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5 Accounting Mistakes to Avoid for Non-Profits

If you are running a non-profit, you want to do your best to not cause problems that will hurt your organization.  One of the areas that you want to make sure you are doing correctly is with your accounting.    Here are 5 accounting mistakes you want to avoid:

Not Following Accounting Procedures

You will want to have accounting procedures for your business, and you will want to follow them.    The procedures should be written in detail in an accounting procedure manual.   These procedures include steps for managing your company’s assets; how to accept and deposit donations and how to pay bills.

Not Tracking Donations Properly

When you get donations from donors, you will need to track the donations properly.  It would be best to invest in some sort of computer database, or customer relations management software, to help with this task.  An Excel spreadsheet is a good start, but there is software available to help with keeping donations and customer information correct.

Not Keeping Good Customer Relations with Existing Donors

Though you may always be on the hunt for more donors, don’t forget your existing donors.  It is easier to get donations from an existing relationship than from a new relationship.  Keep building the relationships you already have, with donors who have already donated.  Again, a database or software for maintaining your customer relationships is helpful.

Letting Accounting Errors Occur

Make sure that you double-check your accounts for errors.   Reconcile accounts against bank statements and don’t overlook even small errors.  This will help with maintaining the credibility of your organization with current and future donors.

Not Having a Budget

Figure out a budget so that you don’t overspend.  It doesn’t have to be complex.  Figure out how much your bills and spending are for a few months.  Use this information to start.  Once you have an idea, you can begin tracking your spending and incoming money and will know when you have additional money to use.  Keep refining your budget as you go along so you don’t overspend.


There are many pitfalls to the accounting portion of a non-profit organization.  You may be doing one thing really well, yet having difficulty in other areas.  Let our staff help you with any part of the accounting for your organization that you are having trouble with.  Don’t let your organization suffer from any of the accounting mistakes listed above.  Contact us, we can help!