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Rotation of Board Members in NGO

Do your organization have “Board Rotation Policy” ? Many funding agency and corporate asking this question before giving funds. It sounds irrelevant, but it is not. Every donor wants 100% utilization of single rupee, he donates to you. And every donor wants that an NGO should have highly effective governance. Today let us discuss this issue of rotation of board members or trustees in NGO from various view points.

Is it Mandatory?

First and obvious question is about its legal implications. As, there are various acts in india under which an organization can be registered, there is no such specific rule regarding board member rotation and about timing. However, this issue is mostly addressed in the Trust Deed or Memorandum of NGO. If there is a clause in your Memorandum or Trust Deed regarding change or rotation of Board Members, you must follow it strictly.

Of-course, it is beneficial

It is not mandatory to rotate board members of NGO, but the benefits of such policy are very obvious that one should follow this practice. First and foremost, it shows good governance prevail in your NGOs, if you have rotation policy at regular interval. Second, it gives impression that, your NGO is having separate identity than only one or two individual founder members. It gives NGO more life span, when second generation leaders are trained this way.

Rotation or Change?

Depends upon the scenario and what mentioned in Trust Deed. However, only changing designation of same persons over years will definitely gives sense to Donor about just implementing policy on paper and not in true senses. Thus, it is better to have a proper policy for mixture of both rotation and change.

What is best “Board Rotation Policy”

The best policy is one which include robust period for the person to be in the board of the trust. Good boards should always have agreed terms of office so that there is a regular turnover of trustees and boards remain vibrant. Two terms of three years with a review at the end of the first term is fairly typical. NGOs should adopt this as best practice.

Let the world knows – Disclouser

Once you have a policy for board rotation in your NGO, it is best practice to put the same in your Annual Return under some Compliance or Good Practice page.

Hope this will help you in your NGO, if you have any question,  you can ask here or chat with us. Also your comments are welcome on the above subjects.

 

How to get Income Tax Refund of NGO quickly?

Income Tax Refund of NGO

Mostly, TDS is deducted by Banks on the Interest income of NGO. As, NGOs / Trusts are having 12A certificate of Income Tax Exemption, there is no tax on income of NGO and thus all TDS amount is to be refunded by Income Tax Department. However, due to technical and other problems, Income Tax Refund of NGOs are pending with the IT Department for many years. Lets have a look on how to get Income Tax Refund of NGO quickly. But before that you need to first make sure Income Tax Return of your NGO is properly filled in ITR7 form.

All you need to know about Income Tax Return of NGO – ITR7

Also need to check which years refunds are pending and why. So lets find out how to check status of refund of ngo.

There are two ways to check Income Tax Refund of NGO

1) from NSDL Website.

Go to this website : https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html , enter your PAN, Assessment Year and Captcha.

 

It will show you the status of your Refund. If Refund is already issued,it will show date when refund is credited to your Bank Account. If your refund was send by Department, but due some errors like wrong Bank Account Number or any such technical issues, it was returned and not credited to your Bank Accounts. In such a case you have to apply for re-issue of Refund. Third possibility is that your case is transferred to AO for scrutiny and thus refund is on hold.

2) With your login ID and Password

If you have login ID and Password of Income Tax Website, you can login and check status from there. If you do not have password, ask to your CA or consultant who has filled your online return.

Importnat Tip

You must keep password of your Income Tax Website with you. Never allow to give email or phone of your CA in your NGO return.

 

Go to this website :- https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home and login with UserID (your NGO PAN) and password.

Go to “My Account” button and click on “Refund/Demand Status”. Under this tab it will display Assessment Year, Status, Reason (for Refund Failure if any) and mode of payment.

Conclusion

Do not only rely on your CA or consultant for Income Tax Refund of NGO. Check your status of refund as mentioned above. In my next blog I will show you steps on how to get refund quickly, after checking refunds of which years are pending.

How to get Income Tax Refund of NGO quickly? – Part 2

5 Points to keep in mind while operating FCRA Bank Account

There are very strict rules regarding using Foreign Funds under FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act). Also, FCRA department has already cancelled licenses of many organization on the basis of non-compliance of rules and provisions of FCRA.

As per sec 17 of this Act, every NGO who has been registered under FCRA, has to open a separate Bank Account for receiving and utilizing foreign funds. Let us look at some of the 5 points you should keep in mind while operating FCRA Bank Account.

(1) Do not mix FC & NonFC Funds

Do not receive any funds other than foreign funds to your FCRA Bank Account. You can receive funds in Indian Rupees if it comes from foreign source. Utmost care should be taken while depositing cheques or giving bank account numbers to donor.

 

(2) Interest linking of FDs

You need to instruct very clearly to Bank regarding linking of FDs with your Bank Account. Care should be taken that only FDs from FC funds link with your FCRA bank account so as to receive interest in that bank account only.

 

(3) Online Donation

If you are accepting Donation online through your website or crowd funding website, your payment gateway should be capable of transferring FC money to FC Bank Account and NonFC money to NonFC Bank Account.

 

(4) Time Barred Cheques

Your accounting system should be such that at the every month, all the cheques which are time barred will be cancelled and reversed in the books of account automatically. Otherwise, what happen, in FCRA return expenses were reported, while your balance in FC bank accounts not reduced that much.

 

(5) Sub – FC (Utilization) Bank Account

If you have open a Sub-FC Bank Account for project utilization, do not accept funds directly in that bank account. You have to accept FC funds in Main FC account always and then transfer to Sub-FC Bank Account.

 

Hope this will help you in your NGO, if you have any question,  you can ask here or chat with us. Also your comments are welcome on the above subjects.

How to get CSR Funding for your NGO ?- Internal Control System

Why a company having huge CSR funds and want to implement genuine projects, should give funds to your organization ?  This is the question you should ask to yourself and do not indulge into the malpractices as mentioned in this part 1 of this CSR series.

How to get CSR funding for your NGO?-PART 1

Most of the organizations are good at what they are doing in terms of implementing projects and grass root work, but they are not good in maintaining documentations and showing their good work to the world. Read this Part 2 blog, where I mentioned how you should showcase your good work.

How to get CSR Funding for your NGO ?- Program Quality – PART 2

Before we go ahead with Part 3 of this series regarding maintenance of Financial and Internal Control System, look at this latest news regarding spending Rs. 2,80,00,00,00,000 in last three years under CSR by the companies.

Accounting and Financial Control System

When you are approaching companies for CSR funding, it is almost prerequisite that NGO’s Accounting and Financial Control system is matched with the industry standards. You have to remember this:-

  • Regular Accounting (zero backlog)
  • Accurate Accounting
  • High Quality of Supporting (Single rupee spent hast to be  supported by Bills and Vouchers)
  • Strong Internal Control System
  • Watertight Cash Management System
  • Efficient Advance Management System

 

Statutory Compliance

No company will be ready to fund your organization if you have not followed all the Statutory Compliance. As a first step, list down the following compliance and check which  you followed in your organization. For remaining compliance, why you are not following it. Take expert opinion whether it is applicable to your NGO or not.

  • 12A – 80G
  • TDS
  • Income Tax Act
  • GST
  • FCRA
  • PF
  • ESIC
  • Professional Tax
  • Trust and Society Act

 

Governance

How your NGOs working is governing by the members ? Is your NGO is  one man army? Is it look like Proprietorship or Partnership Firm? Whose taking decision and how? These are some of the questions which may be asked at the time or per-scrutiny of project.

  • Authority Matrix
  • Decision Flow
  • Rotation in the Board Members
  • Election or Selection procedure of new board members
  • General Meeting and Executive Body Meetings
  • Maintenance of Minutes of such meetings
  • Intimation of Change in the Board Members

 

Policies

Following policy documents should be prepared and implemented in the NGO

  • Financial Policy
  • HR Policy
  • Accounting Manual
  • General Work Policy
  • Anti Corruption Policy
  • Gender Policy
  • Child Policy, if applicable

Hope the above information will be useful to you in getting CSR funds. We will discuss in next part of this series on how to approach companies for CSR funding.

Part -4 How to approach companies for CSR funds? – Coming Soon

Disclaimer : This blog is purely for the education purpose and author is NOT providing any services to get CSR funding.

Accounting of Grants for NGOs

Do you know how Grant is presented in your NGOs Financial Statements? As REVENUE or as LIABILITY ? This is one of the crucial question regarding accounting of Grants for NGOs. Generally, we depend on the Chartered Accountants on how our Financial Statements are prepared and presented. Sometimes presentation of Financial Statements become misleading and serve no purpose.

