Welcome tO



Program Overview

The Certificate in Nonprofit Financial Management (CFM) is a comprehensive and systematic learning opportunity, covering the tools, frameworks and concepts necessary for effective nonprofit financial management.

Current financial management staff seeking further education or a refresher

Aspiring professionals seeking competence and professional opportunities in this area

Program staff seeking understanding of this critical organizational function

Individuals looking to make a career change and wanting a comprehensive and systematic way to acquire the competencies needed to be an effective nonprofit financial manager

Volunteer leaders seeking greater understanding of the financial management function


This Certificate builds on the success of Center for Nonprofits’ other Certificates in Nonprofit Leadership & Management, Grant Writing, Volunteer Management, and Effective Fundraising, with their combined alumni of about 1000 individuals.

The curricula is based upon conversations with nonprofit financial management practitioners and a review of professional literature.

Upon completion, participants will earn 4.9 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Austin Community College. These may be eligible for use in meeting professional certification requirements.



($1250 per semester)*


*Eligible for AmeriCorps education award funds and Hazlewood Act tuition exemption program


Will be accepting applications for the Class of 2021 soon.


(online, live & interactive)

9:00am – 3:00pm

February 3, 2021

Orientation: Logistics and Expectations


Governance Fiduciary Responsibilities

  • Understand the nuances of internal and external Stakeholders and how to navigate information to the beneficial interest of all parties.
  • Fiduciary responsibility of the Board
    Establishing and maintaining financial transparency
  • Staff understanding the financial health of their program and what that means
  • “Overhead” costs and funding administrative expenses
  • Other fiduciary issues requiring the attention of governance
February 17, 2021


  • What is an audit and why do I need it?
  • Board of directors’ roles and responsibilities
  • RFP Process
  • Preparing for the Audit
  • What to expect during fieldwork from the auditor
  • Audit Standards and Terminology
  • Auditor Opinion Options
  • Types of management letters and other communications with governance
  • Red Flags for an auditor
  • Financial statements, notes, supplemental schedules within audit package
  • Board and Management Review of Audit
  • Politics of the Audit
  • Myths and Special Issues in Auditing
March 3, 2021

Controlling the Nonprofit

  • Budgeting
  • Accounting Software
  • Internal Controls
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Independent Audits
  • Investments
March 26, 2020

Risk Management

  • Risk Management frameworks
  • Gift Acceptance Policy
  • By-laws, current and being used
  • Personnel and HR – overview of potential risk Sarbanes Oxley Compliance for 990 – general overview

Joint session with Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership & Management class.

April 7, 2021

Key Financial Concepts & Financial Statements

  • Financial Management Responsibilities
  • Accounting terms and concepts
    • Differences between for-profits and nonprofits
    • Cash versus accrual accounting
  • Nonprofit Accounting transactions in-class exercise
    • Nonprofit Financial Statements
    • Statement of Financial Position
    • Statement of Activities
    • Statement of Functional Expenses
    • Statement of Cash Flows
    • Introduction of Cash Flow budget as day-to-day alternative to Statement of Cash Flows
  • Financial Indicators – analysis and ratios
    • Liquidity Ratios
    • Solvency Ratios
    • Efficiency Ratios
    • Profitability Ratios

Accounting and Reporting Guidelines

  • Overview of Rule Making Entities
  • Overview of Recent and Upcoming Key Accounting and Reporting Standards
  • Guidelines for different types of nonprofits:
  • Future Trends in Nonprofit Accountability
April 21, 2021

Issues Arising from Government Funding and Regulation

  • Managing Matching Requirements
  • Annual Information Return – Form 990
  • Payroll Taxes
  • Audits of Federally Funded Programs
  • Special Issues
    • Grant requirements which are more restrictive than all other grants received by the non-profit
    • Program specific issues related to compliance for service eligibility
    • Cost reimbursement grants (Cash Flow Issues)
    • Excise Tax – Reasonable Compensation for Nonprofit Executives
    • State Sales Tax Exemption (Issues)
    • Understanding specific grant (and match) requirement
May 6, 2021

Accounting Issues Related to Fundraising and Overall Ethical Considerations

  • What are ethical issues affecting or guiding nonprofit financial management
  • Accounting issues related specifically to fundraising and entity’s tax- exempt status
  • Unrelated Business Income
  • Stewardship
  • Other issues as may be identified by participants