What Is Pro Financial Fitness?
Pro Financial Fitness is a Bookkeeping, Accounting, Training, and Consulting business to service non-profits in North Carolina. We can assist with day-to-day operational tasks, create policies and procedures, process payroll, perform monthly reconciliations, create financial reports, assist with finding/ migrating to a new Accounting System, and Consulting/ Training for Bookkeeping/ Accounting staff, Executive Directors, and Board of Directors.
Meet the Owner
Mark graduated from Frostburg State (Frostburg, Maryland) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting in December 1986. He also received minors in Computer Science and Business.
Mark also received a Graduate Certificate in Management Information Systems from Bowie State (Bowie, Maryland) in May 1990.
Before COVID-19 took over in early 2020, Mark had transitioned to a for-profit company but soon-there-after, COVID-19 took care of his new position. After a discussion with one of Mark’s colleagues, Mark decided that it was time to start doing some research into starting his own business. Pro Financial Fitness is the result of that research.
In December 1986, Mark started working as a Junior Accountant for The Board of Trustees of State Universities and Colleges of Maryland. Mark started taking graduate classes at Bowie State University (Bowie, Maryland) in the summer of 1987 and eventually graduated from Bowie State with a Graduate Certificate in Management Information Systems in May 1990.
Mark started working as a Senior Accountant for Bowie State University in July 1988 and then started working as an Accountant for two departments at The University of Maryland-College Park, The Library System and The Agricultural Experiment Station.
Then in July 1993, Mark moved to Chapel Hill, NC, and started working as the Financial Record System Coordinator for UNC-Chapel Hill, in the Financial System Support department. In 1996, Mark started working as an Accountant/Financial Analyst for the INTRAH (International Training in Health) department.
In 2001, Mark transitioned to the non-profit world. He worked as an Accountant for The Center for Child and Family Health (CCFH). Since 2001, Mark has worked as a Bookkeeper, Accountant, and even Executive Director in the non-profit field for 19 out of the 22 last years. After getting laid off in 2003 from CCFH, he founded/managed a non-profit called Friends of Triangle Seniors and Food Assistance (FTSFA). He also managed/led Meals on Wheels of Durham and Granville County Habitat for Humanity. After a few years working for SunTrust Bank and NCFAST (a State of North Carolina Project), he then worked as a Bookkeeper/Accountant for Club Nova, Durham Crisis Response Center, and The Exchange Club of Central Piedmont.
Mark has been married to his wife Betty since May 1997. Betty has been a nurse at Duke Hospital since 1990. They have two children, Matthew, who graduated from Coastal Carolina University, and Luke, who attends Campbell University.
Why Did Mark Prokop Start Pro Financial Fitness?
For 19 out of the last 22 years, Mark has worked in the North Carolina non-profit field, from a Bookkeeper to an All In One Financial Show (where he did Bookkeeping, Accounting, Payroll, Internal and External Reporting, Grants Management, and Human Resources) to being an Executive Director – 3 times – (one of which he founded), to being on multiple Board of Directors. From those experiences, Mark was motivated to start Pro Financial Fitness as he appreciates the work that North Carolina nonprofits are carrying out and he wants to see them financially managed properly, stay in good shape, and stay out of trouble with the IRS and State of North Carolina.
- Many members of the non-profit Board of Directors (B of D’s) and Executive Director’s (ED’s) don’t have an Accounting/Finance background. This is why many of them don’t understand basic financial reports, including the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet statements. Since many B of D’s and ED’s are focusing on Programs, they typically aren’t involved as much as they’d want to with the Bookkeeping/Accounting Department.
- Many ED’s that do have some Accounting/Finance background usually manage the finances poorly. They either don’t let go of the financial work that needs to be done or they don’t know how to train staff properly so that the staff could carry out the Accounting/Finance work. Also, Executive Director’s main focus is almost always on the Programs, writing grants, and planning events.
- Since non-profits don’t have as much money as for-profit businesses, many non-profits only have part-time bookkeepers on staff. Non-Profits need to have full-time Bookkeepers and full-time Accountants. Many non-profits need multiple positions in their Admin/Finance Department, let’s say a Bookkeeper, an Accountant, and a Director of Accounting.
- Since most non-profits are focusing on their programs and not on the Administration of their organization, the Bookkeeping/Accounting area is not taken as seriously as it should.
- Since many non-profits don’t have the proper financial positions and qualified staff in those positions, many non-profit Accounting Systems are NOT in as good a shape as they should be. With highly knowledgeable staff, non-profits can stay out of trouble in terms of audits, but once that awesome Accountant or Bookkeeper retires, moves, or takes a different job, those same non-profits can find themselves in hot water.
- Non-profits are more vulnerable to fraud. There are several reasons why non-profits are especially vulnerable to fraud compared with the for-profit sector. These include a lack of resources, poor internal controls, inadequate training, high turnover rates, low employee investment, poor technological resources, and other factors.
- Fraud schemes in non-profits can include check fraud, embezzlement, fake employees, expense fraud, misappropriation of funds for personal use, fictitious vendor schemes, kickbacks from unscrupulous vendors, and outright theft of cash or assets—to name a few.
To get your North Carolina non-profit organization in great financial shape.
To see all non-profits are properly financially managed, stay in good shape, and stay out of trouble with the IRS and State of North Carolina.
Let your journey begin! We’ll start by reviewing your current books to see what’s working and what’s not. Based on our findings, you’ll receive a comprehensive report of how we can improve your processes to reach financial health.
5 Ways to Support PFF
Here are 5 ways that you, local (or even nationwide) businesses, and the community can support Pro Financial Fitness
- buy a Pro Financial Fitness t-shirt – $15 if I hand it to you in person or $21 if I have to ship it to you.
- be a financial sponsor and get your businesses QR code on the back of the new Pro Financial Fitness cards. $50.00
- be a financial sponsor of the monthly Non Profit Q&A webinars for any US-based nonprofit (2 webinars this month). $75.00 per hour sponsorship.
- make a financial donation to your favorite NC nonprofit and inform them that your donation is restricted to paying for services from Pro Financial Fitness
- be a speaker at the monthly Non Profit Q&A webinar (mentioned in #3 above) by providing some value (by your presentation) to nonprofits in NC and around the country.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.