What Is Non-Profit Accounting?

Non-profit accountants deal with finances and monetary regulations for non-profit organizations. Keep reading to learn more about what non-profit accounting involves and the education you'll need to work in this career field. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Understanding Non-Profit Accounting

Non-profit accounting involves the design and implementation of a system for documenting and evaluating financial conditions and transactions of non-profit organizations. Non-profits are organizations that distribute their income to achieving their goals. They may be staffed with volunteers and paid workers.

Non-profit organizations in the U.S., including community organizations, churches, child daycare centers, colleges and universities, are typically tax-exempt. These organizations often solicit donations, contributions and government grants, and thus are subject to scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Non-profit organizations need accountants to balance their books and comply with IRS regulations.

Important Facts About Non-Profit Accounting

Median Salary (2018) $70,500 (for all accountants and auditors)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for all accountants and auditors)
Professional Certification Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP)
Similar Occupations Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; budget analysts; cost estimators; financial analysts; personal financial advisors; tax examiners and collectors

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Non-Profit Management

The federal government has stringent requirements exclusive to non-profits that are not related to the reporting required by commercial firms. Although tax-exempt organizations may enlist the assistance of non-profit accounting experts to prepare their financial reports, the primary responsibility for financial statements still lies in the hands of the non-profits' management team. If you are a professional working in non-profit management, you'd need to have an understanding of not-for-profit accounting elements and reporting protocols, as well as a clear financial picture of the organization you work for, including knowledge of the following:

  • Non-profit organization laws
  • Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
  • Basic financial statements
  • Revenues and expenses
  • Investments
  • Reporting and measuring results

Education Options

It is important for non-profit managers, accountants and board members to have the most accurate and up-to-date knowledge of operating and reporting requirements for non-profit and tax-exempt organizations. Whether you are currently working for a non-profit organization or looking to find an entry-level job in a non-profit, you may wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as accounting and financial services or business administration - non-profit management. These programs can provide you with fundamental business principles, non-profit accounting principles and tax regulation compliance, often touching on course topics such as the following:

  • Financial accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Business law
  • Grant writing and administration
  • Nonprofit financial management
  • Business management
  • Microeconomics
  • Non-profit law

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Seton Hall University

    Seton Hall University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Seton Hall University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
      • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »