Clearinghouse for Volunteer Accounting Services (CVAS) has helped hundreds of small nonprofit organizations operate successfully since 1985 by matching them with volunteer accountants who can provide a wide range of services on a pro bono basis. CVAS is one of the few organizations that helps accountants give something back to their communities.
Mission, Direction And Core Value
CVAS Mission - We encourage, organize and facilitate the provision of volunteer accounting services that further the value of the accounting profession to society and contribute to the success of our volunteers and the nonprofits we help.
CVAS Direction - To Encourage Accountants' Involvement In The Community - To support the profession's responsibility to serve the needs of the economic community, we must promote participation and provide opportunities for accountants to be involved in community activities.
CVAS Core Value - We encourage, recognize, and facilitate the active involvement of accountants in community affairs. By taking a leadership role in the community, accountants can serve as the catalyst for shaping a more sound economic and charitable system in society.
The California Board of Accountancy became involved with CVAS during the 1980's. In 1985, California Senate Bill 302, Montoya, gave the California Board of Accountancy the authority to contract with a nonprofit organization such as CVAS. As the only organization established solely to facilitate pro bono accounting services statewide, CVAS became the contractor and remained the contractor until January 1, 1995 when all funding was cut due to State of California budget constraints.
Over a number of years the California Board of Accountancy contributed funding to CVAS operations. This revenue source represented the majority of CVAS revenues. Dependence on revenue from the Board resulted in funding shortages for CVAS when, in response to the State of California budget crisis, the Board eliminated funding to CVAS. Faced with a shortage of funds, CVAS discontinued operations in April 1993.
In 1993 the Board conducted an on-site assessment of CVAS to gain information about its programs and operations. The Board also mailed questionnaires to 460 nonprofit organizations and 738 volunteer accountants to determine their satisfaction with CVAS services. The Board learned there was a high level of satisfaction, and 75-80% of those surveyed said they would use CVAS' services again.
CVAS hired a part-time administrator and resumed operations in January 1996. Due to limited funds and reduced staff, efforts were solely concentrated on matching volunteer accountants to small 501(c)(3)'s and board member placement.
Beginning in January 2001, CVAS extended the range of volunteer services. Currently, services provided by volunteers include preparation, creation, consultation and assistance regarding:
- Accounting Systems
- Board Member Placement
- Cash Flow Projections
- Financial Management
- Financial Reports
- Internal Control Systems
- Reduced Fee Audits
- Tax returns
One of the most positive aspects of CVAS' work is the fact that it often times facilitates pro bono work that would never have occurred. It is surprising how many nonprofits cannot find an accounting volunteer and how many accountants do not know how or where to volunteer their time.
CVAS volunteer services are provided to all types of nonprofits throughout the nation. The hundreds of recipient nonprofits listed have been helped by CVAS. The diversity of these organizations is one of the most interesting and fulfilling aspects of the CVAS pro bono program.
CVAS success has come from the growing number of nonprofits that receive help from the increasing number of CVAS volunteers. In addition to the services provided to nonprofits on a one time basis, a volunteer may go on to serve the matched nonprofit for a number of years.
Accomplishing The Goal
Volunteers share their skills with nonprofit organizations through three programs:
- Technical Assistance Program
- Reduced Fee Audit Program
- Board Member Placement Program
Charitable organizations register with CVAS, entering their volunteer needs into the CVAS opportunity database. Organizations may post opportunities in any or all of the programs offered by CVAS. Potential volunteers (1) search the CVAS opportunity database for volunteer opportunities either by services requested or by city, (2) find an opportunity that fits their interests and schedule, and (3) express their interest and availability via email to the charitable organization that posted the opportunity. The charitable organization contacts the potential volunteer directly to provide further details about the volunteer opportunity.
Potential volunteers may register their contact information and availability in the CVAS Volunteer database. This database is managed and maintained by CVAS staff only, as we respect each potential volunteers right to privacy. Our databases are never sold nor made available to any other organization for any purpose, public or private.
CVAS has opportunities and volunteers throughout the US; however, we cannot guarantee that a match will be made. CVAS extends its best efforts to bring together an organization in need and a volunteer, but placement may be unlikely due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to geographic accessibility, scope of work, duration of the assignment, and season.
Board Of Directors
Accountants with a wide range of specialties comprise the CVAS Board of Directors.
Paul H. Glass
Eduardo Hernandez Camara
Vice President and Secretary
Jay J. Shapiro