Book Review: “SARBANES-OXLEY FOR NONPROFITS – A Guide to Building Competitive Advantage” by Peggy Jackson and Toni Fogerty

by Mr. Tracy A. Pounders, Attorney and Counselor at Law

The Pounders Law Firm: Lawyers for Growing Dallas & Collin Co BusinessesThis is going to come as a surprise to many of you: the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (hereinfter “SOX”) applies to non-profit organizations.  SOX was not designed with the non-profit in mind though.  It was created in the wake of the Enron mess. And not all of the provisions of SOX apply to non-profits. As a matter of fact non-profits only need to worry about two provisions of SOX, the whistleblower provision and the document retention requirements. {Learn More?}

When I picked up “SARBANES-OXLEY FOR NONPROFITS – A Guide to Building Competitive Advantage” by Peggy Jackson and Toni Fogerty I was very sure that it only dealt with the whistleblower and document retention requirements of SOX. WRONG. This is a VERY comprehensive book about the requirements of SOX and its very real-world implications it has on non-profit organizations.

Before I go on and tell you more about this book you should know that while most of SOX does not apply to non-profits, SOX contains a lot of practices that, while not required, are very good practices to adopt.  These “best practice” are what makes SOX interesting to the non-profit and those that work with them. While this book will outline and explain all you need to know about the whistleblower and document retention provisions of SOX and how to comply with them, it also walks you through SOX’s “best practices” and why you should adopt them, even though you aren’t required to, to give your non-profit a competitive advantage over other non-profits.

This book covers in practical detail:

  • An overview of SOX in light of the current legislative environment affecting non-profits in the USA.
  • The new California Nonprofit Integrity Act, as well as proposals being considered from year-year by Congress.
  • The role of audit committees and audits in the SOX arena.
  • Non-profit accounting standards and financial statements.
  • The effect of SOX on non-proft boards of directors.
  • How to integrate SOX “best practices” into your non-profit’s policies, and its effect on your non-profit organization’s “culture.”
  • How to us SOX “best practices” to develop a competitive advantage over other non-profits.
  • how to “scale” SOX best practices to suit the needs of even small non-profits.

This book is not an easy read, but it isn’t terribly hard either.  The Authors have put a lot of thought and effor to make this book usable by the very persons it is intended to serve – the professional employees and volunteers of non-profit organizations. I only give it 3.5 stars instead of 5 because the sample policies in the back of the book have insufficient detail to be useful. You can find sample SOX required and “best practices” policies on the web, so it wouldn’t have been that difficult to set up a website for this book making more detailed policies available to its readers for use.  I will post some of my samples here on this website as soon as I can get clearance from the clients I wrote them for.  If you subscribe to this website you’ll be notified when I make additions to it, so you’ll know when they are up.  Until then, call me if you need help – I would be honored to assist you.

[grade: 3.5 OF 5]

Previous post:

Next post: