County Reconsidering Need for Audits

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January 9, 2011; Source: Star News | Nonprofits receiving a small amount of money from Brunswick County, N.C. may find themselves relieved of the burden of producing full-blown audits soon. The county is reviewing the practice of demanding an audit that could cost between $4,000 and $7,000 from small organizations receiving grants that are sometimes smaller than that cost. County Finance officer Ann Hardy says that nothing in particular sparked the review but that she is concerned about the burden the audit requirement puts on small nonprofits. Brunswick County is known for being “thoughtful” about how it works with nonprofits, according to UNC School of Government professor Margaret Henderson. One local practitioner commented, “They’ve been great to work with . . . If they make changes, I hope they’re still as easy to work with as they have been.” NPQ hopes that the eminently laudable common sense and partnership stance of this county government is repeated many times over across the country by both private and public funders. Every transactional requirement has its costs. —Ruth McCambridge