How to Handle Underwater Endowments: UPMIFA and Accounting Rules

Industries: Educational Institutions

Many tax-exempt organizations are wondering how to handle endowment funds that are "underwater"— their current market values are below the value at which they were established. With the rapid adoption of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) by 40 states (including Massachusetts on July 2), many charities may have more freedom to spend from such funds, but they are still not sure how to exercise this authority prudently. How far "underwater" should a fund be allowed to get? Does UPMIFA mean they can (or should) revise their spending rule? And how can they reconcile UPMIFA with recent accounting pronouncements on underwater endowments that may endanger compliance with debt covenants and financial ratios? The presenters will address these and other questions.
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