Today we learn how to do accounting of grants for NGOs which is more appropriate in present days.

Introduction – Accounting of Grants for NGOs

There is no clarity Inida regarding how grants should be presented. We have Indian Accounting Standard 20 which mainly dealt with  accounting of Government Grants and not grants for specific projects from Funding Agencies. However, considering Indian Accounting Standards #20 and US Statement of Financial Accounting Standard #117, we can derive following three methods of presenting Grants in the Financial Statements.

Option A – Grants treated as Revenue

Here, we consider Grants Received as Revenue of the current year whether it is related to current year or for next years. Thus, when two years project is sanctioned and total grant received in the first year only, we treat full grant as income of first year. See below image to understand presentation in Financial Statements.

 

In this method, you can see above that unspent grant of Rs 40 clubbed in Income and Expenditure Account as “Excess of Income over Expenses” . Due to this, it becomes difficult to know what funds lying in the I/E Account. Check out the Balance Sheet where I/E Account show Rs. 50 which comprise of Unspent Grants and Other Income.

Option B – Grant treated as Liability

Here, it assumes that, grants and funds received for specific project, is the liability of organization and not Income. Thus whatever grant received, whether for current year or next years taken to Balance Sheet and considered as Liability. Expense from such grant then deducted from the liability and net amount shown in the Balance Sheet. Checkout below how Financial Statements look if we treat Grant as Liability.

In this method, Balance Sheet present correct financial position. However, Income and Expenditure does not show much revenue except income earned by NGOs like Non Specific Donations and Interest Income.

Option C – Best of the above Two

Due to limitations of both the above method, we should presented financial statements as per this hybrid method using best of both the above methods. In this method, we consider that much revenue for current year which actually spent during the year and remaining balance transfer to next year as “Unspent or Unutilized Grant”. Lets have a look, how the financial Statements presented under this method.

In this method, Income Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet showing correct information and in self explanatory manner.

Conclusion

In India, there is no such proforma available in any Act regarding presentation of Financial Statements of NGOs. Thus as per my opinion it is advisable to follow accounting of grants for ngos as per option C – Hybrid method, which is self explanatory and showing correct information.

Note – In all the above three methods, presentation of Receipts and Payment Accounts would not change.

For any questions or query hit the below comment section.

Cashbook of NGO

After, note ban, cash book is getting more importance. Some of the entities also getting notice from Income Tax Department to submit cash book. So, let us today discussed, some of the points related to cash book.

1. Manual V/s Computerized Cash Book of NGO

Now a days, all the books of accounts are maintained on computer, so it is difficult to find manual cash book of ngo. However, for better management and internal control purpose, it is required to have a Manual Cash Book along with the computerized cash book of NGO. There are many benefits to have manual cash book, like, daily cash checking and authorization, no cancellation or deletion, no rectification of amounts etc…

Thus if you maintained manual cash book along with the computerized cash book, that definitely increased the credibility of your accounting and control system.

2. Negative Cash Balance

For any reason, it is not accepted to go cash in a negative balance. Check the cash balance and see whether at any point of time it goes negative or not. To check negative cash balance in Tally go to cash book – F6 Daily breakup

cb1

3. Unnecessary Withdrawals

Many a times major chunk of cash is withdrawn from bank for some event and event is cancelled later on.  At that time it is advisable to deposit the same amount to the bank. Many a times while checking cash book, it found that cash is withdrawn even though there was a enough cash balance on the books. This situation creates doubts about the genuine transactions of cash.

4. High and Law Cash balance

What should be  the average cash balance in the NGO. As such there is no such norms on the amount. However, it is advisable to keep low cash balance in the NGO. To check high and low cash balance in Tally,  go to Cash Book -> F6 Daily Breakup -> F12 Configure -> Show High Low Details – YES

cb2

Hope this post on Cash book of NGO will give you some information on how your cash book should look. Check out your cash book and above points before its too late. Please give your comments and suggestion in the given below comment section.

How to prepare Chart of Accounts in NGO

The new Financial Year is at the doorstep. There are some steps to be taken in the beginning of the year, so that the whole financial year will pass smoothly.  One of such step is to prepare Standard Chart of Accounts in NGO.

