THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACCOUNTING ENVIRONMENT in VS .NET

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351 THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACCOUNTING ENVIRONMENT
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Not-for-pro t organizations range from the large and complex to the small and simple They include hospitals, colleges and universities, voluntary social service organizations, religious organizations, associations, foundations, and cultural institutions All are confronted with accounting and reporting challenges All are presently covered by authoritative accounting literature This chapter discusses not-for-pro t accounting and reporting conventions and examines accounting pronouncements, auditing concerns, and the regulatory environment applicable to different types of not-for-pro t organizations Health care organizations are covered in 36 As this latest edition of the Handbook goes to press, there are many issues within our community, including the accounting environment, which requires all organizations, including not-forpro ts, to adhere to accounting policies and principles with the utmost due diligence required to satisfy a scrutinizing public and government regulators (a) CURRENT STATUS OF ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES Not-for-pro t accounting has undergone a period of profound change In the recent past, authoritative accounting principles and reporting practices were established for many not-for-pro t organizations that previously had neither
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351 THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACCOUNTING ENVIRONMENT
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In 1972, the American Institute of Certi ed Public Accountants (AICPA) issued an Industry Audit Guide for hospitals In 1973, an Industry Audit Guide for colleges and universities was issued And in 1974, a third not-for-pro t Industry Audit Guide, for voluntary health and welfare organizations, was issued In 1990, the AICPA issued a new audit and accounting guide, Audits of Providers of Health Care Service, to replace the 1972 hospital audit guide In late 1978, the AICPA issued statement of position (SOP 78-10), Accounting Principles and Reporting Practices for Certain Nonpro t Organizations SOP 78-10 de nes accounting principles and reporting practices for all not-for-pro t organizations not covered by earlier guides For several years, as the most current broad-scope pronouncement of the accounting profession on not-for-pro t accounting, the SOP was the authoritative reference for not-for-pro t accounting and reporting questions for the organizations covered, and it was consulted for guidance by other organizations on questions not addressed in their respective audit guides These guides and the SOP had a dramatic effect on not-for-pro t accounting, as they represented the rst authoritative attempt to codify accounting principles and reporting practices for the notfor-pro t industry However, inconsistencies existed among the four guides, and they frequently contradicted one another on key accounting concepts Also, the accounting principles presented in the guides had limited authority as they constituted generally accepted accounting procedures (GAAP) only until formal standards were set on this subject by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) By the early 1980s, persons interested in not-for-pro t accounting issues had identi ed the following key areas of accounting that would have to be considered in unifying the diverse notfor-pro t accounting practices:
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Reporting entity (when controlled and af liated organizations should be included in an entity s
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nancial statements) Depreciation Joint costs of multipurpose activities, particularly those involving a fund-raising appeal (on what basis such costs should be divided among the various purposes served) Revenue recognition for expendable/restricted receipts (when, in which fund, and how such items should be reported as revenue) Display (what format should be used to present nancial data) Valuation of investments Contributions (how these should be valued, when and how they should be reported) Grants awarded to others (when these should be accrued and expensed by the grantor)
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Before accounting principles could be written, concepts had to be developed The FASB had originally excluded not-for-pro ts from concepts development, but later started a separate project for not-for-pro ts The rst concepts statement under this project was issued in 1980 SFACNo 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations, proved to be so similar to the corresponding statement for businesses (SFAC No 1) that the FASB started thinking in terms of only one set of concepts Indeed, SFAC No 2 was amended to include not-for-pro ts; SFAC No 6, Elements of Financial Statements covers both types of entities, although some parts of this statement deal separately with the two sectors The FASB identi ed ve areas in which it planned to develop accounting principles for notfor-pro ts: depreciation, contributions, the reporting entity, nancial statement display, and investments, and has issued the following standards that have revolutionized not-for-pro t accounting
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