Skip navigation
Oklahoma Arts CouncilOklahoma Arts Council

Nonprofit Arts
Development Guide

Chapter 8: Financial Management Checklists

These checklists are gleaned from the Kansas Arts Council's web site. It is a valuable tool to assess your organization's management practices.

This checklist is recommended for organizations with budgets greater than $25,000

Volunteer Governance

  1. Does the board of directors meet regularly?

  2. Are permanent copies of the minutes of the board meetings signed, maintained, and include all attachments of the reports (e.g., financial statements) presented at each meeting?

  3. Does your organization maintain signed minutes for its annual and standing committee meetings?

  4. If your organization is subject to an audit, does the board of directors review the external audit management letter and recommend corrective action where required, and are the resolutions of such weaknesses made a part of the minutes?

  5. Does your organization have an annual recognition program for its volunteers?

  6. Are training programs in place to teach all new paid and volunteer staff about your organization policies, mission, requirements, opportunities, volunteer governance and empowerment and employment benefits?

Human Resources

  1. Does your organization have a current (e.g., in the last three years) written personnel policy manual?

  2. Does the personnel manual address employment issues and conditions, laws affecting staff, benefits, grievance procedures and other items?

  3. Are separate personnel files kept for each employee?

  4. Does your organization follow standard human resources information management practices (e.g. separate medical files, employee relation files, job files, and hiring/firing records)?

  5. Does your organization file the appropriate payroll and withholding forms as required (see IRS Publication 15 for filing and withholding requirements, etc.)?

  6. Are all individuals handling cash transactions bonded for a reasonable amount through a dishonesty bond or crime policy?

  7. Does your organization review the adequacy of its insurance coverage, including property and liability insurance, on an annual basis?

  8. Does your organization raise sufficient funds and generate revenues to finance its budget requirements and satisfy its financial obligations?

  9. Are gross and net receipt records of fund-raising event furnished to the donor to comply with Internal revenue Service Requirements?

  10. Are large contributions (e.g., $250 or more) acknowledged (e.g., letters)?

  11. Is the charitable deduction portion of a fund-raising event furnished to the donor to comply with Internal Revenue Service requirements?

Financial Resources – Administrative & Accounting Records

  1. Does your organization use a chart of accounts?

  2. Does your organization maintain the following accounting records:

    1. Receipt book?

    2. Checkbooks (or computer-printed checks)?

    3. Cash receipts journal?

    4. Cash disbursements journal?

    5. Canceled/voided checks?

    6. A general ledger?

    7. Paid bills?

    8. Bank statements?

    9. Time sheets and payroll records?

Financial Resources – Cash Receipts

  1. Are checks restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt?

  2. Does your organization use pre-numbered receipts?

  3. Are receipts issued for all funds received?

  4. Are receipts written as soon as funds are received?

  5. Are receipts issued in chronological order?

  6. Are blank receipts properly safeguarded to ensure that only authorized persons have access to these records?

  7. Are undeposited cash and checks properly safeguarded in a safe or locking, fire-resistant file cabinet until bank deposits are made?

  8. Are cash receipts deposited intact?

  9. Are bank deposits made when the organization receives a large amount of monies, even if a deposit was prepared earlier that same day?

  10. Are funds deposited at the end of the week to keep cash from being kept in the office over the weekend?

  11. Are bank deposit slips annotated with the inclusive receipt numbers or easily reconciled to the receipt records?

Financial Resources – Cash Disbursements

  1. Is access to the blank check stock limited (it should be accessible only to the check preparer)?

  2. Is the practice of signing checks to "cash" or "bearer" prohibited?

  3. Is the practice of pre-signing checks prohibited?

  4. Are checks signed by two authorized signatures?

  5. Are invoices/bills canceled by the use of a stamp or handwritten notation, including the check number and date paid, to prevent reuse and possible duplicate payment?

  6. Does your organization have adequate controls over the petty cash or change fund (e.g., surprise cash counts, disbursement support)?

  7. Does the board treasurer, or another authorized volunteer not associated with the cash functions, reconcile the bank statements or periodically review the reconciliations?

  8. Are reconciliations signed and dated by reconciler(s) and reviewer(s)?

  9. Are salary payrolls approved by a responsible official prior to payment?

  10. Are transfers between bank accounts or between investments properly authorized?

Financial Resources – Budgets

  1. Is a board-approved organization budget developed by fiscal year?

  2. Is the budget and any revisions thereof approved by the board of directors and documented in the board minutes?

  3. Does the board investigate and take action regarding significant variances between budget and actual income or expenditures?

  4. Is this action documented in the board minutes?

Financial Resources – Property and Equipment

  1. Does your organization maintain a listing of its property and equipment items including description, location, identification number, date of acquisition, and cost of each item?

  2. Do persons independent of the custody and recording functions compare property and equipment records to the items on hand on an annual basis?

Financial Resources – Financial Reporting

  1. Are monthly financial reports prepared?

  2. Are financial reports reviewed monthly or at each finance committee or board meeting?

  3. Do the financial reports include both balance sheet (statement of financial position) and income statement (statement of activities) information for the reporting period, year-to-date figures, and a comparison to the budget?

This checklist is recommended for organizations with budgets under $25,000

  1. Does the board of directors meet regularly?

  2. Does your organization review the adequacy of its insurance coverage, including property and liability insurance, on an annual basis?

  3. Does your organization maintain the following accounting records:

    1. Receipt book?

    2. Checkbooks (or computer-printed checks)?

    3. Cash receipts journal?

    4. Cash disbursements journal?

    5. Canceled/voided checks?

    6. A general ledger?

    7. Paid bills?

    8. Bank statements?

    9. Time sheets and payroll records?

  4. Are checks endorsed for deposit only immediately upon receipt?

  5. Are cash receipts deposited intact?

  6. Is the practice of signing checks to "cash" or "bearer" prohibited?

  7. Is the practice of pre-signing checks prohibited?

  8. Are checks signed by two authorized signatures?

  9. Is a board-approved organization budget developed by fiscal year?

  10. Are financial reports reviewed monthly or at each finance committee or board meeting?

  11. Does your organization have a conflict of interest policy for the governing board and employees which prohibits an individual when acting in a position whereby a decision will be made concerning an organization in which the individual has substantial interest?