What is Chart of Accounts in general?

In common terms, chart of accounts means, ledger accounts and group accounts shown in books of accounts. For different types of business activity and entity, chart of accounts is different. To maintain uniformity throughout the financial year, it is advisable to have standard chart of accounts.

Chart of Accounts in NGO

Why Chart of Accounts require in NGO ? As we know, there is vast difference in ledger accounts of corporate world and ledger accounts of NGO, specifically ledger accounts of Income and Expenses Group. In Corporate World, common ledger accounts are Sales Account, Service Income Accounts, Purchases, Salary Account, Telephone Expenses, Office Expenses, Stationary Expenses etc… However in NGO, apart from above, we have to take care of Budget line items of particular funding agency, so mainly ledger accounts are equal to line item of budget. Here in NGO grouping is made according to projects. Thus it is one of important exercise accountant has to do is preparing Standard Chart of Account in NGO at the beginning of the year.

Steps to prepare Chart of Accounts in NGO

 

Step 1 : Identify all continuing projects and its ledger accounts

Al l the ledger accounts of the projects, which are continue as on 1st April, are to be identified and put on paper or prepare an excel sheet with grouping.

Step 2: Identify other common Income and Expenditure Accounts

Apart from Projects, if NGO is doing other activities, like income generation, production, consultancy assignments etc… then, one hast to identify this type of common income and expenditure accounts and add in to that excel sheet.

Step 3 : Balance Sheet Items

Chart of Accounts also includes even balance sheet items. There are mainly two types of Balance Sheet items, some of which are same from year to year like Trust Fund Account or Corpus Fund Account or Building Reserve Fund Account, Name of Bank Accounts etc …. and others are changing in nature like Salary Payable Account, Audit Fees Payable Account etc.. One has to incorporate both these type of balance sheet items in the list.

Step 4 : Grouping

After finalizing all ledger accounts, next step is to give group name to it. We can give grouping according to project name like Bal Vikas Shiksha Group Expenses or Mahila Suraksha Project Expenses. Also, for Balance Sheet items, group  name is given like Grant Unutilized, Receivable Grant etc…

Step 5 : Enter Chart of Accounts in Accounting Software

Once exhaustive list of accounts are prepared, it should enter into Accounting Software maintained by NGO. Either you have to enter chart of accounts manually in the software or you can import excel into accounting software if such facility is there. In Tally ERP9, you can easily import chart of account from excel sheet.

Example of Standard Chart of Accounts

Please check out below an example of Chart of Accounts prepared by me. This is standard example, you have to prepare according to your NGO’s project and expenditures.

chart-of-accounts-ngo

Summary

Chart of Accounts in NGO is to be prepared every year, because every year some projects are closed and some new projects are implemented by NGO. Looking to benefits of preparing chart of accounts, it is highly recommended that one has to spare some time right at the beginning of financial year to prepare chart of accounts in NGO.

ngo annual budget chart

Have you prepared NGO Annual Budget for Next Year?

Is it necessary to prepare NGO Annual Budget?

Yes 100% and why not? Every organization, irrespective of size and work pattern, has to prepare its Annual Budget, keeping main object in mind. An annual budget should be prepared, which is mainly activity wise. Have a look at below example.

Current Scenario of NGO Annual Budget

Currently, most of the NGOs prepare Budget to give it to Funding Agencies and only restricted to activities in which funding agency is ready to fund. Instead NGO Annual Budget is given to funding agency and ask to fund accordingly to particular activities. I understand practically one has to adjust with funding agency requirements, however annual budget is to be prepared as part of disciplinary excercise and looking to its benefit given below.

Benefit of preparing NGO Annual Budget

First and foremost benefit is to give clear cut idea about which activity an NGO is going to undertake next year, how much funds already available and how much efforts require to raise remaining funds. It also helps in achieving Long Term Objectives. If NGO is having its 5 years plan or 10 years plan, NGO annual budget becomes an effective tool to convert plans into actions. Look at below chart,  showing Funds already available and  to be raised.

 

Next year NGO Annual Budget in Annual Report

Annual Report of NGO should always contain some of the points. Refer our this post. One of them is to put Next year activity planning along with Annual Budget of next year. This will give readers an opportunity to see organization’s future goals in quantification manner.

