EisnerAmper Blog

Not-for-Profit Trends and Tips Blog

New Legislation Amending PA Form BCO-10 Due Date

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November 25, 2014

By Brian Collins, CPA

Collins_BrianOn October 14, 2014, Governor Corbett signed House Bill No. 359 into law, changing the due dates for certain fundraising registrations required under Pennsylvania law.  The new legislation will go into effect on December 13, 2014 and effects not-for-profit organizations that are required to submit the Charitable Organization Registration Statement – Form BCO-10.  The legislation makes the due dates for filing annual registration statements, such as Form BCO-10, with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations consistent with the due dates for filing Form 990 Returns with the IRS. 

Social Media Policy for Not-for-Profit Organizations

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November 12, 2014

Social media can be a powerful tool for not-for-profits in ‘sharing their message,’ whether they’re trying to build brand awareness, raise funds, or increase engagement. However, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Having an effective social media policy can go a long way toward achieving goals and protecting an organization from legal or reputational risks. Amy MacFadyen and Stefanie Franovic, two professionals from EisnerAmper’s Not-for-Profit Services Practice, have written a series of articles developed to help not-for-profits effectively harness the power of social media. Find out about creating your social media policy, and don’t forget to check back for more in the coming weeks.

Nonprofit Organizations Event Broadcast November 5th

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October 31, 2014

By Kristen Lewis

EisnerAmper Partner Julie Floch is one of the co-chairs for a Practising Law Institute event entitled Nonprofit Organizations 2014: Governance, Form 990 Reporting, and Compensation Issues. The program will provide insights on the developments impacting nonprofit organizations today. The session will be hosted live as well as broadcast via webcast on November 5, 2014 from 9:00 am – 12:15 pm ET. Attendees can earn CLE, CPE and CPD credit. To learn more and register, please visit the event website.

Measuring the Impact of Your Social Media Campaigns

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October 28, 2015


By Amy MacFadyen, CPA and Stefanie Franovic

Franovic, StefanieMacFadyen_AmyNot-for-profits face significant challenges in building brand awareness, raising funds, and increasing engagement—and social media can have a significant impact in helping to achieve these goals. But, like any other business process, social media takes commitment, planning, and the correct tools, as well as the ability to measure the impact of a campaign.

Two of our professionals, Amy MacFadyen and Stefanie Franovic, have written a series of articles developed to help not-for-profits effectively harness the power of social media. Read the first post here and check back over the next few weeks for more.

City of Philadelphia -- OCDEL Rescinds Requirement Regarding Audits

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October 2, 2014

By Brian Collins, CPA

Collins_BrianThe City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and Intellectual Disability Services (IDS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) issued Announcement EI-2010 #01 on September 25, 2014, which was addressed to executive and fiscal directors of all agencies participating in the Early Intervention Program (EIP).  The announcement stated that, effective for fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, OCDEL had rescinded requirements for EIP fee-for-service vendors to provide a Single Audit, Yellow Book, or Compliance Attestation.  Accordingly, DBH/IDS audit requirements for EIP fee-for-service providers were rescinded as well.  This announcement pertains only to agencies that provide direct services whose reimbursements are based purely on a fee schedule.

Five BASIC Steps to the Truth (Part 2 of 2)

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September 25, 2014


By Brian Collins, CPA

Collins_BrianAt the recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Not-for-Profit-Industry Conference in Washington, D.C., Nancy Young, of accounting firm Moss Adams, gave a presentation on “Fraud: Spotting the Liar” which discussed steps for obtaining the truth from an untruthful suspect who may be perpetrating a fraud.

In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the nine clues to spot a liar that Young shared with us.  Now we will explore Young’s Five BASIC steps to the truth, also shared during her presentation.  As opposed to “Nine clues to deceit” that rely on an individual’s expressions and body language, five steps to the truth can be used by an interrogator to divulge the truth when speaking to a suspect believed to have committed a fraudulent act.

