Spotlight on Nonprofit Financial Management & Accounting


  • September 25, 2019
  • 8:45 am - 4:00 pm

Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Propel Nonprofits for our Spotlight on Nonprofit Financial Management and Accounting. In this daylong event, we’ll discuss recent accounting and tax changes that will affect all nonprofits like FASB’s new standards for nonprofit accounting and the impacts of the 2018 Tax Cut and Jobs Act on how nonprofits compute their taxable income (UBIT). We’ll also talk about solutions to perennial challenges including easing the tension between finance staff and development staff regarding the nuances when accounting for and recognizing donations, helping your financials come alive for board members, and utilizing your organization’s financial policies and practices to create more equitable outcomes.

This Spotlight is a one-day online event offering five interactive live online sessions, each exploring a different aspect of nonprofit financial management and accounting. Each session will be led by an experienced nonprofit leader or consultant and is designed to offer practical information that can be applied immediately. Registrants can participate in the live sessions and will also be sent a link to a recording of each of the sessions after the event ends.

Spotlight Schedule

9 am: Changes, Changes, Changes. Will it Ever Stop?

10:30 am: Counting, Accounting, and Recognition: Beyond the Annual Fund

Noon: How Tax Reform Will Affect Your Organization

1:30 pm: Cash Rules Everything Around Me: Finance, Inclusion, and Equity

3 pm: Storytelling with Your Financial Statements: Ignite not Ignore

Spotlight Sessions

Changes, Changes, Changes. Will it Ever Stop?

For a long time FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) seemed to ignore the nonprofit arena and our unique challenges. No more! Now we have more attention than perhaps we wanted. There are too many nonprofit-focused changes to the Accounting Standards to cover in one session. During this workshop we will focus on discussing and understanding the liquidity footnote and revenue recognition, with a quick nod to the new functional expense requirement. The speaker for this session is Steve Anseth, partner, nonprofit services leader, Abdo Eick and Meyers, LLP.

Counting, Accounting, and Recognition: Beyond the Annual Fund

From time to time tension may arise between finance staff and development staff and leadership. In this session, we hope to provide a common language and understanding for the nuances between accounting for gifts under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), counting gifts for fundraising or campaign purposes, and recognition of donors for their generosity. With this shared vocabulary settled prior to undertaking a capital campaign or prioritizing planned giving, we anticipate that it will promote mutual understanding and powerful collaboration among the finance and development staff. Taking this approach when moving beyond the annual fund, the talents and importance of each staff role will shine through.

The speakers for this session are Athena Mihas, vice president of finance, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and Marie Ruzek, vice president, senior philanthropic specialist, Philanthropic Services, Great Lakes Region, Wells Fargo.

How Tax Reform will Affect Your Organization

While the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (the Act) will simplify taxes for many Americans, many business and tax-exempt entities will find the computation of taxable income even more complex than in the past. During this session, we’ll share insights and planning opportunities related to the numerous changes to tax-exempt entity taxation. Areas of focus will include the impact to organizations from changes to Unrelated Business Income (including the definition of an activity, the limitations on Net Operating Loss carryforwards, state tax impact of these changes, etc.), and the inclusion of transportation fringe benefits as unrelated business income (including the breadth and depth of the application of these rules to tax-exempt organizations). Attention will also be given to organizational changes that may need to be made to adapt to these new rules.

The speaker for this session is Larry Mohr, tax partner, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me: Finance, Inclusion, and Equity

What role can your finance staff, policies, and practices play in creating an inclusive work environment and in supporting your organization’s broader equity work? In this highly interactive session you’ll deepen your understanding of the critical role that finance can play in creating equitable outcomes while sharing and learning from your peers. The speaker for this session Craig Warren, vice president of enterprise solutions, Minnesota Children’s Museum

Storytelling with Your Financial Statements: Ignite not Ignore

Your financial statements tell a story. How can you inspire board member action and commitment by making your mission come alive in the numbers? Communicating trends and patterns is a science and an art that’s more than dashboards. The speakers for this session are Keven Ambrus, CFO and vice president of finance, Propel Nonprofits, and Dawne Brown White, executive director, Compas Inc.

Technology details

This Spotlight is delivered via Adobe Connect. Log-in instructions including a personalized login link will emailed to you one week before the event begins. If you don’t receive the email, please first check your spam folder, then contact You will need a computer with a reliable high-speed internet connection. Audio is available via your computer or your phone; choose the audio connection that provides you with the best sound quality.

Please note: Using your computer for sound during a virtual session can sometimes negatively affect your experience in our virtual classroom, particularly if your Wi-Fi signal is not strong or your broadband connection is slow. Therefore, we highly recommend that you have access to a phone which can serve as a back-up audio method if needed during the Spotlight.


Will the sessions be recorded? Yes, they will be recorded. However, because of the interactive nature of these sessions, which will include ongoing conversation via chat and polls, participants will get a lot more value out of these sessions if they participate in the live event and rely on the recordings for reviewing the content that was shared during the live session.

Can registrations be shared? To achieve the best possible learning outcomes during these sessions, each participant should have their registration for the event. Participants will be actively engaging with the trainer via chat and polls, and to do so, each needs to have their own keyboard, computer, and connection to the training.

Can I connect to this training with Adobe Connect’s mobile app for phones and tablets? While Adobe Connect does have a mobile app, its functionality is limited and does not support all the engagement tools that we use during this training. We strongly suggest that you use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a phone or tablet to access Adobe Connect.

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