Increased disclosures for gifts-in-kind required by new accounting rule.

October 16, 2020, 8:18 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In September 2020 the Financial Accounting Standard Board issued ASU 2020-07.  Formal title for the document is Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) – Presentation and Disclosures by Not-for-Profit Entities for Contributed Nonfinancial Assets.

Contributed nonfinancial assets means gifts-in-kind. The ASU does not apply to donated services or donated financial assets such as stocks and bonds.

ASU 2020-07 will only change the presentation of GIK on the statement of activity and require additional disclosures in the notes. It will not require any change to the valuation of donated pharmaceuticals (accountants call that recognition).

You can get your own copy of ASU 2020-07 here.

Statement of activity

The total of GIK will need to be presented as a separate line within the revenue & contribution section of the statement of activity, separate from donated cash and any donated financial assets.

Note disclosures

There are a number of new note disclosures which will be required for gifts-in-kind:

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Presentation at CalCPA Accounting and Auditing conference: “California GAAP” – A case study in valuation of donated medicine

October 16, 2019, 11:20 am

Image courtesy of CalCPA.

On October 24 at 3:55 I will be speaking at the California Society of CPAs Accounting and Auditing Conference where industry speakers and experts will provide comprehensive updates on current issues and emerging trends. The conference runs the 24th and 25th.

My topic is valuation of donated medicine in the not-for-profit community. I have the privilege of working with a 75 minute block of time.

If you are able to attend the session you will gain an understanding of the long-term enforcement effort at the federal and state level regarding valuation of donated meds. My concern is that the governor’s veto of AB 1181 is not the end of the enforcement actions considering what has happened over the last 9 years.

Title of the session is “California GAAP” – A case study in valuation of donated medicine.

Overview of the session from the conference schedule:

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More details on Food for the Poor’s settlement with Michigan Attorney General

October 11, 2019, 9:01 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Previous discussion on 10/4/18 provided details on a settlement between Food for the Poor and the Michigan Attorney General.

Prior post provided explanation of the FFP appeal claiming 95% efficiency, the cost of 6 cents to provide a meal, and joint cost allocation of speakers who go out to raise funds.

I have obtained and read a copy of the settlement agreement with the AG.  There are a few more details that are worth describing.

Penalties

The settlement agreement was effective 9/27/18. It was announced the next day.

FFP denies their appeals were misleading and denies any violation of state law. They also deny doing anything wrong.  The charity does recognize

“…that modifying its solicitations would better emphasize its impact, as well as achieve greater transparency. Food For The Poor worked with the Department to modify its solicitation materials and resolve the Department’s concerns.”

FFP agreed to pay $250,000 to two charities in Michigan which feed poor people. The charity also agreed to pay the AG $50,000 as reimbursement for their litigation costs.

Issues and resolutions

Efficiency claims 

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How big is the world of donated medicine?

September 25, 2019, 7:09 am

Pharmaceutical products and medicine on shelves. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

All this attention on donated medicine got me wondering just how big the sector is.

There is a small number of charities receiving big volumes of medicine donated by the pharmaceutical companies. Those charities then get all those meds distributed to charity clinics and hospitals around the world. That is incredible work which is improving the lives of millions upon millions of poor people around the world.

So, how large is that sector?  Here is a bit of research.

For the charities I’m aware of, plus those that have been in the news over the last eight years or so, plus those on the record as being opposed to AB 1181, I looked up their most recent 990 on their website. For a few of the charities there wasn’t a 990 visible (or at least I couldn’t find it) so I pulled the most recent 990 from the California Registry of Charitable Trusts.

Data tabulated below is:

  • total revenue from 990 Part I line 12,
  • non-cash donations from 990 Part VIII line 1g (referred to as gifts-in-kind or GIK), and
  • disclosed amount of drugs and medical supplies on Schedule M line 20.

Amounts are converted to millions, then rounded.

Last column in the table is the dollar amount of drugs & medical supplies divided by total revenue. A higher percentage shows larger portion of income from donated meds, and thus a higher likelihood AB 1181 will have a bigger impact on the financials.

Only charities with over $20 million of donated meds and supplies are listed; charities below that level are excluded.

Summary of results

Table below includes 17 charities. Another 17 whose volume of donated meds is below $20M each are not listed.

I think there may be another dozen charities with donated meds in this sector. As I come across additional names and look up their 990s, this table will be updated.

For the not-for-profit organizations (NFP) listed, total revenue is about $8.9 billion, total donated items are about $8.1 billion, and donated drugs and supplies are about $7.5 billion.

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No GAAP violation but charitable solicitations are misleading – – Preliminary Decision issued for appeal of California AG’s Cease & Desist Order against MAP International, Food for the Poor, and Catholic Medical Mission Board.

August 30, 2019, 8:13 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A Preliminary Decision has been written by the administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing the appeal over the California Attorney General’s cease and desist order (C&DO) against MAP International (MAP), Food for the Poor (FFP), and Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB).

I have obtained and read a copy of the Preliminary Decision for each of the charities.

 

Top line summary:  The ALJ concluded the charities did not violate GAAP in their accounting but did find their charitable solicitations were misleading and deceptive.

This will be a long read at over 3,400 words so you might want to get a fresh cup of coffee.

Two other notes. References to “Complainant” mean the California Attorney General.  This post will focus on the content of the decisions with lots of quotations and minimal interpretation. Several longer posts are needed to interpret, explain, and describe the implication of this case. I may add more discussion later. As I see others discuss this case, I’ll try to link to those discussions.

After describing the decisions, responses from each charity are listed.

Next steps?

I’m a bit fuzzy on the where this goes from here. It is seems obvious to me that the ruling is not yet effective.  I will string together a bunch of guesses on the next steps. Anyone bold enough to correct my wildly aimed guesses is welcome to do so.

So here go my guesses – – I think the decision will not go into effect until it is accepted or modified by the Attorney General.  So my guess is the AG will issue a letter declaring the Preliminary Decision in effect or reissue a modified C&DO or take some other specified action to make the decision effective. I’ll guess some sort of additional communication is also necessary to address a variety of technical issues not covered in the decision, such as address to send the check, contact point for future communications, consequences of violating the C&DO, and notice of appeal options.

The Preliminary Decisions say the charities must pay the penalty 30 days after the effective date. There is a separate requirement to provide a copy of the decision to all officers, directors, and employees within 15 days of the effective date.

Since one charity (MAP) indicates in their response to me that they will appeal, I’ll guess their appeal will be filed soon after the effective date, well before that 15 day time frame expires. I’ll also make an even bigger guess that given the strength of the proposed sanction on how to refer to program ratios, the other charities will also file an appeal.

 

Background on timing

In December 2018, the ALJ gave verbal explanation that he would rule in favor of the charities on the issue of whether the their financial statements complied with GAAP.

In January and February 2019 additional written briefs were submitted by the Attorney General (AG) and charities on whether the written appeals sent to citizens of the state were accurate or misleading.

On April 24, 2019 additional oral arguments were heard.

Then on May 24, 2019 the administrative law judge (ALJ) issued his preliminary ruling for each of the cease and desist orders.

 

Food for the Poor

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Minor change to AB 1181 on 8/12/19

August 13, 2019, 6:48 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Subtle changes were made to AB 1181 on August 12, 2019 by Assembly member Limón (the bill’s author) and the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill was re-referred to the Appropriations Committee, which is still scheduled to hold hearings on August 19.

Two changes were made yesterday.

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Background on appeal of California AG’s C&D order for GIK valuation: Quotes from 2018 audit risk alert – part 7

April 4, 2019, 7:26 am

How do you value a pallet of those meds? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Previous post gave background on the 2017 and 2018 nonprofit audit risk alerts from the AICPA. The timing and contents of the 2018 alert were discussed.  The small discussion of GIK in the 2017 risk alert was quoted.

