January 7, 2014 – On December 18, 2013 the much anticipated (the Act) – the first major overhaul to New York State Not for Profit law in over 40 years, was signed into law.
The purpose of the Act is to lessen the administrative and regulatory burden of entities governed by Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, to improve governance of not-for profit organizations and improve accountability.
Key provisions of the Act include
- Reducing bureaucracy and costly requirements by amending rules governing not-for-profit property sales, mergers, corporate formations, and dissolutions to create a more welcoming environment for new not-for-profits and a more business-friendly environment for existing ones. It will also increase efficiency by modernizing board procedures, such as enabling not-for-profits to use email and video technology for meetings, and allow boards to delegate the approval of small transactions to committees.
- Strengthening accountability and enhancing charitable governance by setting forth clearer expectations of board duties in key areas, such as providing better financial management and oversight over financial audits. It includes new provisions to limit and, when necessary, remedy self-dealing to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure transactions are performed in the organization’s best interest. Employees of a nonprofit will also be prohibited from serving as chair of the board to help promote clear lines of accountability between management and the board and ensure independent board leadership.
The Act covers a diverse array of entities, including membership corporations, cemetery corporations, fire corporations, religious societies, medical societies, alumni corporations, historical societies, agricultural societies, trade organizations, as well as charitable organizations, hospitals and not-for-profit nursing homes.
About the Author
Karen D. Costa CPA
Karen, Assurance Services Director and Co-Leader of the Dopkins Not-for-Profit and Healthcare Teams, has lengthy experience with both for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare organizations specializing in auditing, revenue cycle consulting and certification of their Medicaid cost reports and specialized compliance audits.