Want some free CPE course material? Not for credit, but for learning? Included is some material I wrote.

February 11, 2016, 7:50 am
Cover of course courtesy of CCH.

Cover of course courtesy of Wolters Kluwer/CCH.

CCH (Wolters Kluwer) makes the material for some of its courses available for no charge.

If you want CPE credit there is a fee for grading the exam and awarding credit. However, if your goal is learning the materials are available gratis.

As I write this post, the following materials available:

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Increased discussion of Wounded Warrior Project financial statements

January 29, 2016, 10:27 am

 

Let's do a few calculations. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Let’s do a few calculations before finishing this post. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Looks like the coverage of the Wounded Warrior Project financial statements has blossomed in the last few days. I will discuss that coverage and then discuss WWP’s public comments. Will throw in a reasonableness test of the conference expenses for no extra charge.

Rewriting the initial coverage

One of the things I have learned through blogging is that when a big story breaks there will be a few major articles covering the issue immediately. Over the next several hours many media outlets will repeat the initial coverage verbatim. I think this is done by buying republish rights from the major wire services or major newspapers.

The more fascinating thing I have learned is that over the next several hours there will be dozens of papers and wire outlets who rewrite the initial coverage. It will be done under the byline of their writer and with their copyright.

Having observed this multiple times and having read dozens of articles of follow-up, I have learned the rewrite jobs rarely bring in new information. They merely rephrase and reorganize the initial coverage, with a reference or two back to the initial article. If that was the only thing you read, you would have the impression the paper did their own original research.

I did a search on the net for coverage of WWP and noticed several dozen articles out on the same day which were nothing more than a rewrite of the initial Washington Post and CBS stories. Maybe it has always been that way and I’m only now catching on. I do find it amusing.

New coverage

Here is some coverage that goes beyond a mere rewrite:

1/28 – The Hill – Wounded Warrior charity pushes back against allegations of waste – Two of the major accusations by The Washington Post and CBS against WWP are spending $26M on conferences in total and spending $3M on a training conference in Denver. The overriding issue is essentially the same conversation about the functional expense allocation that has been in play for years.

WWP provided additional information.

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Overhead ratios getting more attention. Wounded Warrior Project is again focus of discussion.

January 28, 2016, 7:54 am
Working on overhead. Yeah, that's a poor joke. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Working on overhead.  Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com. Yeah, I know that is a poor joke.

A running debate in the donor and nonprofit community is whether the ‘overhead ratio’ is a good tool to measure the effectiveness of a charity. There seems to be more discussion of the issue lately. Wounded Warrior Project is the focal point for recent discussion. A few articles of interest along with some background:

1/27 – New York Times – Wounded Warrior Project Spends Lavishly on Itself, Insiders Say – Tell me your thoughts on the ongoing conversations in the nonprofit community about overhead ratios and I will tell you whether you will think this article is a balanced critique or a hit piece.

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California Attorney General sues charity and their auditor over RRF-1 filing and 990

December 8, 2015, 9:13 am

909 page 1

Sometimes there is a perception in the charity community that those pesky filings with the charity regulators are no big deal. Sometimes board members don’t pay much attention to the 990.

Well, last week the California AG sued one charity in the state for allegedly misleading information in the RRF-1. That is a simple one-page form that has only two numbers: total revenue and total assets. The AG claims the 990s have misleading information in them.

How can the AG of a state sue over a tax return filed with the federal government? Here is the path they take. They allege the one page RFF-1 was misleading because attached to the RRF-1 is the federal 990, which is where they find the information that they consider to be misleading. That gives the state grounds to sue.

The sobering lesson for CPAs who serve the charity community is the AG also sued the CPA firm. In addition, they sued the audit partner personally.

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Price cut on print books

February 4, 2015, 8:27 am

I’ve dropped the prices for the print copies of my books available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes store.

Here is what you can find on-line:

tragedy-cover

 Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition

Story of Scott London’s fall from regional audit partner at KPMG to prison inmate because of his insider trading.

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“Audit. Review. Compilation. What’s the difference?” – New book now available.

January 17, 2014, 1:18 pm

Audit. Review. Compilation. What’s the difference? – Illustrations using a football game, buying a used car, and filling a bucket.

 audit-cover

What’s the difference between getting an audit, review, or compilation from your CPA firm? This short, 29 page book will help you understand.

Three illustrations help explain the differences:

  • A football game – How does advancing to the 10-yard line compare to an audit? What would a review look like in a football game?
  • Buying a used car – How does taking the car for a test drive compare to a review?
  • Filling a bucket – How filling it up with water to three different levels illustrates the differences between three levels of service.

This is a compilation of articles at my blog, Nonprofit Update.

The book is now available at Amazon.

Now available here in other formats:

  • ePub format for your iDevices
  • PDF or text
  • Mobi for your Kindle device

Soon to be available at Barnes and Noble.


“Tragedy of Fraud” e-book now available at Amazon

February 7, 2013, 9:43 am

“Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned” describes the tragic consequences from fraud.

There are ripple effects that spread out to harm innocent bystanders.  The perpetrator draws a wide range of well-deserved wages that will be paid in full.

The book looks at two fraud incidents to learn what happens after a fraud is discovered. One took place in a local megachurch and the other in the mayor’s office of a small city.

The book closes with a discussion of the fraud triangle. That’s the idea that three components need to be present for a fraud to take place – opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. There are steps an organization can take to reduce those factors.

You can find the book at Amazon here

This book is a compilation of blogs posts that have been previously published at Nonprofit Update and Attestation Update. The posts have been edited slightly and reorganized for easier reading.

Major sections of the book: Read the rest of this entry »