Many companies rightfully focus on the big picture when thinking technology and securing client data. But, beyond the best infrastructure, firewalls and encryption, lies easy-to-overlook lapses. What can you do?

Fraud: Four Common Factors Facing Nonprofit Organizations

image001-847678-edited.jpgBy Carl Blankschaen, CPA
Audit and Assurance Senior

Following the recent news of fraud at a small, local community-based nonprofit organization, some of our clients called with concerns as to how a trusted organization landed in this situation and why this seems
to be happening quite often.   
While clients were surprised at the news of the recent scandal, I regrettably informed them that many small not-for-profit organizations can be vulnerable to fraud.  
In communities across the country, it is easy to find a variety of clubs, associations, or other entities to which people pay dues or fees, or raise funds as part of their participation.  Many of these organizations are filled with volunteers who manage the operations.  

The Board of Directors, no matter how properly or loosely structured, may not be aware of some basic internal controls to have in place to reduce the risk of fraud, embezzlement or misuse of funds. Fortunately, it may only take a handful of action items to protect your organization.

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The Importance of Hiring a Quality Employee Benefit Plan Auditor

By Chris Valponi, CPA
Audit and Assurance Manager


During a benefit plan audit, we consistently find that through the audit process, we uncover preventable discrepancies that ultimately could result in penalties or other adverse effects on a business.

Does your organization have a pension plan and are you confident in your knowledge of the applicable regulations or your ability to monitor the Third Party Administrator? Many organizations are unsure that they have the necessary knowledge or skill, and that is a weakness that speaks to the importance of hiring a quality employee benefit plan auditor.

The Department of Labor (DOL) is continuing to increase its scrutiny of employee benefit plans under the requirements of Employee Retirement Securities Act of 1974 (ERISA). This trend increases the need for the plan sponsor to ensure that they are engaging a Plan auditor that is capable of performing a quality employee benefit plan audit if one is required or requested.

Generally speaking employee benefit plans with 100 or more participants are required to have an audit as part of their annual requirement to file a return, most commonly the Form 5500. The sponsor of the plan, known as the plan administrator, is responsible for obtaining and engaging an auditor for the plan audit.

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Classic Hackers: What War Games Taught us About Technology in the Workplace

Mike-J---tech-enewsletter_checklist2.pngBy Mike Jaworske
Network Administrator

Much like the premise of the classic 1983 movie, War Games, and its computer whiz-kid lead character David Lightman, sometimes even the most complex passwords and security protocols within a business are compromised from one common, yet entirely preventable misstep: in-house protection.

Just as David Lightman snuck into the open and accessible area of the high school secretary’s desk to copy the password and change his grade, and developing a more complex breach leading him to the brink of global thermonuclear war, company employees are doing much the same. How?  By posting passwords and logins on a sticky note on their computer, slipping pieces of paper with sensitive information under the keyboard, or “secretly” tucked away in the top right drawer of their desk.

Tsk. Tsk.

Many companies rightfully focus on the big picture when thinking technology and securing client data. But, beyond the best infrastructure, firewalls and encryption, lies easy-to-overlook lapses. What can you do? Whether you are a business owner or am employee, continue reading to find three great ideas you can do right now to secure your company and personal data safe at the workplace:

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Career Boost! Earn your CNAP credential

HURRY! Only a few seats remain.
Registration closes May 5. 

You do not need to hold a finance degree or a CPA license to enroll. This certification is designed for professionals working in finance, budget, operations, HR, or who serve as volunteer, committee or board members of nonprofit organizations.


Zinner & Co. is pleased to partner with Nonprofit CPAS and the FMA Institute to bring folks in the Cleveland and Akron area the opportunity to earn the Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional credential (CNAP).

This 2.5 day course offers those on the nonprofit financial management and accounting front line comprehensive training on every component of nonprofit financial management. 

CNAP topics address issues including:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Internal Controls
  • Budget Development
  • Governance
  • IRS Form 990

This course is ideal for: 

  • Non-CPAs who have a financial responsibility within a not-for-profit organization
  • Bookkeepers
  • Accounting Clerks, Managers, and Supervisors
  • Directors or Managers in charge of Finance or Operations
(For those CPAs interested in CNAP, the FMA Institute is authorized to offer CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credit through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.)

Click here for event details and registration information. 


How to Help Your Business Succeed to the Next Generation!


Business, like life, continues to evolve and change.

This E-book is a must-read for not only family business owners, but also owners who wish to preserve the integrity of the brand they have worked so hard to build when transferring management and ownership control to others.

Inside, you will learn
3 factors to consider when developing a succession plan
5 steps for effective succession planning, and
3 key things to consider when building an effective team

We are excited to share tips and insight with you. If you have any questions about business management, are thinking of transitioning into or out of a business or have any other questions about your financial future, contact Partners Brett W. Neate, CPA or Gabe Adler, CPA, CGMA at 216-831-0733 or send us an email at, We’re happy to help.

How to Help Your Business Succeed to the Next Generation