Well at least it won’t hang over our heads much longer. This Thursday, November 15th has been a looming, long-dreaded date for many nonprofit leaders. Thursday marks the Form 990 deadline for many charitable organizations. So if your accounting period spans from January 1 to December 31—and if your nonprofit isn’t a church, political organization or some other exempt organization—this is a big week for you.

The IRS Form 990 reflects your nonprofit’s internal operations. Although the Form 990 filing process is stressful and often intimidating for nonprofit leaders, it’s important.

As it happens, much of the Form 990’s significance has nothing to do with what nonprofits find so intimidating about it. The Form 990 does indeed lay bare your procedures and policies. It even puts them under scrutiny. For example, the Form 990 confirms general tax compliance and proper procedural standards within your organization. And nonprofit law experts confirm that the absence of an important governance policy may encourage an IRS audit. (It could also complicate an audit in process.)

But as a public document the Form 990 functions as an important part of your nonprofit’s marketing process. Although in a dry and uninteresting format (so very unlike nonprofit storytelling), this document shares your mission, programs and especially your finances. Consider adding it to your nonprofit website to show that your organization is proud of what you do—and how you do it.

After submitting your nonprofit’s Form 990 on Thursday (you deserve extra credit if it’s already off your desk), consider which parts of the form puzzled you. Did you have to check twice to make sure a legal policy was already in place? Did reviewing your nonprofit mission statement make you crinkle your nose?

Let the admittedly unpleasant filing process for Form 990 inspire you to rework the clunky bits of your nonprofit’s otherwise smooth operations.

What’s been the hardest part about your nonprofit’s Form 990 filing process?