CPAs on Boards

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Thanks for taking the time to find out more about what you can do as a CPA!

The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) has undertaken a statewide approach to address the concerns of the nonprofit community by fostering partnerships with not-for-profits. A task force has been formed by the Society to identify, train, and match CPAs with nonprofit boards that are proactive in raising the level of financial integrity of their member boards. With a potential of hundreds of financial board members for nonprofit boards, the FICPA is a natural source to fill the need and enhance nonprofit governance.

As the federal government has begun to regulate publicly-held companies for the sake of effective self-governance, there is still a dire need today for nonprofit boards to include experts in financial matters, the latest federal regulations, and beyond. That’s where the FICPA membership comes into play -- as expert volunteers. Whether the nonprofit organizations are small or large, startups or well-established, our members provide the same invaluable technical assistance and the capable leadership to serve on Boards.

The FICPA has currently taken on the initiative of facilitating volunteers to serve on various Boards and provide technical assistance, courtesy of Opportunities are abound to provide short-term guidance or a long-term commitment by helping to serve on a Board. What better way to give back to the community and build your professional expertise? Click here for program Guidelines. Click here for more info on educational opportunities.

All interested Society members are asked to visit this site on regular basis for updates and new opportunities which may be is of interest to them, from serving in a temporary capacity offering financial guidance to serving in a long-term capacity as a board of director member. The give and take involved with service on a board benefits everyone involved, with CPAs able to get personal satisfaction in helping others through volunteerism, while at the same time earning professional prestige. Click here to find your location.

Also, if you are interested in being listed as a nonprofit looking for CPA board members, please contact the FICPA.

Build your reputation and develop your career through volunteerism, maintaining the high standards of the profession in the process. The profession has given so much to you; now it’s time to give something back.

Guidelines for CPAs
Following are important guidelines for CPAs who wish to participate in the CPAs on Boards Program. Please read all of the information supplied by the nonprofit organization before applying. This will include background about the organization and qualifications it is seeking in candidates for its board.

The Application Process:

Before submitting an application to a nonprofit organization, you should spend some time learning about the organization by browsing the organization’s website. This is time well spent and will make the application process more efficient for you.

As each nonprofit organization receives applications from CPAs, it should send an acknowledgement by email. This means only that the organization has received your application; it is not an acceptance of your application. We suggest that you do not apply to more than three nonprofit organizations at a time.

Usually, a representative of the nonprofit organization will contact you by telephone or invite you for a personal interview. During this contact, you should discuss the following:

  • Your responsibilities as a potential member of the Board.
  • Specifically desired skill sets the nonprofit seeks in its board members.
  • The organization’s mission.
  • Monetary donations that may be required or expected by the nonprofit.
  • Expected participation levels in the organization’s events (coordinating events or participating in golf outings and other fundraisers, for example).
  • Your willingness to assume a financial role for the Board. If you want to participate in a broader way, make sure you communicate that to the nonprofit.

In addition, to better prepare you for your discussions with the nonprofit you might want to:

  • Request a tour of the nonprofit organization before finalizing the application process. If you wish to do so, include this request in your telephone interview or meeting at the organization.
  • Review the organization’s bylaws, mission statement, recent financial statements, Form 990 and information about the current board and size of staff at this time. Also, inquire about the directors’ and officers’ insurance coverage carried by the organization and any indemnification provided for board members.
  • Contact other Board members and the chief staff officer about the organization and about the current needs of the Board.

This due diligence will help you and the organization know if you have a good fit. After going through this process, you or the organization may decide not to proceed. Or the nonprofit may have filled all of its available board positions with other people.

If the nonprofit declines your application, it should provide you with a letter with details of this decision. If this happens, you should make an application with another nonprofit. Many worthwhile organizations are looking for talented CPAs for their boards. Similarly, you should extend the nonprofit the same courtesy, if you decide you would rather pursue a different opportunity.

Your Service as a Board Member:

  • If you do take a position on the nonprofit’s board, remember that you are may not perform attest (audit or review) work for the organization due to lack of independence.
  • While you may wish to share your accounting expertise, you should ask about other services the organization may need from or require of its board members.
  • If at any time you feel you cannot fulfill your responsibilities as a board member, a detailed, written letter of resignation is required stating your reasons.