This post continues with some comments on the 2018 edition and then a long quote from that document.

You might want to read the previous comments for background to this post. Also might want to get a fresh cup of coffee and maybe a snack. This will be a loooong post.

 

Not-for-Profit Entities Industry Developments – 2018 / Audit Risk Alert

The 2018 risk alert added extensive discussion of valuing GIK, with a particular focus on pharmaceuticals and even more so for those which have a donor imposed restriction on the use of asset.

Ponder for yourself how this discussion applies to an asset that is restricted for use by any party who gets subsequent possession of the asset at any point during the remainder of the asset’s life. Keep in mind, meds have to be destroyed at their expiration date.

Quite simply, for the meds under discussion the restriction on the asset lasts as long as the asset lasts, regardless of who has the asset.

Also ponder the materiality level of the valuation when my impression is the AG seems to be claiming there is something in the range of a 10:1 ratio of US prices to international prices. From the few examples provided by the AG in its complaint, I infer that ratio may apply to just about all donated GIK.

Think back to the days when millions of doses of mebendazole were being booked by so many charities.  Back then the ratio of US to international prices for that med was something in the range of 350:1 or even 500:1. (If you don’t believe me, take the $10+ inferred US price per pill which was routinely used to recognize income and divide by 3 cents or 2 cents or less per pill offered by multiple vendors in the international market. One charity was reportedly recognizing revenue at $15+ per pill.)

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Background on appeal of California AG’s C&D order for GIK valuation: Quotes from 2017 audit risk alert – part 6

April 2, 2019, 8:23 am

Where does one look to find a value for those medicines? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In previous posts discussing the California AG’s cease and desist order against three charities, which you can read by clicking this tag, I have mentioned the 2018 audit risk alert from the AICPA. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) explicitly cited paragraph .56 as support for the charities’ position.

As mentioned previously, the discussion in paragraphs .53 through .57 was new in 2018. I can find no similar comments, or even reference to the issues, in the several years before.

Likewise, the discussion in the section title Challenges in Auditing GIK, found in paragraphs .172 through .181, was new in 2018. I cannot find any comparable comments in the 2017 or 2016 audit risk alert after browsing those documents and running multiple word searches.

The NFP audit risk alert is routinely published in the summer, with references to economic statistics such as GDP change, unemployment, and interest rates from the prior year fourth quarter. That means each year’s NFP risk alert is written and put into final form somewhere between late January (when 4th quarter stats start becoming available) and about April/May (allowing for editing and production time).

Update: On day after publishing this post, saw a twitter comment pointing to a webcast on May 1, 2019:  Not-for-Profit Entities: 2019 Audit Risk Alert. The webcast will update auditors on issues affecting their 2019 audits. This will be based on the 2019 edition of the risk alert. The 2019 edition is not yet available on the AICPA’s web site. I don’t know what their production cycle is, but the upcoming webcast suggests to me the document is nearing completion. It isn’t done, but getting close.

Here is a question for you to ponder for yourself:  Was the discussion in paragraphs .53 through .57 and .172 through .181 added to the 2018 NFP audit risk alert in response to the AG’s C&D order?

Let me spell out some of the things visible to me:

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Repost: 2018 nonprofit risk alert is available. New edition adds discussion on valuation of GIK as rebuttal to California AG.

March 29, 2019, 8:15 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Update:  This is a repost of an article on June 11, 2018. As I mentioned last summer, some newly added comments in this risk alert entered heavily into the decision by an Administrative Law Judge finding the charities complied with GAAP.

Some particular items of note for those who enjoy deep inside-baseball tidbits from the accounting world: 

  • discussion of GIK, especially paragraph .53 was added this year,
  • discussion in paragraphs .53 and .176 are directly responsive to the AG’s argument,
  • there is an overlap of ARL staffing with the R&D sector & auditors of that sector, and
  • the hard-fought, everybody-does-it-so-that-makes-it-right, spend-$475K-to-fight-the-IRS position on mebendazole has changed from the previously no-good, can’t-rely-on-it, non-representational pricing guide from five years ago now being the AICPA recommended standard for pricing.

