(for Board members and the Executive Director only)

This questionnaire that can conveniently be used to get a quick impression of the quality of your nonprofit's financial activities.

The results of the assessment can be used by your nonprofit, e.g.: 1) to do an internal scan as part of strategic planning, 2) to identify the causes of any recurring financial issues in your nonprofit, 3) and to identify priorities to address in your financial practices over the coming year.

Use of the tool is quick - it typically takes about 10 minutes to complete it. It need not be printed out to complete it.

The tool includes various questions/statements. Each statement is about a particular important activity in financial management.

Next to each statement are four choices in regard to how well your nonprofit performs the activity described in that statement, including choices of “Met,” “Needs Work,” “Not Applicable,” and “Don’t Know.”

After reading each statement, place an on-line check mark by clicking the computer mouse under the one choice that indicates how well the nonprofit performs that activity.

When you are finished, DONE at the end of the tool.

Question Title

* 1. Please identify yourself. (Your information will NOT be shared with anyone.)

Question Title

* 2. The following indicators are in regard to ensuring high-quality financial transactions, analysis and management.

  Met Needs Work Not Applicable Don't Know
a. The organization follows accounting practices which conform to generally accepted standards. (E)
b. The organization has systems in place to provide the appropriate information needed by staff and Board to make sound financial decisions and to fulfill government requirements (for example, the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service in the USA). (E)
c. The organization prepares timely financial statements including the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement which are clearly stated and useful for the Board and staff. (R)
d. The organization prepares financial statements on a budget-versus-actual (comparative basis) to achieve a better understanding of their finances. (R)
e. The organization develops an annual comprehensive operating budget which includes costs for all programs, management and fundraising and all sources of funding. This budget is reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. (E)
f. The organization monitors unit costs of programs and services through the documentation of staff time and direct expenses and using a process for allocation of management, general and fundraising expenses. (R)
g. The organization prepares cash flow projections. (E)
h. The organization periodically forecasts year-end revenues and expenses to assist in making sound management decisions during the year. (R)
i. The organization reconciles all cash accounts monthly. (E)
j. The organization has a review process to monitor that they are receiving appropriate and accurate financial information, whether from a contracted service or internal processing. (E)
k. If the organization has billable contracts or other service income, procedures are established for the periodic billing, follow-up and collection of all accounts, with documentation to substantiate all billings. (E)
l. Government contracts, purchase of service agreements and grant agreements are in writing and are reviewed by a staff member of the organization to monitor compliance with all stated conditions. (E)
m. Payroll is prepared following appropriate federal and state/provincial regulations and organizational policy. (E)
n. Persons employed on a contract basis meet all federal and state/provincial requirements for this form of employment. (In the USA, disbursement records are kept so 1099’s can be issued at year end.) (E)
o. Organizations that purchase and sell merchandise take periodic inventories to monitor the inventory against theft, to reconcile general ledger inventory information and to maintain an adequate inventory level. (E)
p. The organization has a Board-approved written fiscal policy and procedures manual and follows it. (R)
q. The organization has documented a set of internal controls, including handling of cash and deposits and approval over spending and disbursements. (E)
r. The organization has a policy identifying authorized check signers and the number of signatures required on checks in excess of specified dollar amounts. (E)
s. All expenses of the organization are approved by a designated person before payment is made. (E)
t. The organization has a written policy related to investments. (R)
u. Capital needs are reviewed annually and priorities are established. (R)
v. The organization has established a plan identifying actions to take in the event of a reduction or loss in funding. (R)
w. The organization has established, or is actively trying to develop, a reserve of funds to cover at least three months of operating expenses. (R)
x. The organization has suitable insurance coverage which is periodically reviewed to ensure the appropriate levels and types of coverage are in place. (E)
y. Employees, Board members and volunteers who handle cash and investments are bonded to help assure the safeguarding of assets. (E)
z. The organization files forms in regard to tax-exempt and/or tax-deductible (charity) status in a timely basis within prescribed time lines. (E)
aa. The organization reviews income annually to determine and report unrelated business income to the necessary government agency (for example, to the IRS in the USA). (R)
bb. The organization has an annual, independent audit of their financial statements, prepared by a certified public accountant. (R)
cc. In addition to the audit, the auditor prepares a management letter containing recommendations for improvements in the financial operations of the organization. (R)
dd. The Board of Directors, or an appropriate committee, is responsible for soliciting bids, interviewing auditors and hiring an auditor for the organization. (R)
ee. The Board of Directors, or an appropriate committee, reviews and approves the audit report and management letter and with staff input and support, institutes any necessary changes. (R)
ff. The audit, or an organization-prepared annual report which includes financial statements, is made available to service recipients, volunteers, contributors, funders and other interested parties. (E)
gg. All Board members are trained how to analyze the nonprofit's financial information and how to make useful decisions based on the finances. (A)