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Bookkeeping For Dummies, Australian and New Zealand Edition by Lynley Averis, Veechi Curtis

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Chapter 19

Ten Tips for Not-for-Profit Organisations

In This Chapter

Be a budget dragon and keep the organisation on track

Blind the board of directors with your brilliance

Deliver grant acquittals that ensure you get another round

Survive an audit in flying style

Do the right thing with other people’s money

Not-for-profit organisations provide some of the most complex bookkeeping environments ever. Even if an organisation is relatively modest in size, the bookkeeper often has to cope with convoluted cost centre reporting, intricate budgets, rigorous monthly reporting, meticulous audits and much more.

The difficulty is compounded by the fact that not-for-profit organisations are usually run on the smell of an oily rag. As a bookkeeper, you’re often paid a relatively low wage, and given surprisingly few hours to do an overwhelming amount of work. And, even if you lack the skills to understand all aspects of your job, there’s usually nobody else in the organisation to help you out.

In this chapter, I provide a few pointers that can hopefully help you identify the main trouble spots for bookkeeping in not-for-profit organisations, along with some ideas of how to navigate these. This said, don’t underestimate the value of getting some extra training if you feel your skills aren’t up to the job, particularly in the area of payroll, and make time to network with other bookkeepers in local community organisations.

Know and Love Your Cost Centres

Almost any not-for-profit organisation ...

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