Intentional one-person firm
I am a one-person firm by choice. A recurring comment from non-profit organizations about their auditor is the frequent change of staff. As you have perhaps personally experienced, this can lead to inefficiencies and frustrations from having to train the new staff each year. No matter how well the work papers are documented, regular change in staff leads to a loss in the team’s knowledge level.
Ulvog CPA is intentionally a very small firm. Experience routinely shows the highest impact on my clients is when I am the person delivering the service. As a result, you can count on services being delivered by the same person you interviewed in the proposal process. You can expect to see the same person every year my firm is serving your ministry.
I served around one hundred ministries while at a national firm. Since starting my firm in 2002, I have worked with about eighty different non-profit organizations. This experience includes a wide range of sectors of the NPO community, such as churches of all sizes and traditions, mission sending organizations, primary and secondary schools, colleges, denominational headquarters, camps, and radio ministries. Working in this sector for 30 years has let me see many ways to do ministry.
Another question for you to ponder as you search for a CPA is to consider how much experience will be present on the team that will be working on the project. Don’t put too much focus on the experience of the partner or the firm-wide expert. Unless you are working with a small firm, you will rarely see those people at your office. Try to find out the experience level of the team that will actually be assigned to your project. With Ulvog CPA, you will always know the experienced person is in the field working with you, where the knowledge can help you the most.
How can you tell a CPA firm does high quality work? Quality is hard to see.
Here are a few indicators for you to consider.
Technical review of published books
In addition to attending many continuing education classes, one of the things I do to keep myself sharp is provide technical review for a large publisher. This company publishes many reference books for use by CPAs. I assist in their work by providing feedback on the manuscripts after the authors have prepared their annual updates. Providing suggestions and comments not only helps double-check that the texts are current, but also provides me the opportunity and motivation to keep my knowledge up-to-date. I have provided technical review of 10 different titles on audit and accounting topics.
The Peer Review Program is a voluntary system established by the accounting profession to provide an independent inspection of a CPA firm’s quality control procedures and then test compliance with those procedures.
In the summer of 2003, my firm passed its first Peer Review. In the fall of 2018, I passed my sixth Peer Review. In every review, Ulvog CPA received the highest level report.
Up until 2011, it was voluntary for CPA firms in California to go through the peer review process. Since then it is mandatory. As you can see, my firm chose to participate in this process since it was founded.
If you are interested in such things, you can search for the most recent report on my firm here. Enter “Ulvog” for firm name and press ‘submit’.
If you would like a bit of background on the peer review program, you could browse this page.
Author of continuing education courses
I have written 8 short, on-line CPE courses for Commerce Clearing House (CCH). All of the courses address how to perform compilation and review engagements. The audience for the courses is practicing CPAs who provide those services.
Please feel free to contact me for more information about my firm or how I could assist your nonprofit organization.