2019 Nonprofit Symposium

2019 Nonprofit Symposium (NFPS31)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 / Washington, DC


Event Status: OPEN

Event ID: #NFPS31

CPE: 21.0 credits

Total Price: $0.00

The Nonprofit Symposium has been leading nonprofit financial education for more than thirty years and just keeps getting better. Developed by the best and the brightest working in the industry themselves, this conference tackles the topics are top of mind for you and your team. Practical tools you need today and insights that keep you ahead of the curve for tomorrow.

New this year-build your own best Symposium ever! The event will offer two full days of live concurrent sessions, for up to 16 credits obtained on site. However, all sessions will be recorded and available within days so that you can still earn up to 21 total credits (all included in your registration) by viewing what you missed on demand and at your own pace. You won't have to miss a thing, or choose between two great topics. Even after you obtain your full 21 credits, all sessions will be viewable so that you get the benefit of nearly 60 different courses covering every issue that you could be tackling this year! This is truly a game changer and one that we know will make this the most valuable conference you attend this year.


Register for this year's event here: SYMPOSIUM

View the Symposium agenda here: AGENDA 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
07:00AM - 08:45AM

Sponsor Lounge & Breakfast open

08:00AM - 08:10AM

Welcome Remarks

Welcome to the 31st Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Symposium!

08:10AM - 09:00AM

CPA Evolution

09:00AM - 09:50AM

Nonprofit Finance Tech Transformation

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 10:15AM - 11:30AM

Tips, Pitfalls and Best Practices for Managing Nonprofits' Risk with Third Parties

This session will explore tips, pitfalls and best practices for managing the growing risks nonprofits have with their third parties. This interactive program will delve into how third parties are generally managed by nonprofits today, often without any centralized control or strategy, with no common standards or processes, and with no one “owning” third-party management. At the same time, there is a greater reliance on vendors and other third parties more than ever before, including for critically important services. For instance, with an ever-increasing utilization of cloud-based services, and an ever-increasing regulation of privacy and data security at the state, federal and international levels, prudent management of these risks is a necessity. The speakers will discuss numerous real-life examples to bring these issues to light in practical terms that are easily relatable, focus on the failures and breaches that have caused problems for nonprofits, and explore best-practice approaches for implementing successful third-party management.

Walk With Me Through 990-T: Tax Reform Changes and Strategies

The new Form 990-T looks a lot like the old Form 990-T – but don’t let the familiarity fool you! In this session, we’ll be going through Form 990-T in detail, including numerous examples, to see where the changes (and the traps) lie. We’ll seek answers to the many questions the changes have raised, including: --The 990-T instructions keep changing: what is the latest guidance? --What reasonable methods can be used to group activities into silos? --What can you deduct against taxable transportation ‘revenues?’ --Old NOLs and new NOLs – where to report? What are the limits? --Where do charitable deductions go?

The Final Countdown: How the Lead Up to the 2020 Election is Impacting the Financial Markets

With less than a year left before the 2020 election, what are the implications for the financial markets? After some short-term volatility late in 2018, the markets have moved higher. Earnings are still growing, interest rates are staying low, and the threat of a recession seems to be pushed off. How will the financial markets now react given the potentially heated and volatile 2020 election? Will a nasty election cycle, pinning Republicans vs. Democrats, create additional market volatility? Come learn how to separate the noise from reality and what the 2020 election means for you and the financial markets.

Endowment Best Practices and Policy Collaboration

For many not-for-profits, endowments represent the majority of their investment portfolio, providing significant programmatic funding through annual distributions. Does your institution have the right policies, procedures and tools in place to appropriately manage your endowment portfolio? Are your policies, as written, indicative of current practices and well-understood by all parties impacted? Join us for a lively discussion about opportunities to mitigate risks surrounding endowments from the perspective of a Controller and a business advisor who supports her. We will discuss real world examples of implemented solutions to enhance endowment policies, reporting and collaboration.

New Lease Accounting Standards Under ASC 842

Nonprofit organizations have been dealing with a run of new accounting standard updates and the next area of focus will be lease accounting. ASC 842 dramatically changes how lessees need to account for their lease agreements. This session will discuss the changes coming very soon and how nonprofit professionals can prepare now to soften the impact later.

12:00PM - 12:50PM

The Intersection of Open Data, Investigative Journalism and Regulation

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 01:05PM - 01:55PM

It's My Information & I Want It Now @ a Reasonable Cost

Controllers, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, Accountants, Staff. How do you support their informational needs without recreating the wheel? Data visualization was our answer. We implemented Tableau which was an inexpensive investment (annually ~ $650 for the creator and ~$100 per viewer) offering usable information both visually and as a table. We will build and furnish you the templates to quickly develop the demonstrated Financial Views or Dashboard with a few changes based on your environment. We look forward to sharing the how and helping you on your way. We will also demonstrate the same approach with Excel for comparison.

GAAP and GAAS Update

State & Local Tax Update

Lessons Learned from a ERP System Upgrade Panel

The panelists will share information on their experience and lessons learned from their organization's recent ERP system upgrade. More details coming soon!

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 02:15PM - 03:30PM

Real Life Reveals of Implementing the New Revenue Standards (ASC 606 and ASU 2018-08)

In this session we will discuss how to implement ASC 606: Revenue from Contracts with Customers and ASU 2018-08: Accounting for Contributions Made and Contributions Received at a medium to large not-for-profit. We will discuss how the National Academy of Sciences implemented both ASC 606 and ASU 2018-08 in the 6 month period from when ASU 2018-08 was released in summer 2018 and NAS's year-end of 12/31/18. We will explore how to get started by considering an organization's revenue streams, materiality, and how to approach each area. We will also review recommendations on when and how to approach internal staff and auditors on issues and concerns and best practices on documentations. Attendees will leave the session with a blueprint on how to approach implementing both ASC 606 and ASU 2018-08.

Employment Law Update

Employers face a myriad of employment laws that expose organizations to significant potential liability. With proper education, you can avoid common pitfalls and keep your organization out of trouble. In this quick paced and entertaining session, a seasoned employment lawyer will share his “war stories” and provide you with strategies to enable you to make necessary employment decisions while minimizing risk.

Enhancing Finance and Audit Committee Effectiveness

Almost all nonprofit organizations have a finance committee and most mid to large size nonprofit organizations have an audit committee. However, for most nonprofit organizations, these two very important committees exist in name only with little to no “Thoughtful Structure” or guiding working rules. Enhancing and empowering these committees with a “Strong Sense of Purpose” will positively impact organizational financial health, improve utilization of financial resources, foster financial oversight and monitoring, and help your organization to advance more effectively on mission delivery. Case study examples along with useful tools, templates and dashboard techniques will be included in the presentation.

Cyber Security - Business Risk and Opportunity Cyber Security - How It Impacts Your Audit

Cyber security has become a big business and impacts all organizations. Learn what the threats are and how to make sure your organization is protected, what are the best practices, and how does cyber security impact your audit.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 03:40PM - 04:30PM

VA Ethics Part 1

Developed using the Virginia Board of Accountancy's (VBOA) "Virginia-Specific Ethics Course Outline 2019" as the course framework, this class is designed to help you meet the VBOA annual 2-hour (100-minute) CPE requirement for 2019.


Applying Activity-Based Management to Fundraising

This session is about accountants applying to fundraising the same activity-based management procedures that they now apply to the various program services activities of the NFP organizations they serve. These ABM procedures include program planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting and evaluation – external and internal. This session takes an in depth look at a new development office Excel-based ABM “Fundraising Net Analyzer (FNA) v1.xlsx” tool, where the accounting office provides the development office with fundraising expense data by activity. The FNA tool is managed by the development office. Gift income by the same activity structure is combined with the expense data in the FNA template to produce decision-useful fundraising net performance analyses – by activity. Versions of the FNA are used in applying ABM to fundraising for planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting and evaluation. Along with a comprehensive set of supporting materials, the FNA tool is downloadable free from www.afpfep.org/tools. Use of the FNA enables NFP organization to increase the net funds raised needed to finance the organization’s program services and pursuit of mission. GWSCPA and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) are sponsoring the project for “Applying Activity-Based Management to Fundraising.”

Technically Speaking: Using the IRS Technical Advice Procedures to Avoid Litigation and UBIT

The presentation will use the presenters' experience obtaining TAM 201837014 which overturned the IRS Appeals Division’s decision to uphold a proposed tax deficiency for unreported unrelated business income. The program will use this organization’s situation as a case study to demonstrate administrative remedies available within the IRS after the initial appeals conference but prior to litigating the matter in the courts. Additionally, the program will focus on the technical requirements for taxable unrelated business income, and the misapplication of those requirements by the IRS during its examination, and how the legal analysis provided in TAM 201837014 can be used a basis for organizations to structure their activities in a way that can reduce their unrelated business income.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 04:40PM - 05:30PM

VA Ethics Part 2

Continued discussion from Part 1; Developed using the Virginia Board of Accountancy's (VBOA) "Virginia-Specific Ethics Course Outline 2019" as the course framework, this class is designed to help you meet the VBOA annual 2-hour (100-minute) CPE requirement for 2019.

