Electronic Church Financial Ideals  5016-02  ZZchu

                                                               - - - Rejoice in the Lord always ... again I say Rejoice !!! - - -

                           TO:  Interested Churches                                                                                           FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                          Psalms 37:23-24             FILE:  5016-02/chu

                            RE:  Electronic Church Financial Ideals                                                                Originated July 1998                      

          Below is a transcript of another hypothetical Online conversation, or THRD, between  Jim@bcidot.org   and members of a M)inistry F)inance Team - MFTeam; the MFTeam members consist of PAT (Ministry Executive), LEE (Volunteer Board Treasurer),  and FRAN (Ministry Computer Bookkeeper).  Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at www.bcidot.org


            Jim, I am the Pastor of a local Church whose Annual budget is less than $500.000 a year. We have found your Email discussions with Onliners re
Church Finance topics of interest; please give me a little more of your Church Finance background.

            FR: JIM

       Thank you, Pat. please click here for a more biographical information, but  it has been my privilege since the middle 1960s to primarily serve small to medium sized Ministries as a CPA-Auditor. I have served as a Board Treasurer at my home churches; it has been my privilege to do CPA work for numerous Evangelical Churches and for Associations of such Churches; served during most of the 1980s on the ECCU (Evangelical Christian Credit Union) Board as Treasurer and was there when they combined with a School Assn Credit Union and a denominational Church Credit Union. 
        After October 2009, please Click Here and read about this free WebBook on the general topic of a Journal toward being Internet Friendly re Ministry Finances. 


        Hmmmmm, most interesting!  Well, our Board Treasurer, LEE and I have been having some rather "platonic" discussions in recent days. With various financial electronic capabilities these days, we have been doing some dreaming about -- 'wouldn't that be nice if we could do such and such' here at the Church.
        Jim, based upon your perspective, please set forth what you think would be the "IDEAL" Church finance system for a Evangelical Church of our size.

            FR: JIM 

        Hey, that's sounds very worthwhile; as we do this please also reference:  0208   2014  5888  5089  0175 and 0035.  You might also find of value the proposed eExchequer Services mentioned within  0930  By the way, I will reference people at the Church below as CONSTITS ... I prefer this term because, as you know, sometimes people are constituents,' but not necessarily 'members.'  Such considerations would include: 

     1> Church fiscal year ends April 30, xxxx with an annual budget that is re-evaluated and projected forward the
           preceding October. 
     2> Church handles various SPECIAL PURPOSE FUNDS (SPFunds), or Donor/Group designated funds or
           Board SetASide monies. 
     3> Your Church is apparently located in Florida and the ideal Financial Institution is the  ECCU  Credit Union;
          even though it is headquartered located in Southern CAL, it readily services Churches throughout the world.
's special services include:

    -- ECCU provides an automatic SWEEP System (See Footnote 1): The Church has basically three Bank relationships with ECCU; Bank Checking Account, Daily Interest Bearing Savings (DIBS) Account; and a ECCU Line of Credit (LOC). After a daily deposit, all checks are paid and an agreed deposit balance (like $5,000) remains within the Checking Account ... the remaining ECCU Bank balance is in the DIBS account drawing daily interest income, with the Church calling on it's LOC as perhaps a SWEEP safety net. Ask for our Float Management paper about a manual SWEEP alternative method.

     -- ECCU provides EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) as a means for the CONSTITS to permit the Church to write an electronic check (EFT), at the agreed time of month, etc., on CONSTITS bank account. This would generally apply to repetitive donations.

     -- ECCU has facilities for the Church to obtain money when a CONSTITS uses their Credit Card to make a payment the Church.

     4> The Church uses inexpensive (usually less than $200.00) software provided by Intuit's QuickBooks (TM) (QB) .... as
           available for DOS, Windows and the Mac platforms. This is not necessarily the latest edition. of QB
     5> The Church uses inexpensive CMS - Church Management Software/System (less that $200.00) software for handling
            both their CONSTITS mailings, and related records, and their financial donation record keeping. I reference a
            system like this as Don)ation and Mail)ing - DonaMail - systems.
     6> The Church has a SCRIP program, whereby CONSTITS obtain various retail store coupons, or the equivalent of gift
 (SCRIP) at a discount. Example, a $100.00 purchase is made with $5.00 going to an endeavor of your
            Church. SCRIP accounting is VERY 'record' intensive; let us know if you need more info about QB and SCRIP.
      7> Generally speaking, being able to access financial information via more than one Computer (via some type of
            Computer network) at the Church adds to your overall efficiency.


