Nonprofit Success Stories | Internal Controls Best Practices

Thrive: Non-Profit Success Stories from Barnes Dennig #4 | Internal Controls

Patrick Frambes & Christa Woelfel

Patrick Frambes: And this client, we had, again, taken over from a smaller firm that had worked with them for, I don’t know, the past 20 years. I think in their case, they had gotten an audit done. But in talking with them in the detail that had been reviewed wasn’t the detail that we typically look at within our firm. And so I know we dove in, dug a lot deeper on certain transactions, making sure that the things were accounted for properly or properly supported. But I think what you did a great job with for them and that they asked us for was on the internal controls, what feedback could we provide them that would help them to provide more security in their assets, to make sure their transactions are properly segregated, the duties are segregated.

Christa Woelfel: Right.

Patrick Frambes: So I don’t know if you want to talk a little bit about that and that experience that you had there.

Christa Woelfel: Absolutely. So with them, they really appreciated all the best practice recommendations we gave them, especially with internal controls. And I think one of the things they were struggling with is they just have a small accounting team, which we see in a lot of our non-profits, which really helped with us when we went through the internal controls with them. They can’t necessarily segregate all their duties and give something to every single person. There’s only a few of them. So just having mitigating controls there and letting them know what those mitigating controls could be. I know we would give them a few options, so that it wouldn’t necessarily make their day-to-day harder. They could see what would work
best with them, which they also appreciated in helping us go out of their way. So I know they really appreciated all of that.

Patrick Frambes: Yeah. Well, it is good that we have different clients that we can bring different ideas to them.

Christa Woelfel: Right.

Patrick Frambes: And like you said, when you have a smaller accounting staff, sometimes you have to get creative. It’s not
always just somebody needs to take on more work or somebody who needs to do X, Y, Z. They can maybe have somebody else outside of the accounting department help to provide that segregation of duties and security over their assets.

Christa Woelfel: Definitely.

Patrick Frambes: Well, great

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Barnes Dennig is a 2019-2022 Best of Accounting Firm
Best of Accounting 2023

Patrick Frambes and the audit team have always been helpful and patient with us as we go through our annual independent audits. Brad Chaffin along with Patrick provide a concise overview of the audit to our Finance Committee after the audits are complete. The audit team work diligently to make sure all audit questions are clearly understood and that they confirm the information prior to providing the final audit.

— Barnes Dennig Client, 2022

I have had years of great experience, and find this firm to be an excellent resource. I am a small nonprofit and my audit team has spent a lot of time teaching me how to manage our financials thoroughly, ethically, and accurately. I really appreciate what they have shared with us. I have found great value in them.

— Jenny O., CEO

We moved to using Barnes Dennig as our audit firm almost three years ago, and we frequently remark that it is one of the best decisions we've ever made. The team that we work with is incredibly knowledgeable about not-for-profit organizations, and they have been a terrific resource for our finance and leadership team -- especially in a season of growth for our organization.

— Lynda G., Director of Finance
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