April 12, 2022   //   Not-For-Profit Podcast   //   By PKF Mueller Solutions

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Join John Fedus, Audit Partner, and Tim Koehl, Audit Supervisor at PKF Mueller, for an in-depth interview on PKF Mueller’s Not-For-Profit Niche. In this episode, they provide insight on who makes up the Not-For-Profit Leadership Team, what services they provide, and their involvement in the Not-For-Profit industry.

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John Fedus, CPA
Audit Partner
jfedus@pkfmueller.com
+1 312 445 5882

Tim Koehl, MBA
Audit Supervisor
tkoehl@pkfmueller.com
+ 847 649 8173

Episode transcript:

[00:00:00] Ashley: Hi, I’m Ashley, and you’re listening to the “Business Owner’s Guide Podcast: Tips, Talks and Trends from a CPA.”

[00:00:11] Ashley: Today we welcome two PKF Mueller professionals, John Fedus and Tim Koehl from our Audit Department, as well as our Not-For-Profit Practice Group, for a discussion on PKF Mueller’s Not-For-Profit Niche and their involvement in the not-for-profit industry.

[00:00:25] Ashley: But before we begin, let’s find out more about our guests.

[00:00:32] Ashley: John is an Audit Partner and leads the Firm’s Not-For-Profit Group. He brings over 30 years of experience in coordinating and completing all phases of the audit process with large not-for-profit organizations.

[00:00:42] Ashley: Tim is an Audit Supervisor here at PKF Mueller. Tim has over 15 years of professional experience assisting clients in areas of auditing and accounting.

[00:00:51] Ashley: I would like to start off by saying thank you both for being here today. And with that, let’s jump right in. John, can you please provide an overview of PKF Mueller’s Not-For-Profit Niche.

[00:01:01] John : Yes, good morning Ashley. Pleasure to be presenting today on the podcast, describing our Nonprofit Niche. So before I go into the specific service lines, I thought it would be very helpful to give just kind of a background of the Nonprofit Niche within PKF Mueller.

[00:01:18] John : So it is the third-largest niche within the Firm. It’s approximately 10 – 15% of our annual revenues, and we do have a whole dedicated nonprofit team, that we call our Leadership Team within the organization of the different groups within PKF Mueller.

[00:01:34] John : There are four services that we concentrate the most on that we can provide to various nonprofit organizations. First is your basic audit services. So audit your regular financial statement audit. We can also do review. We also have a lot of experience with working with single audits under uniform guidance.

[00:01:54] John : So those, those three areas where we probably do about 90% of our time under the audit group, we can also assist with agreed upon procedures, if they come up. Sometimes we have non-profit organizations that have grantors that request to have a specific agreed upon report that has to be issued to them specifically on some of the funding that they received during the year. So we can also do that as well.

[00:02:19] John : Second group that works a lot with our nonprofits is the tax group. So on the tax side, we can do a lot of compliance work, obviously assist with the Form 990, 990T, AGE 990 IL and then any other state reports that are necessary that the organization would need help with throughout the US. In addition to that, we can always advise on a lot of consulting issues within the tax department. We can help review their unrelated business income tax issues, and if the organization happens to have international tax issues, we’ve helped many of our nonprofits with international tax issues, if they have employees overseas, events overseas, etc. , there’s a lot of, uh, items that can sneak up on you, and we can always assist with those as well.

[00:03:09] John : Third group, that’s also involved with the NFP niche is our CAS group, which is for our consulting advisory services. That’s typically where we help out with a lot of outsource accounting service work. This has probably been the fastest growing niche within the nonprofit niche. The demand has been increasing tremendously for additional services for outsource accounting and this is not only to the outsource bookkeeping side, this is to a controller side and even CFO. In the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure of being an interim CFO for two different nonprofits within the Chicagoland area.

[00:03:51] John : And then the last group that’s part of our Leadership Team and also provides a lot of non-profit services is our Mueller Financial Services team. So Mueller Financial Services provides services such as they can help manage investments.

[00:04:07] John : So for some of our nonprofits, we can help manage and give advisory services to those clients. We can also help review benefit plans, various agreements to make sure they’re not getting overcharged by their current investment providers. And there’s always a lot of other ways we can kind of give investment advice with regards to maybe forming an investment policy statement or things of that nature.

[00:04:32] John : So those four areas audit, tax, consulting advisory services, and Mueller financial Services. Those are the four main areas that we really can help provide any additional services.

[00:04:45] Ashley: What type of not-for-profit clients has the Leadership Team worked with?

[00:04:48] John : Obviously the nonprofit niche is a very large niche has a lot of different activities.

[00:04:54] John : And currently PKF Mueller really tries to focus on probably five areas the most. And these five areas probably make up about 80% of our current nonprofit clients. The five areas are Trade and Member Associations, Religious Organizations, Social Service, Private and Charter Schools and the last one is Private and Public foundations.

