Religious Organizations

BKD National Not-for-Profit Team understands that religious organizations must balance their spiritual mission with the reality of tight budgets, limited resources and accountability to members and donors. Our advisors’ extensive experience with religious organizations translates into solutions that can help you in the following areas.

Financial Accountability

Sound financial management requires strategic planning to set priorities and goals, budgeting for fiscal discipline and preparing meaningful financial statements and reports that demonstrate accountability. We can help:

  • Develop policies and procedures
  • Assist with internal audits
  • Implement governance best practices
  • Strengthen internal controls
  • Improve use and tracking of restricted resources
  • Design strategies to improve profitability of various programs and cost allocation plans for accurate measurements
  • Analyze and forecast cash flows
  • Perform feasibility studies, financial projections and operational reviews
  • Create budgets and business plans aligned with strategic priorities
  • Provide benchmarking comparisons
  • Explore financing alternatives
  • Assist with lending activities and best practices (church extension funds)

Tax Planning & Compliance

BKD’s tax advisors can help protect your organization from noncompliance penalties and assist your clergy, members, missionaries and donors with planning strategies that may reduce their tax burden. We can help you:

  • Political joint ventures
  • Maintain tax-exempt status
  • Advise and structure donor giving arrangements, including trusts and deferred giving
  • Analyze unrelated business income, intermediate sanctions, fringe benefits and retirement plans
  • Deal with international tax issues
  • Prepare tax returns for charitable trusts

Stewardship of Gifts & Income

Contributions, tithes, offerings and investment income can bring long-term financial security to your religious organization. Effective management of these resources can build trust and accountability, demonstrate stewardship and encourage additional giving. We can help:

  • Manage endowment and gift assets and develop investment policies, including goal assessments and asset allocations, through BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC
  • Administer gifts to comply with donor restrictions
  • Improve controls around gift acceptance
  • Structure a comprehensive development plan, gift-acceptance policies and deferred giving arrangements
  • Implement policies and procedures to protect you and your donors
  • Evaluate investment policies and spending rates


BKD Technologies helps religious organizations make the most of their technology investment. As licensed resellers of Microsoft Dynamic GP and Sage Software financial applications software, both industry specific and general business, we can help:

  • Select, implement and support new systems and software
  • Control and track project and campaign budgets
  • Coordinate grant and project information
  • Customize fund accounting, including tracking restricted contributions
  • Assess your IT security risks and implement improvements
  • Increase operational efficiency

Debi Ladyman

National Industry Partner

Debi Ladyman

National Industry Partner

Not-for-Profit & Government

201 N. Illinois Street, Suite 700
P.O. Box 44998
Indianapolis, IN 46244-0998 (46204)


Wally Wetherill


Wally Wetherill


Not-for-Profit & Government

200 E. Main Street, Suite 700
Fort Wayne, IN 46802-1900

Fort Wayne

Rachel Dwiggins


Rachel Dwiggins


Not-for-Profit & Government

910 E. St. Louis Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 1190
Springfield, MO 65806-2523


“BKD was instrumental in guiding us with their expert tax guidance and a new accounting methodology for our subsidiary. The result was lowering of the tax liability for both organizations and a streamlined, enhanced accounting approach for our subsidiary.

BKD has in-depth experience with non-profits and especially with organizations that may have a for-profit entity as part of their overall company structure. They have a strong expertise in the tax and IT areas, performed soundly with due diligence, and showed solid work ethics.

As our association has grown, so have the complexities of our business. BKD has been very helpful with answers to questions regarding grants and operations, helping us to demonstrate transparency and best practices as we deliver high-level services to the non-profit sector throughout the state of Colorado.”

— Jeannie Nims, Chief Financial Officer
Colorado Nonprofit Association
Denver, Colorado

I knew BKD had a focus in organizations like us and felt that we could benefit from their industry experience and technical knowledge. Having an audit can be a necessary evil. If that’s all you get, you’re not getting much value. A lot of firms can do an audit, but BKD brings value.

— Bruce Arick, Vice President
Butler University
Indianapolis, Indiana

…We have been totally pleased with BKD's performance and professionalism. The have done a wonderful job of staffing our engagement with highly skilled and thoroughly accurate professionals. They take a very critical approach to their review, ensuring our financials are accurate and in accordance with accounting principals. I am very happy to recommend BKD as a highly professional and very thorough auditing and tax firm.

— Ron Winkler, Vice President & Treasurer
University of Oklahoma Foundation
Norman, Oklahoma

I have been pleased with BKD’s detailed approach as it relates to our external audit function. BKD validated a number of concerns of our department and agreed such concerns need to be addressed.

The engagement team brings airport industry expertise, and we have benefited from their knowledge and experience. The team is responsive and candid with MAC management, bringing a fresh perspective with their substantive approach to the audit. BKD’s timely consultations and management letter will help MAC’s leadership and board enhance controls and provide an accurate and credible report to the public.

— Michael Willis, Assistant Director - Internal Audit
Minneapolis Saint Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission
Minneapolis, Minnesota

BKD's personnel from staff to partner that I've worked with are very professional and consider the operations and timelines of the agency personnel in their planning. They are willing to discuss issues and accounting treatments in an open method while ensuring that the standards are met. The comments and recommendations are helpful and have assisted the city in making improvements.

— Beth Machann, City Controller
City and County of Denver
Denver, Colorado

Heartland hired BKD, LLP after using a Big Four firm for many years.  Heartland has experienced BKD’s commitment to excellence first hand and our Board of Directors and staff are glad we transitioned to BKD.  BKD’s personnel have brought a level of utility experience, integrity, and professional demeanor at standards we did not experience before.  BKD responds to our questions in a timely manner and openly discusses accounting treatments to ensure the best course of action is taken and accounting standards met.  Heartland looks forward to a continued successful relationship with BKD and highly recommends them to anyone in the utility industry.

— Mike Malone, Financial Operations Manager
Heartland Consumers Power District
Madison, South Dakota

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