Winter 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues:


2015 is off to a great start with the January luncheon on health care trends led by Richard Silberstein and we'll follow that up with February's luncheon on leading technologies for associations led by Reggie Henry, CIO for ASAE.  The rest of year's luncheons promise to be just as strong. And, we have peer-to-peer breakfasts planned for each month.  Your Board of Directors has been busy working on your behalf.  This summer we met to develop a strategic plan that continues to strengthen the FAR community.  The plan is based on two central themes: Deliver high quality educational content and provide great networking opportunities.  The goal is to grow the community without sacrificing the FAR culture.


The breakfasts are something that started just a few years ago and have continued to grow in popularity.  Each month fifteen to twenty of your peers in the nonprofit sector gather over breakfast to share issues, ideas and help each other solve problems.   It's a fast paced exchange that covers many topics and a great place to hear a different perspective on issues that you're facing.  


Key to any successful organization is culture, and ours is special.  Whether it's at a luncheon, board or committee meeting, or a peer-to-peer breakfast, the FAR culture is on display.  Members embody it and visitors get it quickly. Our culture is about building relationships, exchanging ideas, and supporting our fellow members however we can.
You have probably noticed that several of luncheons in 2015 will be at FHI 360.  I am also happy to let you know that we'll also be holding luncheons at the Capital Hilton.  The venue change is due to all the new nonprofit members at the luncheons.  That's right, FAR is growing!  We're adding new members and that means we needs a larger space, but that doesn't mean we need a different culture.  The FAR culture is what makes it such a special community.  Your Board understands this and is monitoring the changes to ensure that as we grow in number we remain a small community.


Thanks being part of the FAR community and I look forward to seeing you at one of the FAR events or exchanging ideas with you on the listserv.



David Keen, CPA
In This Issue
Nonprofit Breakfast Discussions
FAR Gold Member Spotlight - Savills Studley
FAR Gold Member Spotlight - Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman
FAR Gold Member Spotlight - Early, Cassidy & Schilling
Executive Benefit Pitfalls in Non-Profits
FAR Gold Member Spotlight - Johnson Lambert
Avoid the Surprises this EBP Season
Nonprofit Member Breakfast Discussions

Topic: Occasional Use of Accounting Consultants to Improve Your Department

Host: Eric West, LEED AP
West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors, LLC




Topic: Board Reporting Examples

Host: Mindy Saffer, LEED AP



FAR Gold Member Spotlight


Nicole Miller, Corporate Managing Director

Demetri Koutrouvelis, Cororate Managing Director

Savills Studley is the leading commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation.  Founded in 1954, the firm pioneered the conflict-free business model of representing only tenants in their commercial real estate transactions. Today, supported by high quality market research and in-depth analysis, Savills Studley provides strategic real estate solutions to nonprofit organizations across all industries.  The firm's comprehensive commercial real estate platform includes brokerage, project management, capital markets, consulting and corporate services. With 25 offices in the U.S. and a heritage of innovation, Savills Studley is well known for tenacious client advocacy and exceptional service.

The firm is part of London-headquartered Savills plc, the premier global real estate service provider with over 27,000 professionals and over 600 locations around the world.  Savills plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SVS.L). 

FAR Gold Member Spotlight
GRF new


Jim Larson, CPA
Terri McKnight, CPA
Partner, Audit Department Chair

Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman is the accounting firm of choice for more than 600 nonprofit organizations across the Washington, DC metropolitan region, nationally and around the world. For 30 years, our professionals have delivered audit/assurance, tax and outsourced accounting solutions customized to each client's needs and expectations with specialties including OMB A-133 compliance, employee benefit plan audits, fraud detection and preparation of Tax Forms 990 and 990-T.


Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman works with trade and membership associations, foundations, international organizations and other charities to ensure compliance with regulatory obligations, strengthen controls and improve fiscal health. The cornerstones of our practice are strict attention to technical excellence, accuracy and proactive personal involvement. Our philosophy, "Personal Attention Will Never Become Obsolete", defines our approach to every engagement.  

FAR Gold Member Spotlight
Early Cassidy Schilling


Paul Phelan, CFP, Principal



Michael Fragola, CPCU, ARM, CIC
Sr. Vice President, Business Development

Early, Cassidy, and Schilling, Inc. (EC&S) is a regional, independently owned risk management firm with a global reach.  Our experienced staff of specialists delivers customized solutions which reduce your cost of risk and support your company's goals.  Providing innovative solutions with an uncompromising dedication to exceed your customer service expectations is a founding principle that has guided EC&S to success over the past eighty years. 


