Another tax season is behind us now and the color green has returned to the Chicago area.
It is this great transformation of nature that makes so many of us love living in the Midwest.
The baseball organization that is headquartered at Wrigley Field has also gone through a transformation; one that would have seemed almost impossible just five years ago. New owners brought in a top notch management team that has re-built the Chicago Cubs from the ground up. They took advantage of the team’s poor records in 2011 through 2014 to go out and draft excellent young prospects. They hired new people to run the minor league teams and have transformed them into competitive teams at all levels. They have upgraded the stadium to provide much needed modern facilities.
To summarize what is behind this change at Clark and Addison are two concepts that are important to all successful organizations: “Tone at the Top” and “Attention to Detail”.
Similarly, it has been our experience working with numerous not-for-profit organizations that the tone set by the people at the top is critical to quality management. Even more noticeable is a lack of excellent leadership. When a board of directors is not visible to an organization and its employees, it creates an environment where poor decisions are not questioned, and opportunities for fraud and abuse can increase.
Paying attention to detail can mean many things, but for our purposes we will focus on compliance with reporting rules and regulations, as well as, creating good reliable accounting data for management. It is the natural tendency of an organization to focus on its core mission: caring for the needy, educating pre-schoolers, or putting on an orchestral concert. It is what people are trained to do and do best. But there is a responsibility that comes with being a tax exempt organization. You have public responsibilities that cannot be ignored, such as creating accurate and relevant reports for donors and grantors. And as an employer, you are responsible for accurately transmitting payroll taxes and complying with health care and workers compensation laws.
Here at Sassetti, we are not exempt from these same key ideas of organizational tone and attention to detail. Like any employer, we must train our younger employees so that they can reach their full potential. We must comply with health care and various tax laws, which can be a burden if they are not dealt with on an efficient and timely basis. We are also driven by a set of core principles, set at the top, but carried out through-out our organization.
May this summer and rest of the year see positive transformation for your organization.
Jeff Schroeder, Partner