I am a lawyer and not an accountant. Like most lawyers numbers scare me. After all if we could deal with blood and we would be doctors and if we could add and subtract we would probably want to be accountants. As much as we lawyers may want to be in denial we know that non-profits and charities need to understand their financial and accounting situation just as they need to understand their legal obligations. Frequently I run into non-profits who have no idea what they need to do. So here are some links that may be helpful in understanding a Canadian non-profit or charity’s financial obligations. By the way I have no idea if these guys know what they are talking about because I am hiding under my computer desk afraid that these books will bite.
Financial Responsibilities of Not-for-Profit Boards - 74 pages
Building Capacity Through Financial Management: A Practical Guide by John Cammack. It is published by Oxfam.
http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/buildfincap_book.pdf The book covers topics such as Capacity-Building and Finance; Assessing Financial Management Capacity; Building Financial Management Capacity; Planning and Budgeting; Accounts Record-Keeping; Financial Reporting; Financial Controls; External Audit; Organisational Aspects of Financial Management; Moving Toward Sustainability; Reserves; Core Costs; a ‘Toolkit’ for Financial Management Capacity-Building; and Training for Financial Management Capacity-Building. It was published in October 2007 so it is relatively up to date
The Canada Revenue Agency has information on the T3010B Registered Charity Information Return at
Tax Guide for Charities by PWC - 40 pages
Taxation of Charities (Deloitte) - 32 pages
Financial Reporting by Not-for-Profit Organizations issued jointly by the Accounting Standards Board and Public Sector Accounting Board
NCVO Introducing Funding and Finance For voluntary and community organisations
For a more detailed guide see http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/uploadedFiles/NCVO/AskNCVO/Finance/2_-_Financial_management.pdf
Mango’s Guide to Financial Management for NGOs
Guide is from UK charity Mango and useful for all charities especially in international development
I noticed that Quickbooks is advertising that “QuickBooks Premier editions designed for your industry” and they include one for
“Non-profits - For religious & member-based organizations, charities/non-profits and arts & education groups, QuickBooks can help make better sense of dollars coming in and going out.
Manage fundraising initiatives, Track donations/contributions & donors, Customize thank you letters, Prepare financial reports for your board & annual report. Select the Non-profits Edition when you Install QuickBooks Premier.”
If anyone has used QuickBooks Premier “non-profit” version I would like to hear your comments.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.