Our goal is to support our clients through a process that analyzes risk across the organization.  When we identify the issues, we work with our clients to set goals that support clients' strategic objectives.  We work together bringing strategies and solutions into reality in:

* Employee Benefits - handles Group Medical plans, Group Life and Group disability as well as Self funded/Captive options.  Importantly, our resource base supports our clients with Compliance and Wellness solutions.
* Property/Casualty Insurance - addresses all lines of insurance including Executive (Directors & Officers) Liability, Cyber Liability, Professional Liability and Captive alternatives.
* Risk Control - an important adjunct to insurance, this resource addresses a range of services including Loss Prevention, OSHA Compliance, Experience Modification analysis and Safety Training.
* Bonds -  offers the surety and commercial bonds our clients require, and we also specifically tailor specialized forms of Crime and Cyber coverage.   

Overall, our firm is dedicated to supporting our Clients' short and long term goals by being their strongest advocate in navigating through the complexity of Risk Management, Benefits and Commercial Insurance.

Executive Benefit Pitfalls in Non-Profits
By: Paul Phelan, CFP, Principal, Early, Cassidy & Schilling

Every day I am either on the phone, emailing or sitting in front of a Non-Profit CFO, CAO, or VP of HR talking about their Health Insurance.  They stay up at night thinking about their Health Insurance because it affects almost all the employees.  All of this focus and all of this worry on Health Insurance has to some degree creates a myopic view of the organization's benefit plans.  In my experience this blindness to the rest of the plan can create some cavernous pitfalls for the Executives the organization, its donors and its members rely on the most.


Below are three simple, if not classic examples, of where a simple annual review can save an organization a bundle of time, money and face if the worst were to happen to one of your Executives. (Read more, click here.)

FAR Gold Member Spotlight


Audrey Newton, CPA, Partner
Paul Preziotti, CPA, Senior Manager

Johnson Lambert LLP is a multi-office, niche-focused CPA and Advisory firm that specializes in serving not-for-profit organizations and employee benefit plans. For over 28 years, our firm has been committed to providing the highest level of client service and technical excellence. There is nothing more important to us than delivering on our commitment to be a reliable business partner providing meaningful solutions that will help you achieve success. We communicate with our clients often, both during engagements and throughout the year by way of newsletters, webinars, and willingness to assist with any issues that arise.


Johnson Lambert has a devoted team of experienced professionals serving a diverse mix of not-for-profit organizations and employee benefit plans including but not limited to: 

* Trade and membership associations l Professional societies l Educational organizations l Charitable organizations l Private foundations l Political action committees l Related joint-ventures, LLCs and for-profit subsidiaries
* 401(k) Plans l 403(b) Plans l 401(a) Plans l Pension Plans l Health & Welfare Plans


Our services include: Financial statement audits l Regulatory compliance including OMB Circular A-133 l Tax compliance and consultation l Internal audit services l Agreed-upon procedures l IT consulting l Business advisory services l SOC reports for record keepers.


Through our industry involvement and direct access to our thought leaders, Johnson Lambert brings our clients and employees knowledge of emerging issues that impact their operations and plans. To learn more about Johnson Lambert and our practices, please contact Audrey Newton or Paul Preziotti in our Mid-Atlantic office.  

Compensation: You Cannot Avoid the Rules, but You Can Avoid the Questions
By: Sarah McConnell, CPA, Principal, Johnson Lambert

Does this sound familiar...your organization's Form 990 is drafted and reviewed, and then the questions start (again!) Why do we need to report compensation? What is included in this compensation amount? Who will have access to that information? The questions come from Board members, executives and key employees who fall under the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting.

This spring, Johnson Lambert presented a webinar on not-for-profit executive compensation that reviewed best practices in the industry and a review of the IRS oversight. Some of the highlights to help ensure your organization is compliant and prepared to address these questions include: 


* Developing oversight and responsibility with a compensation committee
* Using comparability data from third-party resources to set compensation
* Establishing a written contract for key executives
 * Supporting your rebuttable presumption of reasonableness

(Read more, click here) 

New Year, New Venues! 

FAR has made a change in luncheon locations in the new year after enjoying our space at the SunTrust Building for many years. Recent growth has offered us an opportunity to visit new venues. Keep watch on the FAR events page for updates on program locations. 
Quick Links
Recent Listserv Topics:

Hourly Rates for Interns

DC Employment Laws

Outsourced Accounting
Thank you to our Gold Resource Members

Bank of America Merrill Lynch



Early Cassidy Schilling

GRF new




Tate and Tryon


Wells Fargo

West Lane & Schlager

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