About Me

May 17, 2013


The charitable organization I created with my family and a dear friend was selected for a review recently. After operating for 16 years without any issue with our finances, we did have a conflict with the process of reporting T4's after discovering our former treasurer, an accountant and volunteer, had messed up the books a bit. Nothing illegal and all funds are accounted for. However, she failed to submit the proper documents in a timely fashion, did not report to us that she had not sent them in and then moved while this was happening, so we found out after she was gone and not reachable. I've spent time over the last year with my new, paid administrator trying to fix it all and when the Canada Revenue Agency (hereby referred to as the CRA) called us and offered a review to get on back track, we said "Yes!"

After our initial call, I started to get frantic about having the right documents in the right order. What if we fixed it but we did it wrong? What if they find something we didn't catch? So  many worries and I lost a lot of sleep. I like to have life in order and this drove me crazy, especially because we were contacted in January and the first available appointment was not until May. My board was not worried, my family was not worried but for some reason, I was beside myself, secretly thinking that at the end of the day, I'd be behind bars and my charitable organization stripped of it's worthy status.

Well, I am quite the silly worrier, aren't I? The CRA guy came on Tuesday and he was not just tall, light and handsome, but he was so sweet! And at the end of the day, not only was I not in jail and my organization in good standing, but we have a new way to calculate payroll in a simpler fashion and we were provided with a ton of accolades for working hard, in a timely way to fix the errors the accountant made. He loved the system I had created with binders and spreadsheets (instead of files) and even took a picture to show other volunteer groups. He shared with me how some organizations have gotten in to deep water and said it was a joy to visit with us because we were a very minor issue compared to most visits he has. I was relieved that all was well and proud I had worked so hard, with the support of my family and board of directors to maintain our status. To me, losing our charitable status would be like a death. The shame would be too much to bear and it would be news that I would not want the world to know but unfortunately, in Canada, when charities lose their status, it's big news!

So here we are, set for the future, with our records in perfect order and no worries for me to carry! Worth the work but hopefully, a process we will never have to endure again. 


~Carla~ said...

Thank goodness it was just a *minor* issue!! :) I'm sure from now on there'll be no more problems! Live & learn right? ;)

Elizabethd said...

Well done!