Big Pix Finance Reporting at a Church  5012-02  ZZchu

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                              TO:  Interested Churches                                                                         FROM: Jim Bramer Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                                                       FILE: 5012-02/chu    

                               RE:  Big Pix Finance Reporting at a Church                                      Originated March 2000                    

    Below is a hypothetical Online Email thread (THRD) between any of the following MFTeam members: PAT (Ministry Chief Executive), LEE: (Ministry Volunteer Treasurer), or FRAN: (Ministry Computer Bookkeeper) and   Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at

                         FR LEE:

     Hi Jim ..... appreciate your help in the past.  Am now faced with presentation of condensed financial information to various Church Ministry groups, especially our  Board of Leadership meetings. 
      Please provide me with some thoughts along these lines.


        OK, Lee.  As I remember you are using our recommended QB Fund Accounting system via Method One where "Special Purpose Funds - SPFund" - appear as QB Equity accounts. Go to to the "QB Fund Acctg FAQ" publication within the WEB Publication List  below to remind you re the definition of SPFunds and other detail about this QB Fund Accounting method.  Please also read two publications found in the WEB Publication List  below: "Board Members and Ministry Finance Info" and "Church Membership-Finances". Reading these will give you a little of my perspective. 
        We believe that the Sunday church bulletin should continuously provide readers with the status of the Church GPFund ..... specifically what is needed each week in comparison to what has been received. See "Church Membership- Finances to" below. Then the periodic Business meeting reports should feed from this information.
        Fundamentally, I believe the Church
"Ministry Finance Team" needs to provide complete info, but keep it short and simple -- all on one page. A reporting perspective might mean that, on an average, you are communicating such info to the spouse who maintains the family budget and check book - so share with that in mind.  Let us know, Lee, if your Ministry Finance Team would like to use Chart and Graphs to provide such information.  Also, Go Here   for a detailed BIG PIX information. 

                              FR LEE:

        Appreciate the overview, etc ....... please provide some examples with the above in mind.


        OK ..... please note that the report below is from the basic numbers appearing within the referenced "QB MinFin Samples".  
        As pointed out below in the "Key Item Trend Statements" publication,  Ministry Board members need to have a "big pix" grasp of relevant Ministry Finances.  So the one-page example below is a suggested way to accomplish this.  You as Church Treasurer, in my opinion, can then make copies of this for the Church Business meeting and then highlight key data.  Sometimes colored highlights appearing on such a report can serve that purpose. Also note the columns and line Identifications (like in a Excel Doc) that helps you reference applicable areas of the report; like H 19 or the $5, 376 deficit, etc..
        I am VERY much aware that the ideal is to enter transactions once and then have ALL of the financial reports flow from the QB System (or similar system), but, unfortunately, this is not always possible. The report below was done via Excel ... let us know if you would like a copy of the Template .... but it easily could be originated in a Word document and saved also as a Template.  Then update the Word  Template by typing in applicable whole numbers from subsequent reports already being produced via QB, etc. 

(1)A B C D E F G H I J K
3         O P E R A T I O N S       R E C A P  
4       Sample Church - Begin July 1, xxx8 thru May 31, xxx9  
5                     GPFund Budget  
6            Total SPFunds GPFund   to Date Variance
7 Revenue              
8   Donations   $188,800 $111,000 $77,800      
9   Other     $1,500   $1,500      
10     Total   $190,300 $111,000 $79,300      
11 Expenditures            
12   Salaries/Benefits $57,500   $57,500   $57,667 ($167)
13   Operations   $157,952 $110,026 $47,926   $48,075 ($149)
14   (Defrayments)    (50,000)   ($50,000)   ($50,000)  
15   Debt Service Payments $15,000   $15,000   $15,042 ($42)
16   New Capital Assets $79,500 $74,500 $5,000   $5,000  
17   Other     $10,250 $1,000 $9,250   $9,275 ($25)
18     Total   $270,202 $185,526 $84,676   $85,059 ($383)
19 Excess Revenue (Expend) ($74,526) ($5,376)   Annual Budget $100,000
20 Begin Balance represented by:     Divided by 52  
21   Bank Balances     $97,500     (1) Wkly Need 1,923
22   Less: Unpaid Bills   $2,500     GPF Income to  
23     Balance     $95,000     date $79,300
24 Ending Balances as computed                                 $ 4     Divided by 48  
25                 (1) Wkly Average $1,652
26 "Spoken For" as listed below     Wkly Difference 271
27   #1-Donor Restriction   $3,500 Ending   Ending  
28   #2-Donor Restriction   $1,200 General   Bank Balance $16,879
29   Board SetASides   $13,550 (1) Fund   Less Unpaid  
30   Board Discretionary   $2,224     bills $1,781
31 Fund Totals   $20,474 ($5,376)   Fund Balances $15,098
32       (1) This info could appear in weekly Church Bulletin  

     NOTE:  The lines and rows above are similar to a spreadsheet so that you can reference, when discussing with someone, a certain area of the report; e.g., line 27, row G informs you that there is $3,500 on hand of Donor Restricted monies.  Also see more samples re Building/Construction funds when you Click Here               

FR LEE:     

       Wow, that is great information, Jim  ...... all on one page. Be interested in your view, after looking at the info,  just what you would 'highlight' as key information.

    FR JIM:

       I would point out at least the following..... 

  • General Fund deficit for the 11 months is $5,376; 

  • Or the Church has used all of the Board Discretionary Fund bal ($2,224) and erroneously borrowed the remainder from other SPFunds; or this is  Flagable  situation and it appears that this Church is a candidate for the alternative budget system that we describe when you Go Here  whereby your income is placed in applicable Ministry area BuxBoxes and you can only spend if there is money in such a BuxBox, etc.

  • The weekly Budget need is $1,923 as compared to what has come in of $1,652.

  • And the Church has spent since the first of the fiscal year ($84,076) less that it's year to date authorized budget ($85,089) by $383.

  FR LEE:     

                Right on ...... I could distribute such a report to those at the applicable business meetings.  Then mention highlighted key items like above and then be available to answer questions.
                Seems the Church Ministry Finance Team and members of the Board of Leadership should understand a report like this.  Again highlight items, distribute, and discuss more in depth with them.

                Thank you, Jim ..... will let you know if we have any questions..

                                    - - - - - Web Publication List - - - - 

Spending Control website - effective July 2006

Annual GAAP Church Financial Info 
Bank Balance, Beyond the 
Board Members & Ministry Finance Info 
Church Membership-Finances to 
Key Item Trend Statements - 
Ministry Accounting Issues 
QB Church Samples List 
QB Fund Accounting FAQ 
QB MinFin Samples List 
Reports, Ministry Finance 
Reports - Photo and Video 

    Please Click here for list of Church resources here on .  This was   UPTD: March 09, 2012