Other radical bookkeepers

A Bookkeeping Cooperative in Brooklyn. In another life, CKB would be working here.

Open Bookkeeping in Brattleboro VT

The Power of Paperwork: A rad bookkeeper in Boston pens this awesome informative site.

Accounting basics

Bean Counter
I taught myself accounting on this site. Bean Counter, a.k.a. David Marshall, is an angel in human form who has put up a tremendous amount of accounting knowledge in a super-accessible way. He also has a corny sense of humor. You cannot do better than start your learning at Bean Counter.

The Houston Chronicle’s bookkeeping pages
The Houston Chronicle is a surprisingly bountiful source of technical bookkeeping information. I have come across their pages while researching everything from owner draws to vacation accrual. Don’t mess with Texas.

Massachusetts state agencies

State Attorney General
The Form PC and its instructions
The AGO charity lookup

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Search the state’s corporate database
Various nonprofit forms

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
The phone number for employers is 617-626-5075.

Massachusetts Department of Revenue

For more on the joys of state agencies, see Starting a Nonprofit in Massachusetts.

Payroll processors

In my opinion, it’s really not a good idea to try to do payroll yourself. It’s wicked complicated and involves a lot of laws on both the federal and state levels, and you can get into a serious bind if you do something wrong. Use a payroll processor, and do it online because it’s not 2005 anymore.

This is the most popular service, in my experience. I tend to encourage my clients to go with RUN, even though ADP is a huge corporation and I hate corporations, because it’s easy to use and I’m familiar with it. My biggest gripe is that it doesn’t have an “accountant” feature that would allow me to access all my clients from a single login. (You may see messages on RUN suggesting you “add your accountant,” but this only allows me to view your data, not process your payroll.)

Paychex Flex
Only slightly less common than RUN, and nearly as easy and friendly. Plus, it has an accountant-access feature! You have to call them to get onto it, though. Both companies also offer retirement-plan services.

Gusto comes recommended by the fine folks at A Bookkeeping Cooperative (see above).

IRS links

This year’s 990 and instructions
This year’s 990-EZ and instructions

And the common 990 schedules:

Nonprofit advice

Blue Avocado

Nonprofits Assistance Fund
This site focuses on financial matters and has an excellent resource library with tons of templates.

Audit firms I’ve worked with

These folks all treated me well. Remember, an auditor is not your friend exactly, but not your enemy!

Smith, Sullivan & Brown PC (an all-woman firm!)

Kevin P. Martin

R A E & Associates CPAs, LLC (principal Regis Ehui)

AAF CPAs are probably too expensive for your little organization, but they’re the big nonprofit audit firm in the Boston area and good people.

Other stuff

I use this to send secure e-mails, for example when I need someone’s tax form or payroll info. It is simple to use—you just have to be sure to tell the recipient the password you set up for them!

Charity Navigator
You know sometimes when things are a little chaotic at your org and you just need to see what 990s have been filed?