ECFA changes requirement for audit or review

ECFA has raised the income thresholds for requiring their members to get an audit.  If your revenue is over $3 million, then you must submit financial statements audited by a CPA.  If your revenue is less than $3 million, you may submit financials that are reviewed by a CPA.

There is another option that is even more economical. If your revenue is less than $1 million, you may submit financial statements that are compiled by a CPA.

(Update:  ECFA revised the cutoff for a review in the fall of 2013. See discussion here.)

More information at the ECFA website here.

A review is much less costly than an audit.  Not only in the lower fee you will pay your CPA, but also in terms of the reduced time you spend providing information to your CPA.  A compilation is even less costly than a review.

There are major differences between audits, reviews, and compilations.  I have background here that goes into more detail.

If you are not a member of ECFA and had been thinking about joining, these new thresholds might make it easier to join.  Check them out!  Joining ECFA makes a strong statement to your donor base that you are taking the high road on financial accountability.

Before you shift from an audit to a review, it would be wise to check with your funders, lenders, and a few major donors.  You might want to make sure they are comfortable with seeing a review instead of an audit.  It would not be a good situation to save half your audit fee and lose a grant that is ten times the savings!  There is good news on that issue though — A few of my clients have checked with their constituency and found their funders and donors very accepting of that shift.

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