Warner Robins, GA asked in Business Law for Georgia

Q: What financial statements are required to give members of our non profit 501(c) 4 club in Georgia?

A member is requesting FY2021 Annual Financial report, all financial records for FY22 including incoming funds, and outgoing funds (checkbook stubs/ledger), money market balance, and "bottom line" total assets as of now (checking, money market, CD's and anything else).

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Let's start with the FY21 financial report. Under Georgia law, a nonprofit corporation "shall furnish" a member with a copy of "its latest prepared annual financial statements ... in reasonable detail as appropriate, that include a balance sheet as of the end of the fiscal year and statement of operations for that year." In addition, if the nonprofit's annual financial statements are the subject of a report by a public accountant, the accountant's report must accompany the annual statements. (And if not, the statements must be accompanied by the statement of the president or the person responsible for the corporation's financial accounting records describing the accounting methods.) These requirements are contained at Georgia Code 14-3-1620.

What about the more detailed requests for the FY22 matters? Those are going to be covered by a different code section: 14-3-1602. That's more complex. Under that code section, a member is allowed to request "accounting records." But, the organization is required to provide those records "only if" four requirements are met: (1) the demand "is made in good faith and for a proper purpose that is reasonably relevant to the member's legitimate interest as a member;" (2) the member "describes with reasonable particularity" the purpose and the records the member desires to inspect; (3) the records are "directly connected with this purpose"; and (4) the records are to be used only for the stated purpose.

Whether or not this particular member's request satisfies the requirements here would require somebody to look closely at the details of the request and the records requested to give you individualized legal advice about whether the demand is valid. (And this is not individualized legal advice.)

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