Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guide to Sarbanes-Oxley Highly Recommended

To help you select your nonprofit/fundraising reading , we asked VLAA interns to describe and comment on some of the books available in our G&FC collection (and elsewhere.) Here's another review for use in this political season:

Sarbanes-Oxley for Nonprofits by Peggy Jackson and Toni Fogarty

This is one of the best, if not the best, guide that I have reviewed thus far. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 and completely changed the playing field for nonprofit organizations. This guide is a must-read for any new or established 501(c)(3) organization that has not implemented policies and procedures specifically designed to insure compliance with the Act. Unfamiliarity with the ramifications of the Act does not bar nonprofits from liability, so it is essential that the governing members of all nonprofits have a clear understanding of their legal obligations. The Act centers on transparency and accountability, and the author is thorough and effective in attempting to provide organizations with all of the information and tools necessary to strengthen their infrastructures accordingly.

More specifically, the author delves deep into topics such as finance, document retention, governance, and whistleblower protection policies. For those organizations who do not appreciate the importance of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the author has included a section titled, “Five Myths That Hold Small Nonprofits Back” at the end of the guide. Compliance with the Act depends heavily upon organizations’ policies and procedures, samples of which can be found in the appendices.

-- Shannon Martínez, VLAA Intern, Law Student at Saint Louis University School of Law