Internal Controls for Nonprofits

Best Practice Principles, Policies, and Procedures

As a nonprofit finance professional, you have new things to worry about every day. It’s not enough to process invoices, write checks, and balance the budget, you must ensure all of this, and more, is done in a controlled environment. 

Whether your organization is large or small, and no matter your mission, there are certain policies and procedures that must be invoked to protect your organization. Abila’s “Internal Controls for Nonprofits: Best Practice Principles, Policies, and Procedures” guide is a great resource that will walk you through the following key areas:

Setting the Control Environment

Everyone needs to know, from the top down, that there are policies in place and everyone has to follow them. Emphasize the importance of ethics and controls at staff meetings and demonstrate that everyone follows the rules, all the time.

Segregation of Duties

A segregation of duties policy helps reduce the likelihood of errors and irregularities when it comes to authorization, approvals, and recordkeeping.

Process Documentation

Policies and procedures aren’t always written down or documented. Therefore it’s common for important control procedures to be missed or overlooked because one staff member assumes another person is doing it.

Monitoring Operations

No matter the size of your organization, it’s a good idea to look things over on a regular basis. If you combine consistent monitoring with good controls and an atmosphere that emphasizes accountability for all, you’ll create a comfortable working environment while protecting your organization’s asset’s and mission. 

Maintaining Consistency

Those responsible for the organization’s finances and financial reporting should periodically assess risks and determine how well employees are complying to the policies.

How Internal Controls can be Improved with Technology

Technology and the right fund accounting software can help your organization maintain consistency and compliance. When it comes to ensuring that your internal controls meet industry best practices, Abila can help. Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ empowers you to automate approval processes, detect possible fraudulent activity swiftly. Additionally, it provides strategic management and internal controls to implement and monitor audit trails.