"Personal attention" seems to be a catch-all phrase; however sensitivity to our needs and understanding the limitations of our resources is a greatly-appreciated hallmark of Harmon Burstyn's services to Festival Opera. In addition to providing the required calculations and documents for our 990, Harmon regularly looks ahead and alerts us to deadlines and opportunities in advance. He also maintains a steady communication with us to provide white papers on helpful issues that we may need to be aware of – or need to address. We strongly recommend him to other nonprofit organizations and businesses for his professionalism, candor, integrity, and impeccability in supporting us on tax issues large and small."

Sara Nealy, General Director
Festival Opera

"Harmon Burstyn has been the CPA for United Roots youth organization in Oakland for over 5 years. He is one of the friendliest and most supportive accountants we have ever worked with, and we highly recommend his services. He is extremely knowledgeable about filing taxes and organizational accounting protocol. He is reliable and consistent, and very easy to work with. United Roots is excited to continue our partnership with Harmon Burstyn, CPA."

Galen Silvestri, Co-Founder & Executive Director
United Roots: Oakland's Youth Impact HUB

"Harmon has been a great asset to Walk SF. He's extremely knowledgeable, responsive and very thoughtful, too! Harmon has done our accounting for years, and every year the process is seamless, quick and painless -- what more can you ask for when it comes to taxes? I'd certainly recommend Harmon to other small non-profits. His prices are competitive and the results are well worth it."

Nicole Ferrara, Executive Director
Walk SF

5 Significant Financial Statement Changes

BDO | October 6, 2017

To break down what's ahead in light of FASB ASU 2016-14, designed to improve the clarity and utility of nonprofit financial statements, BDO made a checklist of the 5 most important areas of change to the statements.
These are mostly important for organizations that follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and have their financials audited. more »

Rethink Your Not-for-Profit’s Chart of Accounts

AICPA Communications | July 19, 2017

Here is something to keep in mind with your financial statement presentation. "...a basic understanding of the impending changes to the not-for-profit financial reporting model". more »

13 Free Nonprofit Budget Templates You Should Try

By Nick Morphus | Capterra Nonprofit Technology Blog | May 30, 2017

Spreadsheets are important for your nonprofit, especially when compiling budgets for fundraising, nonprofit software purchases, charity/learning programs, and grant proposals. more »

The 16 Ways Your 990 Informs on You

By Gayle Nelson | Nonprofit Quarterly | February 23, 2017

Every year, nonprofit organizations must submit their informational returns to the IRS in the form of a 990 or 990-EZ. Although these forms are sent to the IRS, they are also available to the public on a number of websites, including GuideStar. Additionally, nonprofits are required to provide them upon request. Given the competitive funding environment, philanthropic organizations should see the 990 as an opportunity to promote their work to potential donors.

Bruce DeBoskey, a philanthropic strategist with the DeBoskey Group, recently described the Form 990 in the Denver Post as a “treasure trove” of information for potential donors. This is particularly true when donors examine it over multiple years. DeBoskey identified 16 areas of interest:

  • Current tax status
  • Mission statement
  • Revenue received and from what sources
  • Internal expenses, including program, accounting, management and fundraising expenses
  • External fundraising expenses
  • Legal and accounting expenses
  • Net assets and cash reserves
  • Investments
  • Use of program-related investments
  • Identity (and salaries) of board members
  • Salaries of key employees
  • Key programs as well as expenses associated with each program
  • Significant changes in financial condition
  • Conflicts of interest among professional and staff leadership
  • Important governance policies and practices that demonstrate use of best practices in nonprofit management
  • Lobbying activities

And Harmon adds; give thorough time and thought to your program service accomplishments, which are important to readers of the form and prominent enough to be on Page 2 of the return.

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Are you an organization that receives contributions of $250 or more?

Harmon Burstyn, November 2016

Are you an organization that receives contributions of $250 or more? Or are you an organization that provides goods or services to donors who make contributions of more than $75? Or are you a donor who makes contributions to a charity?

IRS Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions–Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements, explains the federal tax law for organizations, such as charities and churches, that receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and for taxpayers who make contributions.

Nonprofits Spending More on Staff, Adding Volunteer Hours, Study Finds

Philanthropy News Digest, October 25, 2016

Nonprofit employment and wages remained steady through the Great Recession and even outpaced some sectors of the economy, the NonProfit Times reports. more »

The Value of Volunteer Time

Independent Sector

The [National Value of Volunteer Time] estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. more »

Four Critical Budgeting Steps Your Not-for-Profit May be Forgetting

Cheryl R. Olson, CPA, CGMA, Director of Not-for-Profit Consulting, Clark Nuber, PS, for AICPA, June 13, 2016

For any organization, budgeting can be more than just an annual exercise of putting numbers in columns. The budget is the financial interpretation of your work plan. It’s the tool you use to ensure that your finances are on track to meet your goals and that you are making the most of your financial resources — two achievements that are mission critical for not-for-profits. more »

Red Flags, Yellow Flags - Are Your Financial Statements Trying to Tell You Something?

Thomas A. McLaughlin, Founder, McLaughlin & Associates

Your financial reports come with warning signals. Do you know where to look for them?

Smoke detectors chirp. Automobile dashboards use an array of lights and colors. Computers flash messages in machine language. What do all of these things have in common? They are all methods of telling us when something we are using is about to stop working or go bad. more »

6 Tips for Getting Through Any Nonprofit Crisis

Joanne Fritz, About Money, April 10, 2016

Bad things happen to good nonprofits. During my nonprofit career, I have handled a client's death during my organization's program; a product tampering that threatened our biggest fundraiser; an athletic scandal; and a mass shooting on a campus. I was naive until the first time. After that, I became obsessed with being prepared. more »

Not-for-Profit Board Service is a Meaningful Way to Give

AICPA Insights, December 03, 2015

Volunteering on a nonprofit board requires a significant time investment and comes with serious legal, fiduciary and stewardship responsibilities. Before saying “yes” to board service, ask yourself the following questions to help you determine if the board you are considering is the right choice for you. more »

3 Tips for Gatherings

The NonProfit Times, November 16, 2015

It's easy in any organization for people at the top, managers or board members, for example, to congregate together, very often to discuss common concerns. This might help in solving problems, but it can also create problems when those in the know insulate themselves from the general membership, people who might very well benefit from knowing. more »

4 Metrics to Measure Event Success

The NonProfit Times, October 27, 2015

Many organizations rely on events to drive donor investment. Without a standard of measuring investment, however, it might be difficult to gauge an event’s success. more »

6 Tips for Strong Organizational Ethics

The NonProfit Times, August 31, 2015

From serving clients to raising funds to managing staff, running a nonprofit can be difficult even before factoring in ethics and conflict-of-interest issues. In "Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations," Gary M. Grobman provides scenarios and in-depth cases for managers and board members to learn from, along with six tips to keep in mind when trying to put strong ethics to practice. more »