        This all sounds VERY VERY interesting. First, tell us more about ECCU.

            FR: JIM:

       The  ECCU Credit Union is now a good sized financial institution in the business of meeting the realistic needs of its members anywhere in the USA --- and the world ..... either individuals or Ministries. I encourage you to use ECCU's present resources and ask for more, as needed. The more members who express such needs, the more responsive they can usually be


        OK, Jim, please share with us some "Ideals" from your perspective.

           FR: JIM:

     Let me structure my response as follows:


                                                                                        - - - - - Counters - - - - -

        Staff and/or Volunteer Counters make use of local Computer Table or laptops to access the Church's DonaMail Computer system. They would process/proof weekly Donations as an integral part of such record keeping and to need to timely get money to the Bank. The DonaMail system has an automatic "Link" so that the proper weekly deposit and accounting flows to the Fund Accounting system.  Especially QuickBooks (TM)   (QBs) software.

- - - - - - Activities/Events - - - - - - -

        This includes "Virtual Self Funding" 'doings' like: AWANA, Vacation Bible School, Sports Programs, various/sundry Church Events/Trips (Class, Youth, Missions, Music, Camps, etc.). Either Staffers or Volunteers use laptops (local or Mobile), plus the QB software, to do "Activity/Event" registering and Account Receivables record keeping and follow-up. Sometimes mid-week Bank deposits are made from QB provided information. CONSTITS can make payments via the Church's ECCU Credit Card processing resources; some might prefer to make repetitive EFT payments for such items as SCRIP.


- - - -- Payroll - - - - -

        Use the QB system to produce Staffer's (Clergy and regular employees) pay checks and do the required payroll tax return filings. Arrange for net pay to go directly to Staffer's bank Account; also arrange for withheld payroll taxes to be paid electronically.  Go to  0037  for more Clergy and stipend matters.

- - - - Other Expenses - - - - 

        Staffers and/or Volunteer use ECCU Credit Cards for controlled Church buying. Access 0013  for more on this topic. Type out other checks via QB, or make repetitive electronic payments using QB Bill Payment resources. 


Ask us for samples of the following:

---- Weekly, Daily, or upon request via QB:

     > PHOTO .... a "Balance Sheet" type report, at a point in time, of how much is in the Banks (plus amount of Acct Rec Due
        you), amount of Operating liabilities you owe and then who belongs to the residual balance. As shown by groups of
        Special Purpose Funds (SPFunds) and by the General Purpose Fund (GPFund).

VIDEO (A to B) .... an "Income Statement" like report, for a period of time since the first of fiscal year, of the GPFund
         comparison of the A)ctual amount of expenses incurred to the related amount of authorized B)udget.

      > Applicable weekly Church Bulletin fiscal information. Ask about Chart/Graphs.

----- Monthly:

> Some of the above reports normally flow on a monthly basis.

> KITS .... a report of K)ey I)tem T)rend S)tatement information; or comparative fiscal data of at least the past twelve months
   for Church decision makers. Plus more complete fiscal reports of Operations (GPFund and SPFund) and the status of Land, Buildings & Equipment ... with related Liabilities. Go to 5012  for a "Big Pix" sample.

----- Quarterly via QB system:

> Applicable Payroll tax return filings

----- After Six Months (or at any time):

> Readily make updates of Authorized Budgets within QB; due to change in Ministry plans and objectives.

----- Calendar Year End:

> Produce Forms W-2 and 1099 filings from QB records; Issue Annual Giving reports via the DonaMail System.

----- Fiscal Year Reports:

> Mostly from QB provided information.



       Boy, Jim, LEE and I sure like much of what you have just shared. What can we do to bring this to some form of reality??

            FR: JIM:

            I would be willing do some Online 'pioneering' with you as to certain QB aspects of the above 'ideal'. Please go to  0079  for information about our QB101 assignment.  

Footnote 1: This ECCU service is NOT believed to be currently available.

    Please Click here for list of Church resources here on www.bcidot.org.  The bulk of this Publication originated in July 1998 and was UPTD: July 07, 2011