The 5 BASIC steps to the truth are:

  • Baseline Behavior – When sitting down with a suspect whom during an inquiry about a possible fraud, you want to get a feeling for their normal mannerisms and speech before you ask probing questions related to the possible fraud.  You should start with basic questions such as “How long have you been with the organization?” or “What are your duties within the organization?  While asking these questions, observe the suspect’s body language and speech pattern and compare to the suspect’s reaction when asking more probing questions.  These questions can also help put the suspect at ease and help give you a feel for their baseline behavior.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions – You want to go into the discussion asking questions that help you get to the truth.  You don’t want to receive one word responses to your questions.  Open-ended  questioning engages people to tell their story through a conversation. You are more likely to find out what you want to know rather than receiving “yes and no” responses.
  • Study the Clusters – During a conversation, watch the suspect’s facial, behavioral, and verbal clues.  Also look for when there are inconsistencies between verbal and nonverbal behavior, the nonverbal is generally the more accurate.
  • Intuit the Gaps – Young recommends being aware of gaps in the suspect’s statements, logic, behavior, and emotion.  It may be helpful to have two people conduct an interrogation so that one person can monitor gaps in the suspect’s statements and logic and the other can look for gaps in the suspect’s behavior and emotion.
  • Confirm – A suspect’s story should be validated and revalidated.  This can be done by asking the same fact seeking question repeatedly but differently.  Young recommends having the suspect repeat details of their actions backwards to see if they line up with their first report of their story.

It is important to note these “Nine clues to deceit” and ”Five BASIC steps to the truth” are not only useful when trying to detect fraud in the workplace, but they can also be useful at home when trying to  figure out if your kids did their homework.

Nine Clues to Spot the Liar (Part 1 of 2)

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September 10, 2014

By: Brian Collins, CPA

Collins_BrianAt the recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Not-for-Profit-Industry Conference in Washington, D.C., Nancy Young, of the accounting firm Moss Adams, gave a presentation on “Fraud: Spotting the Liar” which discussed methods for spotting the untruths that a suspect may reveal when perpetrating a fraud.

Young pointed out that the average adult can distinguish truth from fabrication only 54% of the time.  The main factor that limits our detection of the truth is our bias towards perceiving events as true, and that detecting deception requires mastering a skill without a clear indicator of success.

To help sharpen our skills of detecting dishonesty, Young provided nine clues that can help identify when someone is not being fully truthful.  Young called them the “Nine clues to deceit”.  They are:

  • Micro-expressions – These are involuntary expressions that appear across a person’s face in as little at 1/25 of a second.  The person’s true reaction can be in that micro-expression.
  • Squelched expressions – These are expressions performed on purpose to cover up other expressions, such as a smile or grimace.
  • Reliable muscle patterns – These are expressions are not easy to control but can reliable indicators of the truth.  For example, only genuine happiness can produce a genuine smile.
  • Blink rates – A person lying will mostly blink more often than they do when telling the truth.
  • Pupil dilations – Large pupils could indicate a fear or other emotions that cannot be concealed as dilation cannot be controlled.
  • Tears – They show that someone is feeling strongly about something and should not sway you.
  • Asymmetrical expressions – These occur when expressions on the left and right side of the face are not the same. These usually show that the expression is being made deliberately.
  • Timing – The timing of facial expression in relation to other body and vocal expressions should be in sync.
  • Duration – Genuine expressions should not continue longer than five to ten seconds.

Many of these nine clues to spot the liar are related to facial expression recognition which can provide the most reliable clues as to whether someone is lying.  However, recognizing facial expressions and properly interpreting them is a skill many of us may not have so before trying to read someone’s facial expressions you should understand the facial details of different emotions.  For example, when persons express contempt one corner of their mouths rise, like a sort of half-smile or when they express fear their eyebrows rise and the lower lip will fall.  So, research and practice your facial expression recognition skills so you can be able to spot the liar.

In the second installment of this two part series we will discussion Young’s 5 BASIC steps to the truth

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