What Is a Nonprofit Treasurer Report? Overview + Example
Thursday, December 21, 2023
One of the primary purposes of your nonprofit’s board of directors is to provide oversight for your organization’s core activities. As the lead financial expert on the board, your nonprofit treasurer is in charge of overseeing how your organization manages its finances. This not only allows your organization to maintain compliance with government regulations for nonprofits but also helps you allocate funds more effectively to further your mission.
One of your treasurer’s main responsibilities is compiling and presenting regular reports on your nonprofit’s financial situation. In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of a nonprofit treasurer report, including:
- What Is A Nonprofit Treasurer Report?
- Basics of a Treasurer Report for Nonprofits
- Resources for Compiling a Nonprofit Treasurer Report
- Nonprofit Treasurer Report Example
Let’s dive in with an overview of what this report is and when it is compiled.
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What Is A Nonprofit Treasurer Report?
A nonprofit treasurer report is a summary of an organization’s financial data compiled and presented by the financial leader on its board of directors. Its purpose is to update the board, organizational leaders, and outside stakeholders on the nonprofit’s financial situation over a given period of time.
Developing a regular schedule of treasurer reports helps ensure consistent financial governance at your nonprofit. However, these reports can be compiled on either a monthly or annual basis. Here is a quick breakdown of these two potential timeframes.
Monthly Nonprofit Treasurer Reports
If your nonprofit treasurer compiles a report every month, it will likely be:
- Highly detailed, breaking down the past month’s major cash flows and budgeted vs. actual revenue and expenses.
- Presented at the monthly meetings of the organization’s board and/or finance committee.
- Used to track the nonprofit’s progress as compared to its budget and make short-term decisions about spending and fundraising.
Annual Treasurer Reports
On the other hand, a treasurer report that is developed once a year will be:
- Broader in its scope, summarizing the financial highlights of the year.
- Presented at the nonprofit’s annual financial planning meeting, discussed at gatherings of major donors and stakeholders, and sometimes quoted from in the organization’s annual report.
- Used to communicate the nonprofit’s financial performance over the past year to a wide audience and create long-term strategic plans.
Even if your nonprofit has a monthly reporting schedule, the last treasurer report of the fiscal year should have a broader, year-in-review focus so you have that data for both internal and external communication purposes.
Basics of a Treasurer Report for Nonprofits
While the exact content of each treasurer report will vary depending on your nonprofit’s financial data and reporting schedule, there are a few key elements that each one should include. The report should naturally begin with the organization’s name and the time period that the report covers. The treasurer’s signature should also appear either at the top or bottom of the document to confirm its legitimacy.
The body of all nonprofit treasurer reports should include, at minimum, the following information:
- The organization’s cash balance at the beginning of the reporting period. This number should only encompass funds that are currently available for the nonprofit to spend. If it would be beneficial to add updates on the organization’s other assets, investments, or predicted funding, those should be mentioned separately.
- The revenue the nonprofit brought in during the reporting period. To simplify the process of comparing the organization’s actual funding totals to the predictions in its budget, this section is often categorized according to revenue sources like individual donations, earned income, grants, and corporate contributions.
- The expenses the organization incurred during the reporting period. Nonprofits typically organize expenses based on their function in furthering the organization’s mission. Using the functional expense categories of program, administrative, and fundraising costs in treasurer reports will help maintain consistency across all financial documentation.
- The nonprofit’s cash balance at the end of the reporting period. To calculate this, the treasurer will just add the total revenue brought in to the initial cash balance, then subtract the total expenses from that number.
When you put these elements together, your nonprofit treasurer report should look something like this:
In this example, there is also a section at the bottom for notes and highlights. This is where the treasurer can add brief analyses of where the organization is doing well financially, recommendations for improvement, budget vs. actual comparisons, and revenue and expense predictions for the upcoming reporting period.
Resources for Compiling a Nonprofit Treasurer Report
Nonprofit treasurers often collaborate with the financial professionals employed or contracted by their organizations, such as bookkeepers, accountants, and chief financial officers (CFOs). This is because treasurers need to pull from the data these individuals collect and analyze as they prepare their reports.
Some nonprofit accounting resources treasurers may leverage for reporting include:
- Transaction records. These are typically stored in the organization’s accounting software and track all expenditures and funds received. Depending on the nonprofit’s technology access policies, the treasurer may have full access to the database, be granted limited user permissions, or simply rely on reports pulled by an accountant. But in any case, these records are essential for the treasurer to accurately outline a given time period’s revenue and expenses in their report.
- Bank account statements. After reviewing internal transaction records, the treasurer can compare them to the organization’s bank statements to confirm that all deposits and expenditures happened as they were tracked. If the nonprofit’s accountant has completed a bank reconciliation during the reporting period, having access to those results will make this part of the treasurer’s job easier.
- Financial statements. Of the four core nonprofit financial statements, the statement of cash flows will be most useful for monthly treasurer reports as it’s pulled on a monthly basis (rather than annually like the other three) to track spending and fundraising. For annual treasurer reports, the statement of activities will provide the most helpful summary of the organization’s revenue and expenses throughout the year.
- The nonprofit’s annual operating budget. This resource serves as a key reference for the notes section of the report, where treasurers often compare budgeted vs. actual revenue and expenses and make recommendations based on that information.
Besides these documents, it’s beneficial to establish open communication between your nonprofit’s treasurer and its bookkeeper, accountant, and CFO. This way, if any questions come up during the creation of the treasurer report, they can get answers from the professionals who manage the organization’s finances day to day. Additionally, treasurers should understand the basics of nonprofit accounting so they can more effectively review the above resources and collaborate with the organization’s financial professionals.
Nonprofit Treasurer Report Example
If you’re a nonprofit treasurer looking to create your first report or improve your process, here is a template to help you get started:
If you’re a nonprofit leader, make sure your treasurer has access to the best possible financial resources and expertise to help them make the most of this template. Since hiring an in-house bookkeeper, accountant, and CFO to lay the groundwork for treasurer reports can be expensive and time-consuming, many organizations choose to outsource one or more of these roles to a nonprofit-specific accounting firm like Jitasa. Jitasa’s experienced team will ensure your treasurer has accurate financial data to pull from and answer any questions as they come up.
Thorough, accurate treasurer reports can increase financial accountability and transparency both internally and externally at your nonprofit. Not only will your entire team be on the same page about your finances, but the treasurer’s report can also serve as a decision-making resource for outside stakeholders, such as grantmakers and major donor prospects, as they consider whether to support your organization.
For more information about nonprofit financial management and the treasurer’s role in it, check out these resources:
- Nonprofit Financial Statements: 4 Essential Reports to Know. Discover the fundamentals of four of the key statements your nonprofit treasurer will reference when creating reports.
- How Do Nonprofits Make Money? Making Nonprofits Profitable. Learn more about the revenue section of the treasurer report by exploring the different funding sources available to nonprofits.
- What Does a Nonprofit Treasurer Do? The Complete Guide. Dive deeper into the additional responsibilities of a nonprofit treasurer, as well as the qualities to look for in a candidate.