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5 things you must do at the start of Financial Year in NGO

New Financial Year has just started, and everyone is busy in closing books of accounts of last year. Sometimes, the closing of financial year is done in the month of June or July. If Accounts and Finance running from one financial year to another as it is, without change, sooner or later, it will become absolute. So, this is my advice that at least follow this 5 things at the beginning of the Financial Year.

1. Annual Budget

NGO has establish to fulfill a mission with the vision in mind. And to achieve that, one needs long term plan which breakdown in a yearly column. That is called Annual Budget.  Now a days, its a trend that from big funding agency to CSR companies to small donors, everyone asking whether you have prepared Annual Budget or not. The right time for the preparation of Annual Budget for NGOs is in the Last week of March or first week of April, not later than that. Read this blog on Annual Budget.

 

2. Changes in Multi-Year Projects

If you  have multi year project, most likely budget of such project will change with the change in financial year. Mostly salaries and staff payments have incremental components and increase in the next financial year. Thus, Accountant must have to ascertain such changes in new financial year  in particular budget and should communicate to program team well in advance.

 

3. Update Financial Manual

Financial Manual is a policy document and need to review every year. Every year, there are many changes in laws and regulations which affects the financial transactions of your organization. Generally, accountant used to start following the new laws and regulation but forget to modify Financial Manual Accordingly.

Example

Cash Expenditure limit was decreased from Rs. 20000 to Rs. 10000. But still many NGO has the limit of Rs. 20000 in their Financial Manual. Nobody bothers to read and update it.

 

4. Splitting Tally Database

Mostly, Accountants in NGOs are lazy to split Tally company and whereby separating database according to Financial Years.  I have seen many NGO accounts, where tally database is same since last 8 to 10 years. Obviously, because of this, size of database increase and speed to work in Tally getting slow to worse. So, It is advisable to split the tally company at the end of the Financial Year.

 

5. Chart of Accounts

Chart of Account is the base of accurate accounting and desirable presentations of Income & Expenditure Accounts and Balance Sheet of NGOs. As, compared to corporate, NGO do not have standard format for its Financial Documents. I observed, that accountant creates and alters ledger accounts as and when required. So, this is one of the important point to follow at the start of the Financial Year to prepare Chart of Accounts or modified according to the need.

 

Did I miss something?

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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Cleanup of NGO Balance Sheet before 31st March

BEFORE year ends on 31st March, NGO has to look out some points regarding its books of accounts.   An NGO has to prepare an Income & Expenditure Account, Balance Sheet and Receipts and Payments Account. In case of Income Expenditure Account and Receipts Payments Account, only current  year figures are taken and thus no cleaning process required for it.

However in case of NGO Balance Sheet, figures and items are carried forwarded from year to year. In many of the accounts, only opening balances are  carried down from years without having any transactions, and thus every year it is the duty of NGO Accountant to look at the Balance Sheet before 31st March, list out such types of dormant accounts and pass necessary journal entries to remove it, only after taking approval from higher designated person of the NGO.

Dormant Accounts in NGO Balance Sheet

Mostly Fund Accounts with very nominal balance, mostly in Unutilized Grants or Grants Receivables may be consider as dormant. If project was completed before 2 to 3 years back and if there is nominal balance either positive or negative, should be transfer to General fund.

Unused Bank Accounts

Because of emphasis of Government funded projects to open a Separate Bank Account for Project, it may be seen that in an NGO, more than 5 to 10 Bank Accounts are opened. As such, there is no limitation on Maximum number of Bank Accounts, it should be restricted for administrative smoothness. Secondly, some charges are debited every year even we do not use Bank Accounts. To avoid all such, it is lookout of accountant to identified such unused bank accounts and start procedure of closing it.

“Ghost” Fixed Assets

Some of the Fixed Assets in NGO are on paper but you could not find it physically. I say them “Ghost” Fixed Assets. All these type of “Ghost” Fixed Assets should be removed even from paper by passing resolution and journal entries.

TDS Receivable (Income Tax Refund Accounts)

TDS of NGO is deducted from consultancy, or on Interest on Fixed assets and such other types of Income. This TDS is claimed as refund in Income Tax Return of NGO. However due to slow process of Income Tax Department in issue of refund. These “TDS Receivable” Accounts are carried forwarded from years. Sometimes, refund is already deposited in bank account but not properly accounted for. Go to this link of Refund Status Website to check how much refund is pending and only those related refund accounts should reflect in the NGO Balance Sheet

Summary

NGO Balance Sheet is a financial mirror of any organization and thus it must be clean periodically, else the picture reflects, will not look transparent.

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.