You have probably heard by now, but just in case you haven’t, Sage Nonprofit Solutions is now Abila!  Back in March, we shared with you the news that we were acquired by private equity firm Accel-KKR from Sage Group PLC.

Over the past few months we have been working out the details of the transition from Sage to Abila and preparing for our launch.  It has been quite a journey that really began 30 years ago, but we are excited for this fresh start and new independence.

Thank you all for your support.

Please bookmark our new blog at http://abila.com/resources/blog


Financial Statement Series


The statement of financial position required for nonprofits by FASB Statement 117 is similar to the balance sheet which we discussed in a previous article in this series. The statement of financial position addresses the restriction in net assets that the balance sheet does not. The balance equation is still the same:

Assets=Liabilities + Net Assets

This statement, like the balance sheet, lists assets in the order of liquidity, liabilities in the order that they are due, and the difference between the assets and the liabilities is the net assets.

Because nonprofits are funded by donors and other organizations such as grantors, donors may place restrictions on the contributions to the organization. Assets need not be reported on the basis of donor-imposed restriction unless they are designated for long-term purposes or received with donor-imposed restrictions that limit their use for long-term purposes. In those cases, there are guidelines for breaking out and reporting the assets designated for long-term use.

Net Asset Restrictions

Information about the nature and amounts of the restrictions on net assets may be reported by using a separate line for each type of restriction. Information on restrictions may also be included in the notes for the financial statements.

Permanently Restricted Net Assets

These are assets that the donor has instructed the organization to maintain in perpetuity.

Endowments are examples of permanently restricted net assets. Commonly, a donor contributes funds for an endowment with instructions that the principal may not be spent but the income generated by the endowment fund may be used by the organization.

Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

Temporarily restricted Net Assets either have a donor-imposed time or purpose restriction. Perhaps money is donated to a school for use within a specific school year. A building fund is another example of temporarily restricted funds.

Unrestricted Net Assets

These are net assets which have neither a permanent nor a temporary restriction placed on them. In the absence of donor restrictions, net assets are unrestricted.

Final Note

The statement of financial position offers unique insights into the special circumstances of a nonprofit organization. Looking at the statement balances, a reader might ask the following questions:

  • Is there enough cash to pay the bills?
  • Are investments diversified per organization policy?
  • Are receivables being collected in a timely manner?
  • Are vendors being paid in a timely manner?
  • How long have liabilities been on the books?
  • Are tax liabilities being met in a timely manner?
  • Are the restricted funds protected?

A properly prepared statement of financial position is part of the complete package of financial statements for nonprofits.

Next time we’ll look at the statement of cash flows.

LauraHeadshotLaura Reifschlager


droolLet’s face it, mass data entry, especially the same recurring entry month after month, is about as enthralling as those high school science films like “Your Friend Zinc Oxide”. Oh sure there are some people out there that can put on their headphones, get their Shaka-Kan tunes going, turn off their higher brain functions and get IN THE GROOVE! But I’m not one of them. I remember trading shifts over at the IRS from the Data Entry Department over to the Extraction Department for the exciting possibility of opening a letter bomb to put me out of my misery.  So when I start with a new accounting package one of the first things I want to learn is how to automate data entry.

100 Fund Accounting has several tools toward this end.

1. Play the Keys – There are two keys on the Keyboard to get your journey toward blissful entry going. The Function Key 5 (F5) and Function Key 6 (F6). F5 will copy the contents of the CELL directly above it. F6 will copy the ENTIRE LINE. That way you can change a few key codes and save enough strokes to change your golf score.

2. Let the computer remember- There is a function called the memorize document. This allows you to enter a document once and then save it for future use. After you have memorized a document, you can recall it in later data entry. There are even options to recall it with different dollar amounts and have it do the fancy math to figure out how much goes to each fund.

Memorize Documents

3. Total Recall – Memorize documents for power users. When you memorize a document you can tell the system, “This is so cool I want to automatically use it next month,” and it becomes part of your data entry social calendar. Every morning you log into the software you get a list transactions waiting for a hot date. Memorize Recurring Document

4. Déjà vu – A good old standby is to simply copy documents or entire sessions. In most forms of data entry, there is a “copy posted document” button that lets you use a specific document over again more times than your three year old watches that Barney video.

Copy Posted Doc

You can also copy the ENTIRE SESSION, duplicating hundreds of documents at once without risking a chipped nail.
In both copy processes, you have the awesome ability to change the document and effective dates thus bringing your data more up to date than your smart phone.

Session to copy

But beware with the copy process as it duplicates the exact copy of the document numbers involved. If you’re doing this with AP or AR transactions, it can get you into more trouble than getting drunk at the company Holiday party and faxing an embarrassing photocopy to Chicago. Use the recurring entries instead.

5. Import Duties – Importing, the ultimate expression of data entry efficiency. If you can squeeze enough blood out of the budget rock to get a properly configured import file, then you can suck data in with such speed and efficiency it would bring tears to a Bavarian Engineers eyes.

The options are out there, so go forth and make your data entry life not suck.

DSC_5179Tom Tweedel

Sr. Customer Support Analyst

Financial Statement Series

balance sheet

Throughout this series, we’ve established that FASB Statement 117 sets the minimum reporting standards for nonprofit organizations. The balance sheet is not part of those requirements, but is still a useful statement. The nonprofit version is the statement of financial position which is a balance sheet with net assets reported by restriction. We will look at the specifics of the statement of financial position next time. Looking at the balance sheet first will be a good primer.

Smile for the Camera

A balance sheet is a snapshot of an organizations assets, liabilities, and net assets. Because the statement is looking at different accounts than the revenue statement or the statement of activities, a different format is required. The key principle is that the statement represents totals as of the date issued, not a range of time. A balance sheet for December 31 reports on the financial position that date.

In its simplest form, the balance sheet lists assets and liabilities and subtracts the two to calculate total net assets. The balance derives its name from a basic accounting equation:

Assets=Liabilities + Equity

The equation always balances.

The Layout

Like the other statements, the balance sheet will have a heading and a body. Some balance sheets are laid out in a side-by-side manner with assets on one side and liabilities and equity on the other. This makes it easy to see that both sides equal, or, yes, balance.

A vertical layout is another choice with assets listed first, then liabilities, then net assets or equity.

The Contents

Assets are the things you own or what is owed to you. Assets are listed in order of liquidity. Liquidity is how close the asset is to cash, with cash, of course, being the most liquid. Securities that can be converted to cash very quickly are more liquid than a building and slightly less liquid than cash. Current assets are those assets which can be converted to cash within one full reporting cycle, most likely one year.

Next down the list would be less liquid assets such as accounts receivables or inventory. Long term assets are property, plant, and equipment as well as goodwill and long-term investments.

Liabilities are listed next. Liabilities are what you owe. They are listed in the order in which they come due. Just as for assets, liabilities are short-term and long-term.

Finally, the equity is listed. In the for-profit world, shareholder equity is the term used. Since there are no shareholders in the not-for-profit world, we use the term net assets. The simplest calculation is assets less liabilities equal net assets. It has to work out that way. It is a balance sheet, after all. Refer to the basic equation above. You get the math.

The Final Note

The balance sheet reports the financial position of the whole organization at a point in time. Readers can see what the organization owns and what it owes. These amounts may be used in financial ratios for further analysis. No one financial statement tells the entire story. The balance sheet is just part of the package. Next time we’ll look at the statement of financial position and its importance to a nonprofit organization.

Click here to read the previous article in this series.

LauraHeadshotLaura Reifschlager


Believe-in-what-you-areI applied for the position on a whim. A few years ago, I was between jobs while purchasing a bridal gift at a home goods store. Holiday season was approaching, so I applied for temporary work. Surprisingly, I learned some key lessons during my short tenure there which relate to many business arenas, including the nonprofit world. Read on to discover how I applied these lessons to break the all-time sales record for an ordinary household product.

That home goods store requires that their cashiers do suggestive selling at the registers. The first item to sell was a set of nonstick skillets for $50. I was nervous about asking customers who had already made their purchases to add another $50 to their ticket. No one will buy these was my first thought.

Lesson 1: If you don’t ask, there is no opportunity for success. Each customer not asked to buy the skillets was an opportunity missed. And surprisingly to me, many said yes to adding another $50 to their ticket. Several even added more than one set of skillets to their ticket. So ask for what you need!

Once I made the first sale, I learned the next lesson.

Lesson 2: Success breeds success. The confidence gained from one “yes” fueled the next sale. My confidence grew. My fear diminished. I was encouraged to keep asking customers to purchase the skillets. So remember that success in asking for what you need will lead to more success in getting what you need.

However, not everyone said yes. Sometimes they said no.

Lesson 3: No once doesn’t mean no the next time. Even no for the fourth time in a row doesn’t mean no the next time. Not everyone will say yes to your request. But no once doesn’t mean the next answer will be no.

Lesson 4: Not every day is a yes day. Some days, the answer is no all day long. But on no days, hang on to lessons 1 and 4. Tomorrow will be a new (and different) day! When the answer is no, regroup and re-evaluate the request. And return to lessons 1 and 4 for encouragement.

Learning to handle the no responses and remembering lessons 1 and 4 taught me lesson number 5.

Lesson 5: Success is contagious. The excitement generated from one sale often produced the next sale. The next person in line did not want to be left out. Be excited when you receive a yes answer. Publicize it! Let others know. Create an atmosphere such that others want to share in the success.

Lesson 6: Project confidence. Believe in what you are asking. I bought a set of the skillets so I could say I own the skillets and offer my own testimony about their value. With my level of confidence, the only item I could not sell was the Topsy Turvey tomato grower. (The product lacked greatness, and I could not manufacture any greatness.) Be genuine. Believe in what you are asking. Be a part of your mission.

