Reading Financial Statements

When it comes to financial statements, do you just glance and nod your head in approval? Join us to learn how to actually read financial statements in a friendly and non-judgmental environment!

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what the various reports are saying, how they relate to each other, how to know when something is wrong, and what questions to ask 
  • Feel comfortable reviewing and approving financials in board meetings


Reading financial statements can sometimes be a challenge, even for people who have gone to school to learn how to understand financial statements! For the rest of us, it can be flat out intimidating.  

Join us for a fun class where we “pull back the curtain” and talk about how financial statements are prepared, what they tell you and what they don't, what to look for, and when to ask questions. This class is geared for board members and management, and anyone who wants to dig deeper into the numbers.




Executive Directors, Boards of Directors, or any nonprofit leaders that review financial statements


Suzanne Atkinson is the managing partner at ProBooksUSA where she specializes in small business consulting and accounting services. Her clients range from small family enterprises to international corporations, from small philanthropic groups to multi-million dollar, multi-funding source nonprofit entities. She received her bachelor’s degree from UNM and her MBA from Cal Coast University. Suzanne brings humor and fun to the otherwise dry topics of accounting and finance. On the weekends, she plays with hot glass and reads cookbooks.

Guiding Practices for Nonprofits

  • Boards of Directors should have a sufficient understanding of the assumptions behind the development and implementation of the organization’s budget so they can approve and endorse a reasonable and achievable annual budget that supports and sustains the strategic plan.
  • Boards of Directors should review and approve detailed revenues and expenditures each fiscal year.
  • Boards of Directors should review financial reports, at least every other month.
  • Boards of Directors should understand how to read and interpret financial statements.
  • Nonprofits should have appropriate financial management software to record and track revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities including cash, in-kind contributions, payroll, capital leases, revenues, contracts, investments, debt liabilities, account receivable.
  • Nonprofits should develop a clearly defined, written whistleblower policy to protect individuals who report financial misconduct from negative repercussions.
  • Nonprofits should develop systems for accounts payable and receivable that ensure invoices are sent and received in a timely manner.
  • Nonprofits should develop a system of internal controls based on the size of the organization’s financial and human resources.
  • Nonprofits should separate financial duties as a checks and balances system to prevent theft, fraud and inaccurate reporting.
  • Nonprofits should develop a system to ensure that funding restrictions are maintained.
  • Board Treasurers should assume a leadership role in helping the Board understand its fiscal responsibilities.
  • Board Treasurers should work with organizational leadership to ensure Board awareness of current financial conditions, so that timely adjustments can be made as needed.

The Guide is available as a free digital download at Hard copies of the Guide and Companion Workbook will be available for purchase at this training for $25 each with a credit card or check.

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence takes photos during our trainings to share on social media. If you prefer not to be photographed, please let us know in the Special Needs field when you register.  

May 14, 2020 9:00 AM   through   11:00 AM
Phone: 505-247-3671
Registration $ 35.00

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