out IRS Tax Reports
Your nonprofit organization likely needs to file tax reports annually. For example, most exempt organizations file the IRS Tax Informational Report, also known as IRS Form 990. The type of this form you need to file depends on your organization’s gross receipts and the filing year. Possible Form 990s include Form 990-N and 990-EZ.
Your nonprofit’s fiscal year-end can influence when your IRS Form 990 is due. The form is due a few months after your year-end, so it’s important to determine what your year-end date is to determine when the form will be due. Along with this form, you may also need to collect W-9s for your vendors or service providers. At your fiscal year-end, you want to make sure you have every form or IRS tax report you need.
You may also need to file an annual tax report with your state. To check the tax filing requirements in your state, reach out to the state comptroller’s office.
Schedule an Annual Board Meeting
During your nonprofit’s annual board meeting, you can evaluate your organization’s progress in reaching goals, elect a board of directors, and set goals for next year. In many states, a nonprofit should hold a meeting at least once a year, though many choose to hold quarterly or even monthly meetings.
Of course, even if you hold regular meetings, your organization could benefit from an annual meeting dedicated to important matters. Evaluate the executive director’s performance, elect new board members, set your budget, review your financials, evaluate your programs’ achievements, and review your policies. Your nonprofit can facilitate growth and success by addressing these matters during your annual meeting. Donors also like to know that your board monitors your organization’s progress toward your missions.
- Set the date: Set a date for your annual meeting by consulting your formation documents and bylaws. Typically, your organization’s bylaws will indicate the month in which your meeting should occur, and the directors will decide on a date. If not specified in the bylaws, you may want to schedule your annual meeting for the month after the end of your fiscal year, as you can review your entire fiscal year and annual tax return.
- Send notifications: Consult your bylaws to review your notification requirements for the meeting, such as when the secretary needs to notify your directors and members and by which method of communication. If these requirements are not specified in your bylaws, review your state’s nonprofit laws.
- Elect directors: During your annual meeting, you can elect directors to serve on your board. To determine voting procedures and term lengths, review your bylaws.
- Review your finances: Your board should review various financial reports during your meeting, such as the tax return, balance sheets, and income statements. Use these financial reports to set a budget for your new fiscal year.
- Evaluate your programming: Review your organization’s programs and activities to determine whether they enable you to fulfill your mission and meet your goals.
If you plan on holding a virtual meeting via video conference or over the phone, you should first review your state’s laws and your bylaws. The bylaws may require you to hold an in-person meeting so you’ll need to amend them prior to holding your meeting virtually.
As a nonprofit organization, you may need to file periodic or annual reports with your state agency. Additionally, if you have received grants from foundations or the government, you may need to complete certain reports. Knowing what reports you must complete by your fiscal year-end is essential, so be sure to include them on your checklist.
In many states, nonprofit organizations must file an annual report with the Secretary of State or the state corporation’s office. Though the exact details of the report vary depending on your state, most reports will request updates on registered agent information, addresses, and names of directors and officers. To ensure your nonprofit keeps an active status with your state, you may need to file this annual report. Check the requirements in your state on the Secretary of State’s website.
Grants and Contracts
You may also have to report on program and financial activity if you receive funds from government or non-government grants. While some grants will require you to file a year-end report, others require periodic reports. Some reports are narrative in nature, meaning you will describe who you served, how you used the funds, and the progress you made toward meeting your objectives. Other reports are financial, so you will note items like your budget to actuals and profit or loss.
The point of these reports is to let the donor know how you used the funds. If you need to complete these reports, be sure to also review the terms of your corresponding grants.
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MIP Fund Accounting® is a cloud-based, SaaS fund accounting software widely used by nonprofit organizations throughout the nation. At MIP®, we have been helping nonprofits, K-12 schools, government entities, and associations better reach their goals for decades. If you want to gain complete oversight of your organization’s finances and improve your financial decisions, engagement with donors, and overall operations, our solution can help.
Use MIP Fund Accounting® to manage your books and track your funds with ease. Our user-friendly system enables the simple management of complex financial processes. Instead of adapting our system from existing solutions, we built it with nonprofits in mind to address your organization’s exact needs. Request a demo of MIP Fund Accounting® to see MIP in action today.