ERISA Session

Financial Leadership - Communicating the Financial Information that Matters

An overview of the key pieces of financial information that should matter most to nonprofit controllers and CFOs, and how best to communicate this information to board members.

The Updated Basics of Federal Grants and Single Audit Compliance

The Basics of the Single Audit What you need to know about 2 CFR Part 200 otherwise known as Uniform Guidance, including thresholds, new procurement requirements, public access to the Single Audit reports, and others. The Basics of 14 Areas of Compliance What you need to know about compliance requirements in a federal award environment, including cash management, period of availability, subrecipient monitoring, and others. The Basics of Allowable/Unallowable Costs What you need to know about allowable versus unallowable costs in a federal award environment, including audit costs, depreciation, entertainment, and many more.

05:30PM - 07:00PM


Join us for the Annual Reception! Hosted with Platinum Sponsor: BDO USA LLP

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
07:00AM - 08:45AM

Registration & Breakfast open

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 08:00AM - 08:50AM


Avoid Common Audit Findings with a "Self-Audit"

This interactive session will explore the most frequent comment mistakes associated with financial management that often result in a nonprofit audit finding (including Uniform Guidance). Audience participants will be polled throughout the session so that the presenters can address their real-world issues with comments and discuss strategies for correcting them before they become a finding. In addition to exploring ways to avoid findings through peer-to-peer learning, participants will also receive instruction around a self-audit tool they can apply to assess their organization’s audit procedures.

Emerging Technology Trends - Will you be the disrupted or the disruptor?

Transformational Technology includes data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and the internet of things.  Alone, these technologies have the potential to change the way you do business and when used together, they become truly transformational, helping you re-imagine what is possible. Along the road organizations often face a skill gap, lack of capital, cultural roadblocks and the ability to leverage the big data and understanding consumer insights.

Form 990 Compliance Hot Buttons - What Every Nonprofit Should Know

During this session, we will discuss common errors and pitfalls in reporting on form 990. The speakers will discuss how to identify and avoid common reporting errors that can harm a nonprofit's reputation and even jeopardize its exempt status. We will also discuss corrections to prior year reporting errors and how to obtain relief from IRS penalties and sanctions.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 09:05AM - 09:55AM


Crafting the Financial Statement Notes for FASB's New Liquidity Disclosure

In 2016, FASB issued ASU 2016-14 Presentation of Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Entities. Among other changes, this new standard requires organizations to disclose both qualitative as well as quantitative information about how an organization manages its liquid resources available to meet cash needs for general expenditures within one year from the date of the statement of financial position.

Giving Voice: Understanding and Reporting Advocacy, Lobbying and Political Activities

Many Association's are the voice of their industry. But acting as that voice brings its own tax challenges. This session will take an industry focused look at the ways Association's exercise their voice to bring about change with a focus on law, case studies, and discussion in order to ensure that the attendee is well prepared for the next election cycle.

What “Digital” Means for Driving Operational Efficiency and Exceptional Experiences

“Digital” isn’t just about technology anymore – it’s about more efficient and higher quality service delivery, more efficient operations, and ultimately a more responsive and agile organization. Becoming a digital organization has also become key to attracting and retaining top-level talent. How can NFP’s leverage the digital ecosystem to drive better results and continue to adjust to evolving and increasingly challenging funding environments?

Welcome 2 the Jungle

There are 4 Animals that run any workplace: a lion, a flamingo, a chameleon, and a turtle! And each of them does things differently! What if you knew how each one operates, communicates, and works? This workshop allows you to take some time to think through both the general strengths and weaknesses of your team. Is your team missing a vital personality type or do they just need help understanding each other? No matter what the scenario, the Welcome 2 The Jungle Training can provide decision makers and team leaders with tools to create the best teams and supercharge their performance.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 10:05AM - 11:20AM


Finance Transformation - I have the vision...I just need to develop and implement the workplan

