AACT Adopts New 990 Policies
Scroll down for links to the policies
By Rod McCullough, Chair, AACT Audit Committee
Three little answers (just an X) to three big questions can mean a lot.
When your organization completes its annual Form 990 to report to the IRS, it answers these questions in Part VI, Section B.:
12a Does the organization have a written conflict of interest policy?
13 Does the organization have a written whistleblower policy?
14 Does the organization have a written document retention and destruction policy?
If your organization answers "yes” and you’re happy with your policies, quit reading this article and take a look at something more fun! But if you answer no or wonder about the quality of your policies, you might want to read a bit more.
Not so fast, those of you who file 990EZ or the postcard! You may not have to answer to the IRS, but you’ll want to be sure you have good policies in place.
This year, the AACT Audit Committee researched and crafted a new set of policies for the organization. It was the committee’s aim to create policies that could serve as models for member theatres as well as AACT. At its February 2012 meeting, AACT adopted those policies. (Scroll down for links to the policies.)
The policies listed are not valuable just because adopting them allows you to answer "yes” to the IRS.
Each one is an example of good governance that protects your organization before a problem occurs. Before a Board member attempts to change theatre purchasing so it benefits a friend. Before a staff member or volunteer is disciplined or blackballed because they informed the Board of an illegal practice. Before your Board discovers they can’t address a complaint because someone threw all the records away. And there are many more examples.
Special thanks to Audit Committee members Jill Patchin and Bill Muchow (AACT past presidents) and Gary Walker (AACT executive vice president) for doing the hard work of research and drafting new policies, and to committee members Tim Jebsen and Jim Walker for refining the final product.
Here’s one more tip from the Audit Committee: Begin each of your board meetings with a call for conflicts of interest. It’s a reminder to board members of their responsibility and allows an opportunity for increased transparency – never a bad thing!