Bikes for the World

Monday, September 14, 2015

Featured Volunteer: Johnson Lambert LLP

Johnson Lambert LLP
This month we recognize a team of 'volunteers' unlike any other. Johnson Lambert LLP is an accounting firm that has not only gotten their hands dirty in our warehouse but also dug deep in our office sorting through papers and figures to keep us on financial track.

This team at Johnson Lambert LLP, with help from their Fairfax VA and Raleigh NC offices, prepared on a pro bono basis, the Bikes for the World audit and IRS 990 report 2012-2014. More than simply making sure that our donors' resources have been properly stewarded - the team's assistance has enabled us to improve our operational efficiency and effectiveness through better financial management and compliance with federal and local jurisdiction.

Our relationship with the Johnson Lambert team goes back to 2012, when one of the company's younger employees, Emily Powell, began volunteering on her own with BfW. Enthused by our mission, Emily brought our team-building activities to the attention of the company's management when it was considering corporate volunteer opportunities. In June of that year, Emily brought a Johnson Lambert team of more than 20 individuals  to our warehouse in Lorton, where they prepped bikes and loaded a container for Costa Rica.

In September, Emily's senior colleague, Partner Audrey Newton, contacted BfW to explore the possibility of offering pro bono audit and related services. Within a few months arrangements were in place for a Johnson Lambert team to provide a full financial and operations audit, along with preparations of the IRS form 990 for 2012.

The first year's work took place beginning in July 2013 and extended into the fall. This was before BfW moved into our Arlington office and the JL team descended on Keith's dining room table and took over a quarter of his downstairs. Now in 2015, we are established in an office and with the improvements made to our record keeping, many at the recommendation of JL, the process has gone much more quickly and efficiently.

We are extremely grateful to Johnson Lambert LLP for its support, and in particular to Managing Partner Debbie Lambert and the team members who lent their support and expertise to this effort. Doing pro bono work is a very generous gesture on the part of the company, and is not without considerable costs. To be able to offer these services, the company schedules them during the summer months traditionally the least-pressured season. And while assigning a senior Partner as overall responsible manager, the company also uses the work for staff professional development, as a training and skill-building exercise for younger employees.

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