Walking into a new organization knowing your role is one of transformation is not an easy task. Finance departments today are faced with many challenges - increasing need to minimize costs, maximize output, provide real time access to information and move to a paperless environment. You can envision where you want to ultimately be in terms of systems, processes and analysis but how do you get there? Many finance departments are faced with older systems that don’t talk to each other, chart of accounts that don’t articulate the current business and reporting capabilities that are ancient or non-existent. There are certainly very modern ways of doing business and systems capable of transforming your financial operations but implementing several systems and managing process improvements across multiple areas is never easy, especially when there are competing priorities and limited resources. Developing and setting your workplan to transform your finance operations into a world CliftonLarsonAllenss operation is a very involved intricate long-term process. Walk through the contemplation and creation of a workplan whose goal was just that and learn the step by step path that was taken including – the full scale assessment to determine what was needed, the prioritization of what to do first, the critical importance of the long-term plan, gaining senior management buy in, the pitfalls, timelines and evaluating the end result of the transformation, which never really ends.

FASB Update

The Next Recession May Be Around the Corner: Is Your Organization Prepared?

Nonprofit Best Practices on Board Governance

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 12:30PM - 01:20PM


Forecasting When the Future is Foggy

The uncertain political climate has made financial forecasting harder than ever; this session will empower nonprofit to develop nimble budgets, plan for times of uncertainty and enhance communications to tell their story in the foggy future.

The IRC -- An Intersection of Politics and Accounting

An overview of why we have various provisions in the IRC and where politics triumphed over good accounting. Review why EOs have to UBITI when provided parking to employees, why we have private foundation rules (NYU ownership of Mueller), Debt Financed UBI, DAF rules (Gerry Spence), etc.

Tackling Conflicts of Interest in the Nonprofit Board Room and Workplace

Television, radio and social media headlines scream “Board members inappropriately benefiting from business with nonprofits;” “Nepotism in nonprofits puts the interest of leaders ahead of charitable missions”; and “Conflicts of interest in nonprofits cause grave concerns.” Headlines like these referencing high profile nonprofits in our region and around the country push us to develop even stronger nonprofit ethics and accountability practices. Potential conflict of interests can be managed by limiting legal risks, financial risks, or loss of reputation. Using real-world examples and hypothetical scenarios and case studies, this course will explain: (1) how to recognize personal, financial, and family-related interests; (2) the risks of accepting gifts and favors; (3) what constitutes “self-dealing” and “kickbacks”; and (4) special considerations for nonprofit organizations. It will conclude with actionable advice on how to develop and implement your nonprofit’s conflict of interest policy in accordance with the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.

Seeing 2020: Cyber Threats, Data Breaches, IT Controls, and New Data Privacy Standards

This session will offer insights into protecting against data breaches, IT controls, and new regulations related to IT safeguards. This session will review controls to ensure data security, safeguard information stored on an internal unCliftonLarsonAllenssified information system, identify breaches, and improve overall employee training and awareness. We will discuss recent regulatory guidance on the topics of cyber incident reporting, protecting unCliftonLarsonAllenssified information, and GDPR. How to budget for IT security? How to protect personally identifiable information gathered in the field? How to engage your biggest resource, your employees, as a “human firewall” to protect your information assets?

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 01:35PM - 02:25PM


Indirect Rates

Advancing Exemplary Governance

Tax Reform

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 02:35PM - 03:50PM

Special Fundraising Events: A Comprehensive Case Study

Utilizing a series of real-world scenarios, this session will examine various fundraising activities conducted by nonprofit organizations. Topics will include reporting activity accurately for Form 990, Schedule G, Part II, differentiating between gaming and fundraising events, substantiation requirements for donors, reporting of noncash donations, valuation of inventory, and the sale of donated items by nonprofit organizations. This discussion explores the tax treatment of thrift store sales, auctions and other special fundraising events, and fundraising expenses.

Frauds We Have Known and Not Loved-An Examination of Frauds at Organizations

Cathy and Joyce have had the misfortune to experience multiple frauds in their careers. These have included check fraud, spoofing, accounts payable, falsifying contractor invoices, imprest petty cash checking accounts and more. In this session we will explore the loopholes that were exploited and offer insight on how smaller nonprofits can avoid or mitigate these unfortunate events.

The 990 Process from an Organization Perspective - A Panel Discussion

3 Panelists from large, small and medium sized nonprofits will discuss how their organizations handle the information gathering and review process required for preparation of their Forms 990 by their outside accountants. This generally entails input from a variety of departments throughout the organization. Q and A will be encouraged so that this is truly a dialogue. Mike Sorrells will moderate the discussion.

