Exploring The Statement Of Activities: A Beginner’s Guide

Unrestricted revenues can be used for any legal expenses that a nonprofit might have. When asking for donations or funds, nonprofits are required to ask donors if they would like their donations to be restricted or unrestricted funds. One of the things you need to do when you’re running a nonprofit organization is to keep track of your financial statements.

  • The program level goes into more detail and breaks down the income and expenses by program.
  • This guide teaches the basics of reading and understanding a nonprofit Statement of Activities.
  • A donor could give a single donor that is to equally be split across 3 years.
  • Additionally, this report will identify how much money the organization spent on operating expenses and how much money was raised from donations.
  • Jo-Anne Williams Barnes, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) holding a Master’s of Science in Accounting (MSA) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

The nonprofit statement of activities is the nonprofit parallel to the for-profit income statement. This report shows your organization’s revenue and expenses over time, ultimately allowing your organization to analyze your net assets over time. The Statement of Activities (SOA) is the correct nonprofit term for the report we may commonly have called the income statement, budget report, profit & loss, income and expense report, etc. The SOA report shows a nonprofit organization’s income, expenses, and net income for a specific period of time, all or part of a fiscal year. The report reflects the changes to an organization’s net assets resulting from financial activities that occurred during the fiscal year.

Show your organization is on track to accomplish its mission, and that it handles donor funds responsibly. These statements also show your nonprofit is staying compliant with financial regulations. The Financial Accounting Standards Board also requires nonprofits to report changes in net assets based on the restriction categories of permanently, temporarily, or unrestricted. The statement of activities can also help you assess your organization’s ability to service debt. By understanding where your money is coming from and going, you can make informed decisions about future expenditures. Restricted Revenue includes any donations which have donor-placed restrictions on how or when the money can be spent, while Unrestricted Revenue includes any money which can be used for any purpose.

Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Report a Statement of Activities

Generally, nonprofits try to limit their operating expenses as much as possible to lower their overhead. It’s important to find the balance between reducing overhead to fund your mission and ensuring you dedicate enough funding to your operating activities to continue growing and expanding your organization. As you can see, the report is divided into the revenue and expenses along the vertical axis. Horizontally, the revenue and expenses are further categorized by restrictions placed on the funds. At the bottom of the report, there’s a section dedicated to the net assets of the organization. It is important to see the distinction between restricted and unrestricted as only unrestricted revenue can be used to pay bills.

Most nonprofits also apply for government, companies, or foundation grant funding. You should look at your Statement of Activities every month and compare to previous periods. Identify trends and changes in sources of revenue, expenses, and changes to net assets.

Reading a Statement of Activities can be helpful for understanding a nonprofit’s overall financial picture. This guide will explain what a Statement of Activities is and the key components in it. If you cannot find a nonprofit’s Statement of Activities, you can also ask the organization for a copy.

There are many moving pieces to success including managing people, fulfilling a purpose, and prioritizing events. It is not uncommon for the details surrounding the organization’s financial health to get overlooked. If a nonprofit has over $100,000 in annual contributions or $250,000 in assets, they are required to file IRS Form 990. However, you might not be able to easily find their financial statements. Understanding and effectively utilizing the Statement of Activities is crucial for nonprofit organizations to achieve financial stability and fulfill their mission.

Segregates Financial Activity

Nonprofits can use this report to file Form 990 with the IRS and provide donors with transparency and trust in the organization. The results of each successive fiscal year’s financial activities accumulate on the SOFP, changing the net asset balances. Repeated annual deficits in the SOA will result in an accumulated deficit on the SOFP. Net assets with donor restrictions are usually never below zero, although special reporting may apply to an “underwater ” endowment balance (topic not covered here).

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The revenues and expenses in this report are broken down by unrestricted funds and funds with restrictions placed on them by donors, using separate columns across the statement. Though it is possible to compress these rows down to just a few line items, it is customary to be more expansive in detailing revenues and expenses. Within both levels, information is given indicating the income and expenses of the nonprofit. Income sources can consist of things like grants, donations, and investment income. Expenses can include things like salaries, office expenses, and program expenses.

Are income statements and Statements of Activities the same?

Documents such as your nonprofit statement of financial position, statement of cash flows, chart of accounts, and statement of functional expenses are all equally important. Since it is similar to an income statement it has revenues, expenses and a change in net assets. 8 4 compute and evaluate overhead variances You must also break out the statement of activities into restricted and unrestricted. SFAS 117 is the primary guidance related to nonprofit financial statements. A statement of financial activities template is an essential resource for any nonprofit organization.

???? Privacy & Transparency

Gross receipts are the primary difference between nonprofits and for-profit companies filing a statement of activities. Organizations share these statements to be entirely transparent with their donors. By sharing what funds they collect and how they’re spent, donors can see how their gifts support the nonprofit’s programs and beneficiaries.

Nonprofit Statement of Activities A Comprehensive Guide

While for-profits need to compile a profit and loss statement along with their income statement, nonprofits can skip that step because they’re not operating for profit. The statement of activities is simply to show how the organization is using its revenue and expenses to support its mission. Out of the four most common financial statements in a nonprofit, the Statement of Activities, also known as the Profit & Loss (P&L), is the broadest.

All of the vital accounting statements that you pull together to draw conclusions from are pulled from your nonprofit chart of accounts. In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions. If you use accounting software, you’ll need to input all of the information manually. This can be time-consuming, but it’s not as expensive as hiring an accountant. On the other hand, they share how these funds support students throughout their education.

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