Partner

Katy Brown, CPA, Enrolled Agent

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Partner

Meet Katy

Katy is a Tax partner and leads the firm’s West Coast Nonprofit Tax practice. She is a comprehensive service provider to nonprofit organizations, including consulting on formation and applying for exempt status, issues of board governance, maintaining or changing exempt status, and annual filing requirements.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Center for Volunteerism and Nonprofit Leadership. Katy earned a B.A. in foreign languages from George Mason University, an M.A. in French literature from the University of Arizona, and an M.S. in taxation from Golden Gate University.

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Experience

Professional History

Nonprofit

Armanino’s client base includes more than 600 nonprofit organizations. We have extensive experience in multiple nonprofit arenas including nonprofit GAAP, functional cost allocations, revenue recognition issues, alternative investments and the interpretation of regulatory provisions.

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Associations

  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Education

  • George Mason University

  • University of Arizona

  • Golden Gate University

Speaking Engagements

  • Webinar: Tax Reform Impact for Higher Education 1/17/18
  • 30th Annual Independent School Business Officers & Administrators Seminar, 1/25/18, Los Angeles: Tax Reform Is Here: What Your School Needs to Know
  • Webinar: Impact of the Tax Act on Private Schools 2/15/18
  • Tri-Valley Non-Profit Association Forum 2018, 4/12/18, Livermore, CA: Thriving in the New Philanthropy Era
  • Armanino Nonprofit Symposium 2018, 5/23/18 SF, 5/30/18 LA, 6/7/18 Dallas: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Certainties and Assumptions
  • 2018 Association of Zoos and Aquariums CFO Conference, 10/9/18, Oakland CA: The FASB Trifecta and Tax Reform
  • Webinar: Private Business Use of Tax-Exempt Financed Facilities, 3/1/19
  • Armanino Nonprofit Symposium 2019, 5/16/19 LA, 5/21/19 SF, 6/19/19 Dallas: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: One Year Later
  • Tri-Valley Non-Profit Association Forum, 11/14/19, Livermore, CA: Using Your Form 990 as a Marketing Too

Community

  • Armanino Foundation, board member

  • Clifford Brown Jazz Foundation, board member

Q&A
Q. What was it that drew you to Armanino?
I came to Armanino for the unique opportunity to work only with nonprofits and to advise clients who are a major part of the community. It is a much more entrepreneurial environment than I experienced in other firms, and it is exciting to have the latitude to decide how to tackle business problems and form the right teams to do so. I’ve been empowered to take the lead in developing my nonprofit tax team, and I enjoy having the professional freedom to make decisions that have impact on the firm and our community of clients.
Q. Make a prediction; describe your vision of the future of the general business environment for your area of expertise or the industries you serve.
As investments get more complicated and global, tax issues for nonprofits get more complex as well. Nonprofits can expose themselves to tax and many additional regulatory filings through the investments they make, and nonprofit boards are responsible for the prudent investment of charitable assets. Investment committees will need to balance their goals for investment returns with the potential exposure to risk and expense that nontraditional investments can generate. I think we can also expect more oversight and regulation of donor-advised funds in the coming years. DAFs are increasingly subject to questions about whether donors are “parking” valuable assets in charitable organizations, only to later receive additional personal benefits from the property. I expect that we will receive new rules about spending requirements and additional disclosures for DAFs sometime soon.
Q. Without naming names, tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoyed working with them.
I really enjoy working with clients who are collaborative and who want to understand the “why” behind their public reporting. It’s their opportunity to highlight their successes and how their mission is impacting the community, and I really like helping them understand what exactly they are telling the public about themselves. The IRS relies pretty heavily on the public to oversee charitable organizations, so the information our clients provide on their returns is important to their long-term ability to maintain their exempt status. The best clients understand this and take good advice.
Q. What’s your proudest moment?
I know it sounds strange, but my educational background was in the humanities, so it was a proud moment when I passed the CPA exam and received my CPA license.
Q. If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to aspiring accountants or consultants, what would that be?
You’ll have the most success, and more opportunity, if you’re open to learning new things, are flexible, and readily accept correction while you are learning. I learn something new every day – never stop learning. And most importantly, choose to find humor in situations that would otherwise be frustrating.
Q. What do you love most about your work?
All the people that I work with on the team, in the firm, and at our clients, and being able to help other people achieve goals together.
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Industries Served
Katy's Thought Leadership
Blog articles
Article
IRC section 4960 imposes a 21% excise tax on nonprofit organizations or their related organizations that provide compen...
Blog articles
Article
Effective February 1, 2020, charitable organizations whose annual revenue is under $50,000 must file a new form along w...
Blog articles
Article
Effective February 1, 2020, charitable organizations whose annual revenue is under $50,000 must file a new form along w...