[00:05:22] John : So those five again, that’s probably where the majority of our resources go in the Nonprofit Niche. Now, we work with every other type of non-profit as well. So we wouldn’t be just pigeonholed into those five categories, but that’s where the majority of our clients are and a lot of our expertise is assisting those type of nonprofit organizations in the industry currently.

[00:05:46] Ashley: Can you talk about some of the different Associations your Leadership Team is involved with?

[00:05:50] John : So on an annual basis, typically our team goes to the AICPA Nonprofit Conference. We think it’s very important to be involved with the Conference as well as getting our team good continuing professional education.

[00:06:03] John : So they’re up to date on all the most current standards and issues within the nonprofit industry. We also have members of the Illinois CPA Society and of the Association Forum. Those two areas where we’re members of, we we’ve spoken at those annual conferences at SIG Forums for the Association Forum.

[00:06:28] John : So hopefully that gives everybody a real nice overview of kind of what the NFP Niche does.

[00:06:33] Ashley: Tim. I know the firm is heavily involved in the not-for-profit community. Can you expand on this?

[00:06:38] Tim: Yes, actually PKF Mueller has established a dedicated Philanthropy Team that puts together fundraising events for the Firm. This team comprises of several departments so, our consulting and advisory services, audit, and tax. The positions of the employees that are part of this group go all the way from the Admin all the way up to the Director level in our organization.

[00:07:03] Ashley: So it sounds like this group has done a lot to support our local communities. Can you provide us with some examples of these efforts?

[00:07:11] Tim: Yes, what we consider as part of this is our Charities of Choices.

[00:07:17] Tim: So while we support a number of charitable endeavors, our established team that reaches out to the employees on an ongoing basis and helps them choose the organizations that they feel we can make a difference in. By having this choice, that’s what we call the Charities of Choices and employee activities from volunteering to fundraising are focused on helping these organizations reach their goals.

[00:07:41] Tim: Some types of examples that we have done over the years here at PKF Mueller is that we have worked with the Habitat for Humanity, and assisting and building a house. For YMe we’ve raised funds and participated in the mother’s day race.

[00:07:57] Tim: We’ve teamed up with a client and had a bowling event to raise funds for Make-A-Wish, and we’ve also participated in their walk. And then throughout the year we hold 50/50 raffles and bag tournaments for various other charities. So this gives all the employees the opportunity to be able to give back to other charities that might not have been necessarily part of the bigger items that the committee came up with.

[00:08:21] Tim: This is a big part of the culture here at PKF Mueller, that everyone has a say, which the employees appreciate.

[00:08:28] Ashley: My last question for you is if I were a not-for-profit organization that was interested in finding a service provider, what would I look for?

[00:08:35] John : Yeah, probably the most important thing I would recommend anybody is to make sure they have a very qualified team of experts that can assist them with their needs. There are some competitors out there that don’t do non-profits year round, and there are some competitors that will try to let’s say, low ball pricing on various audit taxes etc.

[00:08:58] John : You always have to be careful though, you watch out cause you’ll get what you pay for. But if you want to have a firm that has a dedicated team that works on nonprofits throughout the year, definitely PKF Mueller is the firm for you.

[00:09:13] John : And what we try to strive to do is to be able to build a nice relationship with you and become a Trusted Advisor. One of the things I’m most proud and leading our nonprofit group over the past 12 years, is the fact that once a client has come in, they almost very rarely leave. The only time we’ve lost a client over the past 12 years is they were forced to rotate auditors.

[00:09:38] John : Otherwise we’ve had a very loyal clientele that stayed with us and it’s because of the great service we provide.

[00:09:44] Ashley: Well, I think that was a really great overview. And thank you again for your time today to explain PKF Mueller’s Not-For-Profit Niche, who makes up the team, what services they provide, and involvement in the not-for-profit industry.

[00:09:55] Ashley: If any of our listeners have any questions or would like to learn more, would you please share how they might be able to reach you?

[00:10:00] John : Yeah, you can reach me at jfedus@pkfmueller.com or you can feel free to give me a call at (312) 445-5882.

[00:10:13] Tim: You can reach me at tkoehl@pkfmueller.com or you can give me a call at (847) 649-8173.

[00:10:25] Ashley: And thank you to our listeners. Don’t forget to visit us@pkfmueller.com to learn more about our firm’s services. You can also follow us on social media for more updates, insights, and upcoming events.

[00:10:36] Ashley: Securities offered through LPL Financial member, FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through IHT Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. IHT Wealth Management and Mueller Financial Services, Inc are separate entities from LPL Financial.

[00:10:55] Ashley: PKF Mueller and LPL Financial are separate unaffiliated entities.