Change management is not a particularly exciting topic; it lacks the “Gee Whiz” attributes of a major new IT project or an ingenious new program offering. Indeed, many nonprofit executives view the process with as much excitement as planning their own funeral.

However, from an administrative perspective, the lack of transition planning can prove to be an organization’s Achilles heel. Without cohesive guidelines, a new CEO’s, CFO’s, or COO’s desire to inject fresh ideas and focus can quickly cause confusion or other unintended consequences.

Organizations can spend years developing a certain internal style regarding things like budget preparation, hiring practices, and the manner of board oversight. In order to provide for an orderly transition from one senior manager to the next, it is wise to codify the entity’s broad administrative principles in a cohesive Board-approved policy document.  The idea behind the Board-approved policy document is to provide clarity to new management team members as to how the Board desires important transactions or decisions to be handled.

Naturally, management is always free to bring to the Board ideas for updating or replacing older policies. An approved policy manual simply offers a framework for management and the Board to have a constructive, orderly dialogue as to how the organization should handle its internal affairs.

A Board-approved policy manual should not be a detailed set of instructions for how to perform daily tasks. Rather, it should address high-level items such as:

  • How often should the Board review the entity’s budget versus actual financial performance?
  • How detailed should the budget submission to the Board be?
  • How does the Board wish to be notified of significant anticipated budget variances?
  • Who should be authorized signers on bank and investment accounts?
  • What positions should have contract approval authority?
  • Does the Board wish to see a periodic listing of contracts and commitments?
  • How should senior managements’ expense reports and credit card charges be reviewed?
  • Does the Board wish to approve significant changes to the organization chart?
  • What are the guidelines for adding/deleting staff positions and setting salaries?
  • And, how often should the policy manual be reviewed and approved by the Board?

Organizational change is always hard. A Board-approved policy manual can be an important part of minimizing the disruption when there is transition within the senior management team.

Doug Boedeker is a partner in Tate & Tryon’s Audit and Assurance Services department and can be reached at


Tax-Exempt Organizations and 2017 Tax Reform

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Dear Friends in the Tax-Exempt Community:
Below is a brief overview of the key tax reform proposals relating to tax-exempt organizations. As you know, Congress is currently putting together legislation to effect significant tax reform with a timeline of having it enacted this year. Although Congress is still negotiating, the following reform proposals may impact your […]

Royalty Income of Nonprofits is Being Targeted for Taxation!

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The Senate Finance Committee’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a number of items that would impact nonprofits.
Perhaps the most immediately significant is the provision that would call for taxing the revenue generated from royalties related to licensing a nonprofit’s name and/or logo. Royalty revenue has traditionally been exempt from income taxes. […]

How Could Federal Tax Reform Impact Nonprofits?

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Exempt Organization Tax11/17/2017


By:  Doug Boedeker, CPA, Partner
It has been a challenge staying current on the twists and turns involved with the proposals for Federal Tax Reform. Many of the ideas within the tax reform package have a direct impact on nonprofit organizations.
Charitable deductions, executive compensation, employee fringe benefits, and intermediate sanctions are just some of the “hot […]

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