Bookkeeper who defrauded non-profit avoids jail time

Here is another local example of the cost of not-having appropriate financial internal controls.  No one – including bookkeepers – should ever be able to initiate bank transactions (withdraw cash or make payments) without appropriate review and approval.

Click here to read North Shore News article dated 04DEC2017.

 

Fake Accountant Bilked BC Company out of $400,000

Here is another local example of the cost of not having appropriate financial internal controls:

First, he lied on his resumé and falsified his accounting credentials. Then, once he was hired by North Vancouver property rental company Unique Accommodations, Arthur Tat-Yue Wong used his trusted status as a supposed CGA to defraud the business over and over again — even while it was forced to lay off staff and close its Squamish, BC, office, the North Shore News reports. Between 2007 and 2010, Wong wrote about 75 cheques to himself to cover “expenses” and personal credit card bills, leased a Porsche and rented a storage locker in the company’s name, and faked letters of employment and T4 statements to qualify for a mortgage on a $775,000 Burnaby, BC, home and $200,000 line of credit. Wong pleaded guilty to the fraud and has repaid about half the funds he stole. At press time, he was awaiting sentencing; prosecutors are asking for a prison term of two to three years.

Requirement to Notify CRA of Changes in Directors

Many charities and not-for-profit organizations don’t realize that in addition to filing their annual T3010 (or T2 and T1044), they are also required to notify the CRA – on a separate form – for any changes in directors throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the director information that you file on the annual information returns does not update the Directors who are authorized to speak with the CRA about matters concerning the charity. As a result, unless you file the correct form to notify the CRA about changed in your directors, you can find yourself in the situation where no one is authorized to speak to the CRA from your organization.

Please read the following one-page article from Miller Thomson and print off as many copies of the form as you need to notify the CRA of any changes in your directors since the last time you notified the CRA of changes in your directors.

CRA Releases New Administrative Form for Updating Director, Trustee and Like Official Information

Form to File to Notify CRA of Changes in Directors

Charity Village Webinar: Critical Financial Controls for Small to Medium Non-Profits and Charities

Employee theft, fraud and embezzlement are surprisingly prevalent in the nonprofit and charity sector. Fortunately, this is almost entirely preventable – with the right internal controls. This webinar will outline the types of financial internal controls required to protect the assets and reputations of your organization and its directors.

 

On March 23, 2017, Humanity Financial President & CEO Gordon Holley will present a complimentary, one-hour webinar on the financial controls that small to medium size non-profits and charities should implement to minimize risk.

Charity Village is the Canadian non-profit sector’s largest and most-popular online source for recruiting, news and how-to information.

Who should attend? Board members, leaders and executives

Cost: complimentary and available through Charity Village

Topics included:

  • How employee theft, fraud and embezzlement typically happen.
  • Why many nonprofit organizations and charities are good targets.
  • The most common methods of employee theft, fraud and embezzlement.
  • Basic internal controls that most nonprofit organizations and charities should have in place to protect themselves.

*This webinar will be recorded and available for access on charityvillage.com after March 23, 2017.

Canadian Charity Law Association Webinar: How To Read and Understand Financial Statements for your Small Non-Profit Organization

Humanity Financial President & CEO Gordon Holley will present a complimentary, one-hour webinar titled “How to Read and Understand Financial Statements for your Small to Medium Non-Profit or Charity” to the Canadian Charity Law Association on March 15th, 2017.

Who should attend? This webinar is perfect for board members and directors who want to build confidence in the financial reporting and analysis of their organizations.

Cost: complimentary and available through the Canadian Charity Law website.

Topics included:

  • Which financial reports should we be receiving as board members?
  • What is my role in reviewing financial statements and reports?
  • What do I need to understand in order to discharge my financial governance responsibilities?
  • What should I be looking for in a Statement of Financial Position (or Balance Sheet)?
  • What should I be looking for in a Statement of Operations (or Income Statement)?
  • How is a Statement of Cash Flows different from a Statement of Operations?
  • What roles do external accountants play in our financial reporting?
  • What roles do internal bookkeepers and accountants play in our financial reporting?
  • Are we required to have an Audit? When is it OK not to have an Audit?
  • Why is the Revenue Recognition Policy so important? How does it effect the financial statements?
  • What is a Reserve? And why should every NFPO and Charity have one?
  • What is the difference between externally restricted assets and internally restricted assets?

Gordon Holley Appointed to Reconciliation Canada Board of Directors

In January 2017, Humanity Financial Management Inc. President and CEO Gordon Holley was appointed Treasurer of the Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society board of directors.

Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experience that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. The organization develops partnerships and community outreach programs across the country, and was instrumental in hosting events to coincide with the closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Read the announcement welcoming Gordon to the board of directors on the Reconciliation Canada website.

Free Webinar on Keys to Financial Success in Small to Mid-size Nonprofits & Charities

I’m looking forward to delivering a free webinar – The 4 Keys to financial success in small to mid-size nonprofits & charities – next week on Thursday, March 1oth. Introductory level. Great for board members, senior leadership and executive directors or CEOs at not-for-profit organizations, charities and social enterprises. Content will be presented in an easy-to-understand format.  Watch to learn how to build financial sustainability in your organization. Space is limited.  Sign up now.

Charity Village is hosting the webinar.  Thanks Charity Village!

Click here for details and registration

The Overhead Myth – Let’s End it Once & For All!

Last week, I was asked to record a 15 minute “Podcast” for Vantage Point on the Overhead Myth.

Historically, some donors and charity rating agencies have tried to evaluate and compare charities using the percentage of income that they spend on management and administration (overhead).

The main message of the podcast is to provide a summary of the research that has been done on this issue – virtually all of which supports the position that using this metric to evaluate or compare charities will likely lead to misleading results.  It is the wrong question to ask if you are trying to compare the effectiveness of different charities.  I also talk about what we can do as funders and as organizational leaders to help shift the conversation to impact rather than overhead.

If you are interested, you can listen to the podcast (or download it) by clicking on the link below:

The Overhead Myth – Let’s end it once and for all!

Humanity Financial Management Inc. adapts the Certified Non-profit Accounting Professional (“CNAP”) training program to Canadian Tax Rules

Members of the National Association of Non-profit Accountants and Consultants (“NPAC”) in the USA have been offering the CNAP training program in the USA for many years. Hundreds of participants – including bookkeepers, accountants, managers, CEOs and directors from the Unites States, South America, the Middle East and beyond – have taken live and online CNAP courses.

Now, Humanity Financial Management has customized the CNAP course materials to meet the unique needs of Canadian nonprofit and charitable organizations and to reflect unique Canadian regulations. Starting in June 2015, Canadians will be welcome to take advantage of CNAP training through live seminars held in Vancouver, BC.

Click here for more information on the program.

HFMI Presents Financial Management Workshop to Sea-to-Sky Community Foundations

On Saturday, February 28th, 2015, HFMI’s Gordon Holley presented a half-day workshop to representatives from 16 community foundations located along the “Sea to Sky Corridor” on the west coast of British Columbia.

Participants learned about their financial roles and responsibilities as funders of not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

Topics included:

  1. Why is Financial Management so Important?
  2. Types of Foundation Funds
  3. Public foundations – CRA Rules and Regulations
    1. Allowable Activities
    2. Restricted Activities
  4. Donation Receipting
  5. Financial Roles and Responsibilities
  6. How to Read Financial Statements & Reports
  7. Internal Controls to Protect Foundation Assets

 

Interested in organizing a similar workshop for your group? Contact us to learn how we could help.