[Foundation-l] 2007 Form 990 Now Posted

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Thu May 14 23:09:50 UTC 2009

2009/5/13 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>:
> 2009/5/13 Robert Rohde <rarohde at gmail.com>:
>> As it is, this is being released more than 10 months after the end of
>> the fiscal year which is rather a lot.
> Indeed. Normally waiting a while for this kind of stuff doesn't
> matter, but an organisation like WMF is moving so quickly that it's
> pretty much irrelevant publishing this information now. (A lot of it
> was already released in the annual financial statements, though, I
> think.)

I won't reply to everything in this thread, but I will quickly reply
to this. (I'm on a break from a budget prep meeting.)

Here's how it works with regards to 990s:

Organizations are required to file their 990s within five months of
the end of the fiscal year. Many organizations also obtain extensions;
it's totally normal.

If you go here http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/knowledgebase/detail.php?linkID=214&category=118&xrefID=2579
--to the U.S. National Center for Charitable Statistics-- you can see
a spreadsheet analyzing filed 990s. It shows that 62% of returns in
the study were filed between the 5th and 9th month after the close of
the organizations' fiscal years.  Ten percent were filed prior to the
5th month; 17 percent in months 10-12; and 8 percent more than a year
after the end of the organizations' fiscal year.

The NCCS says "One possible reason suggested by practitioners [that
990s are not filed more quickly] is that auditors, who typically
complete organizations' Forms 990 as well, must schedule their audits
to permit a steady workflow. Thus, an accounting firm specializing in
nonprofit or corporate returns will have an organization obtain an
extension so the firm can schedule the audit for, say, 6 months after
the close of the organization's fiscal year during a slack period for
the firm."

Our form was filled out by our audit firm, KPMG, and then reviewed by
Veronique, me, the audit committee, and the board, before being filed.
(That level of review is considered best practice.)


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