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We are officially 48 days away from Tax Day. If you haven’t done so already, you have likely gathered all of your W-2s, 1099-MISCs and other taxes documents, and have made plans to meet with your accountant or sit down and file your 2017 taxes. Everyone seems to have Uncle Sam and their finances on their mind. Lions Pride is no exception – but we’re not filing taxes; instead, we’re completing our annual audit.
For some reason, the word ‘audit’ has an amazing way of sparking apprehension or fear in people. While an audit may seem like a punishment for individuals, they are actually a standard procedure for nonprofit organizations. An audit simply refers to an independent review of an organization’s financial books.
An independent audit is an examination of the financial records, accounts, business transactions, accounting practices, and internal controls of a charitable nonprofit by an independent auditor. “Independent” refers to the fact that the auditor/CPA is not an employee of the organization but rather is retained through a contract for services. For the last five years, we have contracted with Schenk SC to conduct our audit.
For the next two days, the auditors will examine our bank reconciliations, selected restricted donations and grant letters. They will also review physical assets, journals, ledgers and board minutes. After the review, the auditors will then issue a formal opinion about the accuracy of all financial reports, and provide recommendations to continue improving our financial management.
Here at Lions Pride, we know that an annual audit is an essential part of a check-and-balance system to guarantee all finances are in order and allows the LPEF Board of Directors to be confident LPEF staff is following proper accounting practices. The audit also demonstrates our commitment to financial transparency, which donors have come to expect from our organization.
Trust is one of the most critical components of a nonprofit-donor relationship. The annual audit is just one more way Lions Pride works to build that trust by ensuring all donations are properly managed and secured so we can continue to preserve, protect and provide for Wisconsin Lions Camp and all WLF projects. We thank you for your continued support.