Level Up the Net Assets Portion of Your Balance Sheet

Accounting software will come “out of the box” with at least two accounts within the Equity (or Net Assets, in nonprofit terminology) section of your Statement of Financial Position (also called the balance sheet): Retained Earnings and Net Revenue. In a nonprofit context, Retained Earnings might be renamed Unrestricted Net Assets. None of the day-to-day bookkeeping entries, whether logging a ticket sale, a donor pledge, the collection on that pledge, an artist’s fee payment, the theater rental fee, or using a company credit card to buy stamps to send donor thank you … Read more

Depreciation Basics for Non-Profit Arts Organizations

Depreciation, in the accounting sense, is the bookkeeping process of lowering the value of something that your organization owns over time. It is generally applied to physical or tangible objects that an organization uses long-term. Disclaimer: What is a blog post about a legal or financial topic without a disclaimer? This is not legal advice. You should not be getting your legal advice from a blog post. The purpose of this post is to give you things to think about before taking action. Speak to an accountant and/or a lawyer about specifics. … Read more

How to Account Your Earned Revenue

In the not-for-profit world, there are two types of revenue (as defined by tax law and accounting standards): contributed and earned. Contributed revenue includes monetary donations from individuals and corporations as well as grants from foundations and government agencies. Earned revenue includes ticket sales, program and service fees, and media sales. A good rule of thumb is that if a transaction represents the customer receiving a distinct item (a CD, a branded mug) or service (a performance of a concert or play), that transaction is earned revenue. If not, it’s contributed. Even … Read more