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Financial transparency?

I teach not-for-profit accounting and each semester my students and I work through the annual reports of selected organizations. This year, given the financial difficulties that have been reported, I decided to do the Dallas Symphony. A visit to GuideStar reveals that it has their “gold star” for transparency BUT . . .GuideStar reports the leadership as being under a Mr. Doug Adams, which might have been true a couple of years ago, but he has long since resigned. It lists a Jennifer Carlisle as Director of Development but she must have left because her e-mail address no longer works.

There is a 2010 990 link shown but this turns out to be their 2009 return — thus from two years ago. The 2009 link actually refers to their 2008 fiscal year but that is currently completely unavailable! There is a link to the DSO’s website which purports to have the 2011 Annual Report but this is not the audited report. For that you have to write a letter to the Development Office.

So much for gold star financial transparency!

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