The short, simple answer is no. It's perfectly OK for a nonprofit to carry a balance from one year to the next. No two ways about it. In fact, it can be considered solid financial management because you're not putting yourself back at square one each August.

Now, there is some debate about whether a PTO or PTA should carry over funds and -- if so -- how much to carry over. We've talked about carrying over funds in the Q&A section. And both sides of that debate have been argued in the message boards by parent group leaders.

My personal opinion: Groups should carry over enough funds so that their entire first month doesn't have to be all about fundraising. I think that's one of the biggest causes of parent groups being considered just fundraising machines.

Whatever your group decides to do, just know that there is nothing illegal or technically wrong with carrying over funds. Many, many smart groups do this every year for very good reasons.