Summary

Fund raising activity is one of the tough task in any organization. To make that task easy, it is necessary to prepare 5 years activity plan and prepare Annual Budget etc..

Hope this will help you in your NGO, if you have any question,  you can ask here or chat with us. Also your comments are welcome on the above subjects.

What should be Good NGO Traveling Policy ?

ONE of the main question asked by funding agency before approving any budget is what is your NGO Traveling Policy? In NGO Traveling Expenditure is one of the major component of total budget, whether traveling for Project Implementation, Advocacy, Training, Monitoring, and thus there must be  particular NGO traveling policy for the organization.

IN this article, i would like to focus on which points to be keep in mind while framing traveling policy so that it becomes best.

Good NGO Traveling Policy is one which is in Writing

You may be have one of the best traveling policy and procedures implemented in your NGO, but if it is not on paper, it is useless. Traveling policy must be in writing and must be part of the NGOs Working Manual

Good NGO Traveling Policy is one which is Approved

After framing NGO traveling policy, it is advisable to approve and authorized by trustees or by board members or may be by chairman and secretary.

It should not be rigid

NGO Traveling Policy should not be rigid, in the sense, that one rate or one rule for traveling expenditure can not apply to all types of travelling

It should frame according to Types of Traveling and conveyance

There are different are types of traveling and conveyance we can see in NGO. Sometimes traveling expenditures are reimbursed, sometimes NGO is having own vehicle, sometime staff use own vehicle for project work, sometimes funding agency provide vehicles or provide funds to purchase vehicles. So NGO traveling policy should includes all these possibilities.

Supporting and proof of Traveling

NGO Traveling Policy should includes which type of supporting or proof staff has to give to account and finance department after traveling. It may be Traveling Summery Sheet or Monthly Conveyance Statement or Log Book etc..

Avoid CHARGING of Traveling Expenditure to Project

Some of the NGOs are following practice of charging fixed per kilometer amount and transfer this to some pool or fund and then fuel and maintenance are paid from that pool. It is strongly recommended not to follow this type of practice of “charging” Expenditure to Project.

Summary

Apart from above points, there may be many other points to be consider while framing traveling policy depending upon the nature and work of your NGO. But, one has to keep in mind all the above points to framing good traveling policy.

Hope this will help you in your NGO, if you have any question,  you can ask here or chat with us. Also your comments are welcome on the above subject.

myths-ARF

5 Myths about Advance Requisition Form in NGO

Advance Requisition Form is one of the important document which is very useful for Internal Control System. However there are many misunderstanding prevailing. Let us today, discuss five main myths regarding Advance Requisition Form in NGO.

Myths about Advance Requisition Form

 

1. Advance Requisition Form has to be prepared on Monthly

Generally, Advance Requisition form is to prepared on monthly basis. However it is not standard rule. NGO having more turnover can prepare it on fortnightly basis. Sometime, amount involved in project expenditure are not higher or geographical location of Field office is far from head office, even quarterly Advance Requisition From can be prepared.

2. Only Filed Staff has to prepare Advance Requisition Form

Anyone who is entitled to receive advance, has to prepare Advance Requisition Form in the NGO. Generally, in NGO, somehow, Management personnel receive advance money for project expenses or administrative expenses, are not preparing Advance Requisition Form. For Good Internal Control System,  even trustee or management is require to ask for advance only through Advance Requisition Form

3. It must be Accurate

Advance Requisition Form is kind of estimation of expenditure for next month. It may not be accurate. However care should be taken that figures of expenditure are purely on the basis of approved budget of projects and near to accurate.

4. Important only for giving Advance

Not at all, it is very good document for internal control system, one can check the track records of expenditures. Even comparison can be easily done for what advances ask and how it is used. So that there are many importance of one document, if prepare and analyze properly.

5. There is fixed format of Advance Requisition Form

Every NGO has to prepare format according to their requirements. Here you can find specimen copy of Advance Requisition Form. You can add or delete some of the information as per your requirements.

ARF

Summary

Once it is a part of the procedure of the NGO internal control system, it gives more transparency and efficiency in Financial and Management Control System

Hope this will help you in your NGO, if you have any question, you can ask here or chat with us. Also your comments are welcome on the above subjects.

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