Nonprofit Advisor Newsletter
The Access Nonprofit Advisor | Spring 2017 Edition
For many of us, living in the Greater Washington Area comes with so many benefits: high paying jobs, great schools, top-notch healthcare providers and my personal favorite, American history all around us. On the downside, the biggest challenge in our market is affording a reasonably-priced home.
With inventories at historic lows it’s only going to get worse.
I was recently speaking with Ryan Conrad, the CEO for one of the largest realtor associations in the area: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.
Ryan and I were discussing the importance of being prepared for making a home purchase. “We always recommend that buyers do their homework, including creating a sustainable household budget and obtaining their pre-approval letter. “Lower interest rates still present a great advantage in that first-time homebuyers can get more for the mortgage dollar with existing rates,” Conrad explained. “People buy homes to be a long-term investment," he said. “New buyers need to be qualified, prepared and first in line.”
So what does all of this mean for the Greater Washington market? Specifically in the Northern Virginia market it looks like the low- to mid-priced properties are in short supply.
According to NVAR Chairman of the Board Bob Adamson, “While rising interest rates are not holding back serious Northern Virginia buyers, the Achilles heel of our market is still our lean inventory with only a two months’ supply. Multi-family construction has reached its peak. Entry level buyers have very little to choose from in the price range below $ 400,000.”
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) region’s inventory increasingly favors high-priced properties, and therefore higher income buyers. March 2017 had the highest median active listing price ($719,995) in more than a decade.
To read more about the article on the “NVAR Region Housing Inventory Remains Tight” click here
To find a NVAR REALTOR® click here
If you would like to learn more about how Access can assist you with financing for the purchase or refinance of your home, please contact me at 703-871-1045.
Special Employment Considerations for Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprofit organizations will run into many of the same employment issues as for profit organizations. However, there is one issue that nonprofits will encounter more frequently than their for profit brethren – Volunteers.
The payment of volunteers and interns is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA provides regulations governing who must be paid the federal minimum wage. For a volunteer position to be exempt from the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements, the following six criteria must be met:
The training must be similar to training that would be given in a vocational school or academic institution
The training must be for the benefit of the student intern
The student interns must not displace regular employees and must be closely supervised
The employer must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the student interns, and on occasion, the employer’s operations must actually be impeded by the internship
The student interns are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of their internship
The employer and the student interns understand that the student interns are not entitled to wages during the internship
If all six of the criteria are satisfied, then the volunteer/intern is exempt from application of the FLSA requirements and the employer would not be required by federal law to pay minimum wage.
Note that if your nonprofit organization is a charitable organization, the employment of volunteer interns without an expectation of compensation is generally acceptable.
This article was contributed by Merritt Green, Managing Partner at General Counsel PC. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 556-6505.
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Update
Snapshot is a monthly update of the Fifth District economy, published by the Regional Economics section of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Snapshot includes timely analysis of labor market, household, and housing market conditions at both the state and metro area level.
Effective Internal Controls for Your Nonprofit
Your nonprofit’s internal control system needs effective design and implementation in order to ensure your nonprofit serves its mission’s purpose using sound ethical practices.
The primary internal control framework used in the Unites States is the Internal Control – Integrated Framework (the framework) created by the Committee of Sponsoring Organization of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The original framework has been replaced by an updated framework published by COSO in May 2013. The COSO Framework is one of the most widely adopted internal control frameworks used today.
Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations are not required to follow COSO’s advice for internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). However, financial statement auditors generally rely on the framework’s components when they assess ICFR. The OMB Circular A-133, now known as Uniform Guidance, which applies to many not-for-profit organizations that receive Federal grant awards have required auditors to use the Framework in evaluating internal controls. The Green Book, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government 2014 Revision, released by the GAO, adopted key concepts from 2013 COSO and adapts them for a government environment.
This article was contributed by Melissa Musser, CPA, CISA Manager of Aronson’s Nonprofit and Industry Association Group, at email@example.com or (240) 364-2598.
The Importance of Financial Literacy
Too few Americans understand personal finance fundamentals.
If only money came with instructions. If it did, the route toward wealth would be clear and direct. Unfortunately, many people have inadequate financial knowledge, and for them, the path is more obscure.
Are most people clueless about financial matters? That depends on what gauge you want to use to measure financial knowledge. The U.S. ranked fourteenth in Standard & Poor’s 2015 Global Financial Literacy Study, with just 57% of the country’s population estimated as
Obviously, the other 43% of Americans have some degree of financial understanding – but it is mixed with a degree of incomprehension. Witness some examples:
*A recent LendU survey found that nearly half of college students carrying student loans
thought those debts would eventually be forgiven if left unpaid. *This year, Fidelity Investments asked Americans the following question in a multiple‐choice quiz: “If you were able to set aside $50 each month for retirement, how much could that end up becoming 25 years from now, including interest, if it grew at the historical stock market average?” The correct answer was $40,000, but just 16% of respondents got it right. Another 27% guessed $15,000 (i.e., 50 x 12 x 25, as if interest was not a factor).
This article was contributed by Craig Sablosky, Financial Advisor at Access Investment Services. He can be reached at (703) 871-1335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.