Nonprofit Financial Oversight

Nonprofit Financial Oversight - The Concise and Complete Guide for Boards and Finance Committees Front Cover

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Nonprofit Financial Oversight – The Concise and Complete Guide for Boards and Finance Committees

Author: Michael E. Batts, CPA

Nonprofit Financial Oversight is designed to serve as a resource for nonprofit board members, officers, finance committee members, audit committee members, and anyone else with financial oversight responsibilities in a nonprofit organization.

Special features of the book include sample policies, a sample finance committee charter, audit committee guidelines, and an annual board financial oversight checklist.  The checklist serves as an annual checkup to help nonprofit boards make sure their financial bases are covered.

Resources in this book include:

Annual Board Financial Oversight Checklist

Your board or finance committee can know the bases are covered by using this helpful plain-language checklist as a reminder of key financial oversight issues that should be addressed annually.

Sample Policies

Not only does Nonprofit Financial Oversight share in a straightforward manner the key financial policies most nonprofit organizations should have in place, it provides an array of sample policies to greatly simplify the process of adopting them.

Sample Finance Committee Charter

Nonprofit Financial Oversight will help you determine whether your organization needs a finance committee or an audit committee. And if you do, you will be equipped with a ready-to-go sample finance committee charter and guidelines for an audit committee charter.

Table of Contents

Chapter Titles

  1. The Duty of Board Members to Oversee Financial Operations
  2. The Finance Committee
  3. Audits and Other Accountability Practices
  4. Key Areas of Financial Oversight
  5. Governing Documents and Policies
  6. Internal Financial Reporting and Monitoring
  7. Financial Health
  8. Tax Compliance
  9. Risk Management


Appendix A. Annual Financial Oversight Checklist for Boards and Finance Committees

Appendix B. Sample Conflicts-of-Interest Policy

Appendix C. Sample Executive Compensation-Setting Policy

Appendix D. Sample Policy on Dishonesty, Fraud, and Whistleblower Protection

Appendix E. Sample Donor Privacy Policy

Appendix F. Sample Gift Acceptance Policy

Appendix G. Sample Expense Reimbursement Policy

Editorial Reviews

Mike Batts’ timely Nonprofit Financial Oversight should be required reading for the nation’s nonprofit governing boards. Batts, a veteran CPA who chaired the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, carefully explains the difference between board and management roles, arguing that the board role of strategy, oversight, and policy is central to ensuring the success of mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Too much meddling in management’s business and too little exercising the board’s critical oversight role is a major organizational risk factor and can destroy an otherwise good organization.

Batts not only explains oversight, “the process of monitoring and evaluating the activities and operations” of an organization, he shows nonprofit boards and CEO’s how to do it. He specifically identifies the gobs of legal and financial misinformation, or “hooey” as he calls it, that plague the nonprofit field.

Complete with examples of good and bad board practice, Nonprofit Financial Oversight is an easy and engaging read. Batts includes useful sample board and committee policies and practices, and makes understanding one’s board oversight role less daunting and engaging. Mike Batts has done yeoman’s service for the nonprofit field.

Dr. Sherry Magill, Former President | Jessie Ball duPont Fund


As a founder and CEO of Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation, and a current and past board member and chairman of other nonprofits, I really appreciate the layman’s map for nonprofit board governance and management responsibilities in Nonprofit Financial Oversight. The biggest take-away for me was learning the simple connections of policy (board) vs. procedural (management) balance ofresponsibilities.  Simple, practical and effective.  Thanks for helping our nonprofit strive for financial and purposeful excellence … and making it attainable.

John Offerdahl, Miami Dolphin Pro-Bowl Linebacker
Restaurateur, Offerdahl’s Off-The-Grill
Social Entrepreneur, Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation 


If you’re serving as an officer or director of a nonprofit organization, Mike Batts’ book, Nonprofit Financial Oversight, is a must read.   While it is written for novice board members, it also educates experienced professionals as well.  The concise manual gives a thorough checklist of questions to ask.   Included is an organizational checklist, to be performed like a yearly physical, and even a financial stress test.  Far better to ask questions before problems develop than to wait until an IRS audit, lawsuit, or negative media brings it out.  I whole-heartedly recommend Nonprofit Financial Oversight.  Read it and get a copy for your other board members as well!

Charles Morgan, Tax Attorney | Miami, Florida


Serving on a nonprofit board or finance committee, you’re probably full of passion for the organization’s mission. At the same time, maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of overseeing its finances. Fear no more! This exceptional book by Mike Batts is truly the concise and complete guide you’ve been dreaming of as you carry out your critical role in overseeing nonprofit finances.

Dan Busby, Former President | ECFA


Nonprofit Financial Oversight is very well written and is an excellent resource for board members and leaders of nonprofit organizations. Its content is worth tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees.

Jon A. Laria, Chief Financial Officer | OneHope