Accountability and Transparency

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The Heralds of Hope Board of Directors met on November 2nd, and among many other things, we discussed a question of organizational accountability. The question was, “Who ‘owns’ Heralds of Hope?”

We readily acknowledge that we are ultimately accountable to God, but who else? The church? The government? The donors? The recipients of Bibles or listeners to our programs? To some degree, the answer is all the above and maybe a few more.

There is no doubt that we have some responsibility to the government. They graciously allow an organization such as Heralds of Hope to operate tax-free, as well as allow donors to receive a tax deduction for gifts given. Naturally, they would like to know where and how the funds were handled. To oversee the funds used in a non-profit, they require a lengthy form to be filed. Some states require an audited financial report in addition to the IRS form.

For our 2021 fiscal year, we needed to find a new Certified Public Accountant to perform an audit and file our IRS form 990. Our previous accountant no longer does audits for non-profits such as ours. We decided to go with Payne, White, and Schmutz CPA, PA in Seneca, South Carolina. Due to delays and a busy accounting firm, our reports were finally completed at the end of October 2022 for the 2021 year.

Many people are familiar with the term “IRS audit” but are not as familiar with the concept of a yearly audit for a non-profit. A proper audit involves research into processes, and policies, as well as verifying that funds were used appropriately. Some donors and vendors received verification letters checking to see if our records matched theirs. Banks were also contacted to make sure our balances were accurate. There is quite a bit of work that goes into this project each year to assure the government and donors that all was above-board and legal.

If you would like to receive the full copy of our Financial Report or the IRS Form 990, which is open for public inspection, please contact Heralds of Hope at 717-485-4021 or email hope@heraldsofhope.org.
-Tony High