So, here are some on-point comments from last summer with a few minor updates:

 

The AICPA has released the 2018 edition of Not-for-Profit Entities Industry Developments.

If you are a CPA serving the not-for-profit community, you need to read this document each year. It provides a survey of the accounting and auditing issues affecting the nonprofit world.

If you are an auditor, there are several other risk alerts you ought to be reading every year.

If you are working for a nonprofit, these alerts would give you a good survey of accounting issues in general and the audit issues your CPA will be dealing with this year.

Valuation of Gifts in Kind

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Preliminary ruling in favor of charities for the California AG’s cease and desist order for GIK valuation – part 5

March 27, 2019, 7:47 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In resolving the Cease and Desist order against three charities, the Administrative Law Judge hearing the appeal cited paragraph .58 of the 2018 Audit Risk Alert as being directly on point.  I perceive the comments in the 2018 risk alert were prepared in light of the AG’s case.

Paragraphs in the section containing .58 will be quoted for more context since that will likely be helpful for people reading all the way through this series of posts.

Introduction to this series of posts explained the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing the appeal of the California AG’s C&D order ruled in favor of the charities on the GAAP compliance issue.

The basis for his decision was that the charities’ expert witnesses were more persuasive than the government’s expert witness.

Another post illustrated why attorneys quibble so vigorously and described the remaining issue of whether the charitable solicitations by the charities are misleading.

Previous post explained where the case is now and the remaining issue of allegedly misleading solicitations.

2018 Audit Risk Alert

This discussion is new in the 2018 risk alert. Maybe I missed it, but word searches and browsing the 2012 and 2014 through 2017 risk alerts did not reveal more than a couple of brief mentions of GIK valuation with those comments not much deeper than identifying GIK as an issue.

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Preliminary ruling in favor of charities for the California AG’s cease and desist order for GIK valuation – part 4

March 21, 2019, 7:50 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

 

Introduction to this series of posts explained the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing the appeal of the California AG’s Cease and Desist order against three charities has decided in favor of the charities.

The basis for his decision was that the charities’ expert witnesses were more persuasive than the government’s expert witness.

Yesterday’s post illustrated why attorneys quibble so vigorously and described the remaining issue of whether the charitable solicitations by the charities are misleading.

Today’s post mentions where the case is now and the remaining issue of allegedly misleading solicitations.

Is GAAP the real world?

The ALJ discusses his reasoning for continuing the hearing to address the allegedly mislead appeals, raising the entertaining question of whether this separate world with its rarefied atmosphere containing its own set of exquisitely detailed rules we call GAAP has an overlap with the real world where actual people actually reside and lead actual lives.

Additional testimony and a separate decision will resolve that issue for this case.

The ALJ’s comments:

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Preliminary ruling in favor of charities for the California AG’s cease and desist order for GIK valuation – part 3

March 20, 2019, 7:48 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Introduction to this series of posts explained the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing the appeal of the California AG’s Cease and Desist order against three charities has decided in favor of the charities.

The basis for his decision, as mentioned yesterday, was that the charities’ expert witnesses were more persuasive than the government’s expert witness.

Are the charities’ appeals misleading?

The remaining issue in the case is whether the charitable solicitations were misleading to donors.

The state alleged that the financial statements did not comply with GAAP and as a separate matter that solicitations to donors were misleading.

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Preliminary ruling in favor of charities for the California AG’s cease and desist order for GIK valuation – part 2

March 19, 2019, 7:19 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Introduction to this series of posts yesterday explained the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing the appeal of the California AG’s Cease and Desist order against three charities has decided in favor of the charities.