Microsoft Excel New Features Update: Data Analysis and Business Intelligence Power Tools

Microsoft Excel users will benefit from the new data analysis features and Power Tools. This demonstration will cover new techniques to analyze data with functions, time-saving tips, and business intelligence Power Tools added to Excel including PowerPivot, Power Query, and Power BI. The tips will help you, your team, and your organization work more efficiently in Excel. Attendees will receive practical information and take-aways.

Cost Accounting Requirements for Nonprofits that Hold Federal Awards

The presentation will address cost accounting requirements for nonprofit entities that hold Federal awards, to include how direct and indirect costs are defined, unallowable costs, and the allocation of indirect costs. The primary focus will be on cost accounting requirements stipulated in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (the “Uniform Guidance”). The presenters will also discuss industry best practices to ensuring compliance with cost accounting requirements, including internal controls, subrecipient monitoring/surveillance, and internal compliance oversight. Last, the presenters will discuss some of the consequences of noncompliance with cost accounting requirements that they have seen from their personal experiences, including the disallowance of costs, investigations, terminations, as well as ineligibility for Federal awards.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 04:00PM - 04:50PM

Mergers and Acquisitions for Nonprofit Organizations

Mergers and acquisitions are more common than ever before in the world of nonprofit organizations. We will discuss the factors leading to the increase in mergers and acquisitions amongst nonprofits, and why it isn't just a tool for financially unhealthy organizations. The speakers will also discuss the types of business combination vehicles, as well as risks and strategies around nonprofit mergers and acquisitions.

The Chosen Path: One Public Charity's Decision to Become a Private Foundation

Beginning in 2015 and culminating in 2018, the PATH Foundation performed an extensive strategic analysis to determine their future organizational structure. A major decision was whether it was in the best interest of the organization to continue operating as a public charity or to move towards operating as a private foundation. Implementing this decision has had a tremendous impact on the organization and will have considerable future impacts on the communities it serves. This presentation provides insights into this process by exploring the operational, financial and legal aspects of such a change and will tell attendees of some of the obstacles and pitfalls that need to be overcome by this conversion.

Everything to Know About 1099s

PART ONE Organizations are required to issue 1099s each year. However, no one really knows exactly: Who gets 1099s? Are W9s required for each vendor? Should out of pocket expenses be added to the 1099s or should they just include an amount for vendor services? How about fellows and honorariums? Law firms and landlords? How are 1099s properly corrected after they have been issued? What are some good services to use for issuing 1099s? What is the cost for missing vendors in the 1099 process? The first part of this presentation address all of these questions. PART TWO The second part of the presentation will focus on how to build the best internal systems for gathering information during the year so that at the end of the year the finance team is not scrambling for information. The presentation will cover suggested systems for capturing W9 information for each vendor and then ensuring that this information is updated in the 1099 software and in the accounting system PART THREE The last part of the presentation will be a question and answer session and roundtable. We plan to have a few CFO/COOs of nonprofits talk about their experience and best practices for their organizations. One CFO/COO already identified is: Steve Chaplain, CFO for Voto Latino (a growing nonprofit organization).

Diversity Topic TBD


View the Symposium speakers here: SPEAKERS

Conference Site

Walter E Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Standard Registration

Not applicable.


  Early Bird (by November 22)         Regular        
GWSCPA Member       $845          $995          
Non Member $945 $1,095

Cancellation by registrant / refund policy

If you are unable to attend a seminar or conference, please notify us as soon as possible.

The GWSCPA cancellation and refund schedule for offsite events is as follows:
100% refund minus $150 processing fee within 4 weeks (20 business days) of the event
75% refund within 3 weeks (15 business days) of the event
50% refund within 2 weeks (10 business days) of the event
No refund to be issued if cancellation is 9 business days, or less, of the event date
*Substitutes will be accepted, in writing to GWSCPA, up to 2 business days prior to the event date (see below for details).
* Non-member substitutes will be charged the fee difference if they are substituting for a member-discounted registration.

Refunds in the same form of tender as the original purchase minus the processing fee. Payments made by check will be refunded via check within 30 days of cancellation.

*Cancellations and/or substitutions must be submitted in writing and sent to Kari Bedell at:




















Thank you to all of our 2019 sponsors, who help to make this event possible,  

If you'd like information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kari Bedell at kbedell@gwscpa.org

2019 Nonprofit Symposium Prospectus.pdf