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MSCPA hosting not-for-profit conference September 16

For the second consecutive year, the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) will host a conference for non-profit CPAs, covering diverse topics like meaningful reporting, how to manage a non-profit like a business and fraud.

After weathering the wrath incurred by Hurricane Katrina, members of the MSCPA Non-Profits Task Force chaired by David Manifold, CPA, of Gulfport, decided to move forward with the daylong educational event September 16 at the Hilton Hotel in North Jackson. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m.; the conference ends at 4:30 p.m.

Last year, some 80 non-profit financial executives attended the conference, which task force vice chairman Charles Lindsay, CPA, called “a fantastic response for a first-time event.” By Labor Day, 50 accounting professionals had registered for this year’s event, and attendance is expected to surpass the 2004 conference.

“Part of the reason we originally came up with this conference is that we wanted to raise the level of expertise among CPAs that work with and for non-profit organizations in Mississippi,” said Lindsay. “It was our intention to hold it as an annual event, with the help of various partnerships.”

Lindsay, who is also a member of the national conference planning committee, said he was “extremely pleased about securing two top national non-profit gurus — Bob Mims and Bill Moss — as this year’s keynote presenters. They’re very entertaining speakers.”

Mims, controller for Memphis-based Ducks Unlimited Inc., will return as a presenter for the second year. A former KPMG senior manager in the financial services field, he serves on an environmental not-for-profit roundtable. Thrice in the public accounting arena, he was named National Instructor of the Year. He will discuss “Allocate This! The Road to Meaningful Reporting for Nonprofits” and “Fraud: Are You Lying to Me?”

“The afternoon discussion will generally deal with fraud issues,” said Mims.

Moss, CPA, has three decades of financial management experience. He worked for a national accounting firm for five years and spent 10 years as the associate executive director and CFO of the Texas Society of CPAs. A trustee for the Insurance Trust of the Texas Society of CPAs, he has served as treasurer and chairman of the finance committee for the Citizens Development Center, Junior Achievement and Senior Citizens of Richardson (Texas).

His topics include “Managing Nonprofit Organizations Like a Business,” “Communicating with Non-Financial Types,” “Using Your Financial Statements and Form 990 to Share Your Mission” and a workshop on analytical procedures for nonprofits and current nonprofit issues.

“Two of the four topics concern CPAs’ ability to communicate with non-financial types, with one concentrating solely on converting data into usable form,” said Moss. “The other centers on how we can use financial statements to not only share our mission but to also market the organization. Of all the speaking I’ve done this year, those two points are really critical as the profession makes every attempt to make financials more transparent so people can understand what they’re reading. In higher levels of accountability, that’s very critical.”

Careful consideration was placed on the selection of agenda issues, said Lindsay. “It was a real balancing act to make it appealing to auditors in private practice as well as those who work for nonprofits,” he said.

The $95 conference fee is available to all non-profit staff members and MSCPA members. Non-MSCPA member CPAs with active licenses pay another $50. The seminar is approved for eight hours of accounting and auditing continuing professional education.

“This not-for-profit conference is offered at a very reasonable price,” said Lindsay. “We have sponsors — Hancock Bank’s Institutional Asset Management Group and the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits — to help supplement the cost so we can keep it low. Usually, the fee would be around $300 a day, so it’s a tremendous discount and quite a bargain.”

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com.

About Lynne W. Jeter

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