Preliminary ruling

The ALJ concluded that the testimony from the charities’ expert witnesses was more persuasive than that of the AG’s expert witness.  On that basis, the ALJ concluded the AG did not prove its case that the financial statements were in violation of GAAP.

I will summarize and quote some of the comments in the transcript and provide select quotes on the assumption many of my readers won’t download and read the transcript for the day. As a matter of my style choice, I will only use the first letter of the last name of witnesses and attorneys.

The basis for conclusion is whose arguments were more persuasive. The ALJ decided the charities had better expert witnesses.

He said:

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Recap of known state and federal interest in medical GIK

December 7, 2018, 9:29 am

Superior court facade in downtown Los Angeles, California. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are a number of state and federal actions visible for financial reporting by charities. Focus of the efforts currently is valuation of GIK and the impact of those valuations on fund raising appeals. Perhaps a recap of those efforts will provide some helpful context to the charity community.

Update: End of this post describes the change in accounting over the last seven years in terms of how to value meds that legally may not be distributed in the U.S.  Hint: a 180 degree change.

Today is the 9th day of out of 15 days scheduled for hearings on the California AG’s cease and desist order (C&DO) for MAP International (MAP), Food for the Poor (FftP), and Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB).

Here is the list of publicly visible Attorneys General who are focusing on financial statements of the large medical GIK charities:

California:

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Filings to seek depositions in the California AG’s cease and desist orders regarding three charities

December 4, 2018, 9:15 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The battle over the AG’s cease and desist order is in the appeal stage. Hearings are in day 6 out of 15 scheduled days.

The appeal is taking place in the state Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is overseeing the appeal.

This is the second in a series of posts describing some of the filings in the public record regarding the enforcement action and the appeals by the charities.

I have one stray follow-up comment to my previous post and then will dive into the filings about obtaining depositions from people living outside the state. Those individuals are not subject to an order to appear in person before the OAH.

Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee. This will be a long read. If you are at all interested in this case, you will find lots of interesting background info here.

Oh, everything I mention here is based on public documents available from the OAH.

Follow-up on Pro Hac Vice – FftP filed with OAH to get one of their attorneys granted Pro Hac Vice permission to practice in the state. This attorney is the lead litigator for the law firm on non-profit issues. Of note is the motion says it is unopposed by the AG. The OAH ruled they do not have authority to grant Pro Hac Vice. I don’t fully understand the reasoning, but I think it is essentially that the state bar or a court grants such status and the OAH is neither the state bar nor a trial court that can grant the permission. So, another motion, running 60 pages in length, was filed with the Superior Court of the county of Los Angeles. That court agreed it had authority and granted the attorney Pro Hac Vice status.

The docket shows a notice filed by MAP regarding Pro Hac Vice. I didn’t read it and assume it was announcing the same results for their counsel. I didn’t see anything on the docket from CMMB.

Protocol for naming individuals mentioned in filings

As I started this series of posts, I pondered how to name the individuals that are mentioned.

Full name? Initials? First name and initial of last name? No name?

Here is my conclusion:

For only the expert witnesses, my posts will list the person’s full name. Those individuals want to be in the public eye and want to be known as an expert. It looks like they usually speak in public on a regular basis. Thus I am comfortable listing their full name.

For everyone else in the case, such as management and staff of the charities along with partners and staff of CPA firms, it is different. They did not sign up to be in the public spotlight, so I’ll skip their last names. My posts will list their first name and first initial of the last name. I’ll also list job title or job description along with their employer when pertinent. Those in the know already know who has been dragged into the case.

Obtaining permission to obtain depositions

The AG wanted to depose a number of people who reside outside California but cannot be compelled to attend a hearing by the OAH. Thus the process the AG had to follow is request the ALJ to approve taking depositions.  The charities can file objections, which they did. (Charities unsuccessfully claimed these constitute discovery, which is not allowed under OAH regulations.). After addressing objections, the ALJ then issues orders allowing certain people to be deposed. The AG then goes to the Superior Court to request an enforceable order for those individuals to be deposed.

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