Non-profit organizations are required to report on expenses by functional classification. This can be presented within the statement of activities or within a related note to the financial statements. In addition, the functional expenses are also reported in the IRS Form 990.
The functional expense classifications are as follows:
Organizations typically have expenses that relate to more than one functional expense classification. The most accurate and preferred method of allocation is by directly identifying a specific expense to a function. However, in many cases, direct identification is not feasible, and, therefore, allocating expenses based on either financial or non-financial data is appropriate. Management should have a written policy in place for its cost allocation plan in order to ensure consistency. Please keep in mind that management should review the policy at least annually and consider the organization’s current year operations in order to make revisions as necessary.
Below are some examples of allocations of expenses: