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LRM Expertise Benefits ARCHS

Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS) once again has important news about its financial and programmatic success as a new year approaches. LRM is subsidiary ARCHS.

The news is especially welcome in the recent climate both locally and nationally of increased public scrutiny shining more light on not-for-profit accountability and transparency practices.

For the past 11 fiscal years (2002-2012) ARCHS’ financial statements have earned unqualified or “clean,” audits from independent auditors.

ARCHS’ FY2012 (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012) audit was reviewed and approved by ARCHS’ Board of Directors at their December 12, 2012 meeting.

Issuance of an “unqualified opinion” means an auditor, upon review of an organization’s financial statements and accompanying notes, concluded that the financial statements and accompanying notes are presented fairly, conform to generally accepted accounting principles and fairly represent the true financial picture of the organization.

The FY2012 audit also highlighted that ARCHS’ “administrative overhead” costs are only 15 percent, substantially below the national average of 25 percent as calculated by the national United Way and other groups. This means that ARCHS is able to directly allocate at least 85 cents out of every dollar it manages to provide vital education and social service programs with a focus on early childhood, K-12, and family and community education. The remaining 15 cents provide necessary program support services that help manage and evaluate the programs to assure their long-term success.

"The audit opinion is more than an approval of accounting controls and principles. It assures our federal, state, private, and philanthropic funders that ARCHS is responsibly and properly managing, spending, and reporting the funds entrusted to us to serve the region’s most vulnerable residents,” says Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS’ Chief Executive Officer. “Each month, ARCHS’ staff visits each program we fund and support, to provided a real time “audit” of how things are going, and if there are any issues, find ways to make improvements. ”

LRM Financial Services Achieves Milestone with SSAE-16

Since 2003, 35 leading area not-for-profit organizations have benefitted from the expertise of ARCHS’ Leveraged Resources Management, Inc., (LRM). LRM provides its clients with a full array of financial and bookkeeping services, enabling all of them to attain a clean "unqualified opinion” on their annual financial audits.

Now, LRM has achieved a new milestone, having recently completed a special audit that verifies its conformity with an important standard known as the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16.

Completing a sought after SSAE No. 16 audit provides reasonable assurance that the financial data and information provided by LRM’s clients will be processed and reported in an accurate and secure manner.

By completing this industry standard audit, LRM’s clients are assured that LRM adheres to key industry best practices for policies, procedures, and operations, including the security of information and data. It is important for financial services providers to comply with SSAE standards due to the sensitive nature of the data that is being managed.

LRM’s SSAE No. 16 report was compiled by the accounting firm of Huber, Ring, Helm & Co., P.C. and covers the period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. The examination means that an independent service auditor has formally evaluated and issued an opinion on the description of selected LRM systems and the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of applicable controls.

“Achieving conformity with SSAE No. 16 standards demonstrates LRM’s continued dedication to operational excellence and client satisfaction,” said Terry Blake, President of LRM. “We are proud to be the first full service bookkeeping provider serving not-for-profits in St. Louis to complete this rigorous process. It further validates our important internal controls over financial reporting, security, and confidentiality.”

SSAE No. 16, set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is the new industry service standard that replaced the Statements on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) as of June 2011. SSAE No. 16 outlines the guidance standards for examining and reporting a service provider’s business controls.

Preclarus Mastery Academy Marks First Year with LRM Financial Services

Preclarus Mastery Academy has begun its second school year in St. Louis, which also marks its second year in receiving financial services from ARCHS' Leveraged Resources Management (LRM).

"The first year (with LRM) went very well. We were able to capitalize on LRM's experience with other charter schools and not-for-profits," said Elaine Flipping, Director of Operations and Finance at Preclarus. "We were very successful in meeting reporting demands from the school board and the various regulatory agencies."

For its second school year, Preclarus is up to almost 150 students. For enrollment or general information, visit the Preclarus website.

"Preclarus wanted a well-established financial service partner. LRM has the fund accounting experience, the technology, and the staff," Flipping said. "We avoid hiring, training, and long lead time required to reach the expertise and level of performance that LRM has already attained."

LRM Clients Plan Spring Events

The following Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) clients are hosting special events during April 2012:
  • Crime Victim Advocacy Center - 8th Annual "All Things Game" Trivia Night. Saturday, April 21 at Cardinal Ritter High School. Register at CVAC.
  • Saint Louis Effort for AIDS (EFA) - 19th Annual Dining Out For Life. Thursday, April 26 at more than 130 area restaurants. Find a restaurant at EFA.
  • Hope Happens - 8th Annual Evening of Hope (featuring Grammy-award winning vocalist Steve Tyrell). Thursday, April 26 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Learn more at Hope Happens.

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