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Introduction to Iowa Legal Aid’s Fiscal Management 3.25.11
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Introduction to Iowa Legal Aid’s Fiscal Management 3.25.11

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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • Iowa Legal Aid’s Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of the program’s fiscal and administrative systems, which includes adoption of policies.
    • The Board’s Development, Finance and Audit Committee has broader and more defined duties, many of which are dictated by the Legal Services Corporation’s Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients (August, 2010). http://www.iowalegalaid.org/link.cfm?3291
  • 3.
    • Iowa Legal Aid maintains one primary bank account for day to day transactions, short term savings and payroll transfers (US Bank).
    • Investments are placed in FDIC or government insured institutions consisting of money market and certificate of deposits.
    • Bank accounts and employee designation as authorized representatives on the bank accounts are approved by Board action.
  • 4.
    • Centralized Accounting – The financial records and systems are maintained in the Central Administrative Office.
    • Petty Cash and Client Trust Accounting – Regional offices maintain local petty cash accounts with ongoing balances of $300 for payment of case related costs and office incidentals. Client Trust accounts are maintained in accordance with the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.
  • 5.
    • Computerized accounting – The accounting systems are computerized including accounts receivable, accounts payable and the general ledger based on an extensive chart of accounts.
    • Payroll Processing – Payroll is processed bi-weekly using a third party vendor, Automated Data Processing (ADP).
    • Employee Benefits Administration – Benefits administration and record maintenance are managed by Central Administrative Office Staff.
  • 6.
    • Key Personnel
      • Executive Director – Overall responsibility for the oversight and management of the program’s fiscal and accounting systems.
      • Deputy Director of Program Administration – Maintains day to day supervision and administration of the program’s fiscal and accounting systems.
      • Fiscal Manager – Performs the program’s full charge bookkeeping duties, administers most of the employee benefits, maintains general ledger, and prepares budgets and financial reports.
  • 7.
    • Iowa Legal Aid’s Fiscal Manual contains sections covering the program’s policies and practices in regard to cash receipt, payroll, cash disbursements, petty cash and client trust accounting, and human resources such as COBRA, personnel records, and 401(k) administration.
    • Iowa Legal Aid’s Program Operations Manual includes Board adopted policies on conflict of interest, document destruction, and whistleblower protection.
  • 8.
    • Adequate segregation of duties reduces the likelihood that errors (intentional or unintentional) will remain undetected by providing for separate processing by different individuals at various stages of a transaction and for independent reviews of the work performed. The basic idea underlying segregation of duties is that no one employee or group of employees should be in a position both to perpetrate and conceal errors or irregularities in the normal course of their duties.
  • 9.
    • Executive Director – No direct bookkeeping responsibility. Authorized representative on all bank accounts. Approves contracts, major purchases and dual signatory on checks over $10,000.
    • Program Administrator – Supervises Fiscal Manager. Authorized representative on all bank accounts. Approves routine purchases and accounts payable. Reviews cash receipts and makes deposits.
  • 10.
    • Fiscal Manager – Is not an authorized representative on any bank account – cannot sign checks or make withdrawals.
    • Cash receipts logged by support staff, journaled by Fiscal Manager, deposited by Program Administrator.
    • Cash disbursements prepared by Fiscal Manager, reviewed by Program Administrator, with check signing by Program Administrator or Executive Director or both (transactions over $10,000).
  • 11.
    • Monthly Financial Reports are provided to the Development, Audit and Finance Committee monthly and to the full Board at each meeting.
    • An annual audit is conducted at the end of each fiscal year (December 31), by an independent auditing firm in accordance with OMB Circular A-133 (audits of government funds).
    • IRS 990 - an annual nonprofit tax return is filed each year and includes a disclosure of important policies and practices.
  • 12.
    • The sources of fiscal policies that apply to Iowa Legal Aid include:
    • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles http://www.fasab.gov/accepted.html
    • Cost Standards and Procedures of LSC – 45 CFR 1630 http://www.iowalegalaid.org/link.cfm?3284
    • Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients, August 23, 2010 http://www.iowalegalaid.org/link.cfm?3285
  • 13.
    • Iowa Legal Aid Whistleblower Protection Policy – This policy outlines procedures for reporting suspicious conduct http://www.iowalegalaid.org/link.cfm?3286
    • The Legal Services Corporation’s Inspector General will investigate reports of suspicious conduct. [email_address]