Our Top Nonprofit Accounting & Audit Firms for 2023
To keep your mission moving forward, you must have accurate financials. However, nonprofit accounting and auditing requirements can be time-consuming and confusing. If you are struggling to keep on top of this in house, it may be time to look outside to a certified public accountant (CPA).
To help you choose a CPA, we will cover:
- Why Outsource Your Accounting & Auditing
- The Cost of an Accounting & Auditing Firm
- The Best Accounting & Auditing Firms for Nonprofits in 2023
- Final Thoughts
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Why Outsource Your Accounting & Auditing
As you may already know, nonprofit finances are unique in that they use a special system of accounting called fund accounting. Fund accounting focuses on tracking where your funding goes as opposed to how much money you are making.
While you can hire an in-house professional with experience in nonprofit financial analysis, it can be costly. An in-house accountant earns a fairly high salary because of their expertise. They also expect benefits, such as health insurance and bonuses, which can end up costing you more to provide than the salary itself. If you are a small nonprofit with fairly simple finances, your best option is to pay for a few hours’ of an outside accountant’s time every week or month.
Emily is in deep thought about potentially outsourcing her nonprofit's accounting and auditing.
The other service many nonprofit specialists offer is auditing. Maybe your state requires your nonprofit to undergo an audit every year. Or, maybe your grantor wants to see a nonprofit audit report to ensure that you are spending their money correctly. Either way, you need to use an outside party to avoid any conflicts of interest.
Pro Tip: Just because you are working with an outside CPA, does not mean that you miss out on a personalized experience. Most firms work with you to set up a system of internal controls that have protocols and processes to fit your organization’s specific needs.
The Cost of an Accounting & Auditing Firm
The cost of hiring an accounting or auditing firm depends on several factors, including:
Your organization's location
Your organization's size
Your organization’s requested service
The firm’s experience
However, we consulted the National Society of Accountants to give you an estimate. In 2020 and 2021, the average cost for help with Form 990 — the IRS tax return form — was about $990 in total or about $172 per hour. Nonprofits that used a firm for auditing paid about $164 per hour.
The Best Accounting & Auditing Firms for Nonprofits in 2023
First and foremost, the firm you choose must understand the specific accounting and auditing procedures for nonprofit organizations. From there, you can analyze each one’s reputation, clients, employees, and starting price, among other factors.
Since searching for the right consultant can be time-consuming, we have broken that information down for you in the below list. As you get your finances in order for the end of the 2022 fiscal year, consider these firms.
The Charity CFO
The Charity CFO understands that you have more important tasks to do than manage your financial books. To help your nonprofit thrive, its team provides expert support with:
Monthly financial reports
Budgeting and forecasting
The Charity CFO is a proud partner of Springly! Springly trusts that this entity has the expertise to help you.
As the largest bookkeeping and accounting service provider that dedicates its time entirely to nonprofit organizations, Jitasa can cater to your specific wants and needs. The company works with several sectors that range from healthcare providers to environmental organizations to social welfare agencies.
Founded in 2008, Jitasa has a large employee base as well as a vast history of working with more than 1,000 nonprofits throughout the country. With an average hourly rate of $25 to $49, Jitasa is fairly affordable if you are on a budget.
As a one-stop accounting shop, JS Morlu offers a range of services, including accounting, tax, auditing, and business advisory. Serving many industries over its 10-year tenure, JS Morlu has had enough engagements with nonprofits to understand that their needs are not all the same. The firm’s average hourly rate starts at $100 to $149.
Armanino has offices around the nation, with special focus in California. It has experience helping more than 650 nonprofits with audits, taxes, risks, and more. The firm’s average rate starts at $100 to $149 an hour.
NFP Partners specializes in small-to-mid-size associations, especially government agencies. For the past 15 years, its employees have been helping organizations:
Develop strong internal financial controls
Create capital and operating budgets
Find financial software solutions
Whether your organization is in development or ready for growth, NFP Partners can assist with any stage to help you establish sustainable funding.
Matt is researching some of these accounting and auditing firms now!
Other Nonprofit Audit Firms
Here are some other firms that we recommend looking into:
Meaden & Moore
DeLeon & Stang
McKonly & Asbury
Mowery & Schoenfeld
Quatrro Business Support Services
HD Roseth & Associates
YHB CPAs & Consultants
Pro Tip: If you are looking for even more firm options, check out The Nonprofit CPAs directory. The Nonprofit CPAs is an association dedicated to bringing together CPAs who have experience working with nonprofits. This association has already done the hard work for you, vetting these professionals to ensure that they can help you prepare a nonprofit audit checklist, conduct a nonprofit audit, file a nonprofit Form 990, and more.
For large organizations with complicated finances or small private foundations that cannot afford an in-house accountant, handing your bookkeeping over to an accounting and auditing firm may be the step you need to take to stay financially healthy. Luckily, all of the companies we mention in this article continue to be reputable consultants as you end 2022 and start 2023.
Your first step on this journey is to set up some free consultations. Then, you can begin laying the foundation for a successful financial future!
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💡Can nonprofits outsource their accounting?
Nonprofits can outsource accounting, but they should only work with financial advisors who have nonprofit accounting experience because there are some differences between for-profit and nonprofit accounting. Find out more.
🔑 How much do nonprofit auditing firms cost?
The cost of a nonprofit auditing firm changes based on the location, requested service, and more. However, the average hourly rate is between $150 and $200. Find out more.
📝 Who audits nonprofit organizations?
For independent audits, nonprofits must use an accountant who is not associated with them. Find out more.