Lesson 7. Smile. Build a relationship. Be likeable. People like doing business with others they like and with whom they have a relationship. If my friend posts a request to support her half marathon for her ill friend, I will support the cause, not necessarily for the ill friend but because I want to support my friend.

The final product I was asked to sell was the unglamorous room deodorizer for $6.99. Even though the product was packaged as two for $9.99, we were asked to sell the singles for $6.99. Using all the principles above, I sold 32 room deodorizers on one Saturday afternoon, breaking the record and amazing a visiting manager. And that brings me to the final lesson:

Hang on to those yes days. The memory of success will serve as encouragement for those no days and remind you that the next day just might be a yes day.

7 Lessons from Retail



Laura Reifschlager


A Financial Statements Series

Satetment of Activities

A Statement of Activities is similar to a Statement of Revenue and Expenses. Because nonprofits have an operating purpose other than making a profit, the terms “statement of activities” and “change in net assets” are used instead of income statement and net income. Like the revenue statement, the statement of activities reports the changes in net assets over a period of time.

Because a major source of funding for nonprofits may come from donors, donors may also impose restrictions on the use of those funds. The funds may be unrestricted, permanently restricted (such as an endowment fund), or temporarily restricted (such as a building fund). FASB Statement 117 requires that an organization report the change in net assets based on the restriction categories of permanently, temporarily, or unrestricted.

The Format

Like the statement presented in Understanding the Statement of Revenue and Expenses , the statement of activities will have a heading, a body, and a bottom line. There will be a revenue section and an expense section in the body. A multi-columnar format is used to present the increases and decreases in net assets according to the intent of the donor with column headings for unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted.

Types of Expenses

An important distinction on the statement of activities is how expenses are classified. Nonprofits use two important classifications of expenses: natural and functional. Natural classifications are used by the for-profit world also and indicate the type of expense incurred. Examples of the natural classification of expenses are utilities, rent, office supplies, and salary expenses. Functional classification indicates on what activity (the function) the expense was incurred. There are three principal functional classifications: program expenses, management and administrative expenses, and fund-raising expenses.

A statement of activities with functional expense classification would list the programs under the expense section. The expenses for each program would include salaries, office supplies, utilities, and other expenses for that specific program.

A statement of activities with natural classification would simply list all the expense types: Salaries, utilities, office supplies, and other expenses.

FASB Statement 117 allows most nonprofits to present the functional information in the notes of the financial statements but functional expenses may also be presented on the face of the statement.

Statement of Functional Expenses

Statement of Functional Expenses

Voluntary health and welfare organization have the additional requirement of presenting the expenses in a matrix which includes both the natural and the functional expense by program. (See FASB Statement 117 C  for the specific definitions.)

Direct or Indirect

Some expenses are easily matched to the program activity. Other expenses support more than one program. Expenses related to more than one program must be allocated to the appropriate functions. A building may be shared by several programs. The building rent must be allocated to the programs utilizing the building using an objective method of allocation if possible. Note there is special guidance on allocating costs related to an activity that combines fund-raising with elements of another function. These types of costs are referred to as joint activities.


Statements produced by nonprofits must be useful to donors and contributors so that decisions about the allocation of resources can be made. Statements are useful in assessing the services provided by the organization and its ability to continue those services and statements may also offer insight when assessing how managers have performed their stewardship responsibilities.

While FASB Statement 117 establishes minimum standards for financial reporting, organizations have flexibility in how items are sequenced on a report allowing the reporting standards to meet the needs of different organizations.

Next time: A look at the Balance Sheet

LauraHeadshotLaura Reifschlager

Fundraising For Fireworks


When many Americans think about the Fourth of July, we tend to envision hot dogs, beaches, sparklers and fireworks. Even though many communities have banned citizens from setting off their own light displays, numerous local governments sponsor their own fireworks show.

However, in some regions, this might not be possible without sizable donations due to the state of the economy and local budgetary concerns. For instance, the people of Rochester, Minn., are hoping that funding picks up soon, or it doesn’t look like such a display is in the cards for this upcoming Independence Day, the Post Bulletin reported.

Mayor Ardell Brede told the news source that he needs to raise $35,000, but with less than a month away from the big night, the town only has $9,000 to use toward fireworks.

The people of Bainbridge Island, Wash., are faring a little better. The Bainbridge Island Review detailed that a fundraising campaign driven by nonprofit Bainbridge Fireworks has fulfilled $15,000 of the area’s $25,000 goal. Residents have been depositing money in collection jars which numerous individuals have posted in local cafes, shops and other venues to promote the celebration. There have also been donations at area banks and online.

Foundations and organizations that provide annual funding might benefit from nonprofit accounting software, which can help board members audit funds and make sure the correct amounts are being distributed to various programs each year.


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