My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Albany Helping Hands, Albany, OR, USA
From: Glenn W Guyer [mailto:Postmaster@Sunrise-Tax.com] Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 10:11 AM To: Bill Lane - President (firstname.lastname@example.org); Donald Albright - Treasurer; Grace Gantt - Honorary (email@example.com); James and Marilee Sapp - Member & Seceretary; Jim Preston - Member; John Donovan - VP; Randy Glaser - Member; Paul Barnes - Director Subject: An Open letter to Paul Barnes and the Board Â For nearly a decade Sunrise Bookkeeping and Tax Service has enjoyed a working relationship with Albany Helping Hands staff and the Board of Directors. It has been a delight to see how God has used what appeared to me to be an unlikely group of people (myself being the most unlikely), with very different ideas and that they could come to a consensus on so many things, allowing the shelter to move ahead.Â When Paul Barnes was hired I accepted the boards decision and spent an hour and a half with him to acquaint him with the procedures and methods that we had developedÂ during those years.Â The fact is that we now use the California CPA recommended chart of accounts for non-profits as laid out by the Real World Training program and modified for easiest use with the IRS 990 tax return and also to build reports that would satisfy the different questions asked by the board.Â Also we have worked to establish an acceptable payroll service. Â During the years we developed a special friendship with many staff members and a respect for them not only by our personal contact with tem,Â but also though the affirmation of some of our tax clients that were associates of the staff members.Â So it was a shock and very unsettling experience for me when I was ordered to write the termination check for Roger Hicks.Â Not only that he was abruptly fired but the way it was given to me.Â The recent termination of Diana Starr has further unsettled my attitude which is getting harder to keep from turning to strong distrust. Â When Paul decided to go to purchase orders, I anticipated that it would be a help me in my volunteer work of posting all the invoices to what has become a complex chart of accounts.Â But the opposite is the case, I have had to add another file folder to hold invoices that haven’t been matched to the purchase ordersÂ and purchase orders (some with one copy – some with 3 copies) that are waiting for invoices (normally the purchasing agents job).Â I have not been able to find a flow chart for any of the three copies of the Purchase Orders.Â So when I called Paul for additional information on a particular purchase order, he at first denied writing the purchase order, but when I told him it appeared to be his signature, he said he would have to check with Sandra.Â When he told me the information I needed he proceeded to insist on using a different “class” than what has been set up in the accounting and thus negating my efforts to have reports that accurately and consistently give a year to year comparison.Â On another occasion, Paul told me that Christmas Tree sales had entries under the “Fundraising” class, but when I looked it didn’t, so I think Paul hasn’t fully mastered the QuickBooks class system.Â Normally I would be glad to go over these things so that we could develop a friendly working relationship. I feel I have had that type of relationship with everyone else.Â So far Paul has taken an adversarial attitude. Â A case in point.Â On Wednesday, Paul had Grace call me to get a check to buy the much discussed cash register for the thrift store, apparently not realizing that checks are normally only printed over the weekend when I have the data base in my computer rather than the data base being in the shelter’s computer.Â When I called and tried to explain that the check would normally be available the following Monday, he sounded frustrated and said he would “buy it with his own money and I could reimburse him”.Â And I answered that, “that woks for me”.Â Which has been a common practice used by Pastor Bailey, John Donovan, Roger Hicks, Grace Gantt, Teena Corr, Sandra Fox, myself and others.Â Then on Thursday when I came to pick up the data base, Paul asked me to his office where he asked where the check was.Â I asked if he didn’t hear Monday, he said he did not.Â He said further he was going to request a $25,000 check to pay off the city note because the treasurer was “bugging (I’m not sure what word he used)” him daily.Â From there the dialogue went “down hill” and I decided it was best I should walk out, which I did.Â Later I called Don Albright, and decided Don was not “bugging” Paul that much.Â Also Paul claimed he had board approval for the $25,000 check.Â I called Marilee Sapp and she did not find a motion for a payment to the city. Â As to giving Paul Barnes the check stock for him to print checks, I was asked by the board to print checks so they could comply with a “government directive” therefore I feel responsible to the board, and won’t change anything without board action.Â To have more than one source issuing checks would add difficulty and a lot more work to keep Grace informed as to how large a deposit would be needed to release all the printed checks – a complication I have very little time to deal with during tax season.Â All things that I do, other than printing the checks, is voluntary. Â For me the ideal supervisor would first find out what methods and systems are being used, and then second he would find out why things are being done the way they are being done.Â Then the ideal supervisor would offer suggestions as to how jobs could be made more efficient.Â More like when Jesus said he came to serve and not be served.Â As I said, I have enjoyed working with the staff and board until now.Â I liked to go to the shelter and help my friends but now I don’t even like to drive by the shelter because it gives me a bad feeling.Â I don’t feel I’m the only one being discouraged by what appears to me to be more meddling than supervising.Â Staff that was confident and getting things done seems to be hesitant and anxious about being second guessed. Â I do pray for my attitude so that I can continue to do what I can for the shelter and that Paul’s attributes can be more utilized without his apparent need to prove he is “in charge”! Glenn Guyer
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