If Jim Bee was the Church's Vol Board Treasurer 5089-02 ZZchu

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

Various Links on this Web Site:     


                           TO:  Interested Churches                                                                      FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                                                 FILE: 5089-02/chu

If Jim Bee  was the Church's Volunteer Board Treasurer   Originated:  October 2000                                          

    Below is a transcript of another hypothetical Online conversation, or THRD WRITING, between Jim@bcidot.org  and a M)inistry F)inance Team - MFTeam: the MFTeam members are PAT .. the Ministry Executive, LEE .. the Volunteer Board Treasurer, and FRAN .. the Ministry Computer Bookkeeper. 


         Fr:  LEE

      Jim, I am the Voluntary Board Treasurer of a Bible believing church with two pastors and three other paid staffers.  We have a general fund annual budget of over $500,000 and we handle probably $75,000 more per year within some 15 different special church funds. One of these funds is money for a new building project within the next six to nine months.  
       Basically I would be interested in what you would do if you were in my place, or what would you do if you were the Voluntary Board Treasurer of a church like this.
       But, please first share with me your church finance background.

         FR:   Jim@bcidot.org

      Thank you for mentioning that you handle some $575,000 annually.  For smaller Churches that handle less than some $200,000 annually, I suggest that you "farm out", or outsource,  your bookkeeping via something like INTERNET CHURCH  FINANCIAL SERVICES as detailed within  5109.  See also the content of   0175.  and  0930  for more info about Ministry Finance Applications. 
After July 2006 please especially consider the
"Spending Control"  resources found when you  Click Here.  


  •   This service provides a straight-forward computerized Church Fund Accounting and Reporting system.

  •   The key accounting software product is Quickbooks (QB). -- go to eBay for very usable earlier editions, etc.

  •   As serviced by qualified personnel via the Internet.  Click here for a possible source.

  •   The results include: 1>  Report of who belongs to the money on deposit - 0601 for sample 2>  "Actual to Budget" General Fund expense reporting - see 0691 for a sample,  and 3>  electronically handling clergy and all payroll.

  •   It could include the use of Excel spreadsheet software

  •   The service might include some ASSUROR aspects - see 0063 for more info.

W H O needs  this  service  ?

  •   Smaller Evangelical Churches

  •   Whose staff/volunteers have limited Church Fund Accounting experience and are comfortable using Computers and the Internet

  •   The Church has less than some $200,000 annual income

  •   The Church is located anywhere in the USA or Canada 

H O W  does  it  work ?:

  •   A Church Finance savvy HOMER is retained; or a Mom or a Keenager who works via the Internet from their home.  See 0905  for more details.

  •   The service would include use of inexpensive older versions of the desktop QB software as obtained via eBay or other sources. Or the QuickBooks Online Edition (QBOE) as explained at www.quickbooks.com

  •   The desktop QB file content  is assured and moved weekly by email to/from a CHURCH volunteer's home computer (usually) and the HOMER  (and possible a Ministry savvy CPA-Auditor).  See 0801 for some info about the QBOE.

  •   The service has a weekly finance emphasis;

  •   Please link to  INTERNET  FINANCIAL SERVICES  for more specifics

      Sharing "what Jim B would do if I were the Volunteer Church Treasurer"  sounds like a ' fun'  thing to do with regard to churches who handle more that $200,000 like yours.  However, please remember that some of what follows is rather platonic, or ideal,  and not always practical for everyone. Some of my Church finance background that follows is in the above  Jim Bramer  link:

  •   Was responsible for the financial record keeping for two separate small to medium sized Baptist churches; one in Spokane, Washington and the other in Whittier, California.

  •   During the past three/four decades have served maybe some fifty different Evangelical Churches as their CPA-Auditor.

  •   During this time served at least three different associations of such churches as their CPA-Auditor. 

  •   Was serving as the Board Treasurer of a Church Credit Union when it merged with the Evangelical Christian Credit Union ECCU

  •   As a retired CPA,  I presently serve my home Conservative Baptist church here in Fresno, California; our Senior Pastor's Email address is: George@Riverpark.org.

  •   Plus I assist a number of churches Online via the www.bcidot.org  web site.  Please click here and discover some specific ways that this is done.

Fr:  LEE

    Good ..... thanx, Jim, very helpful.  You no doubt have worked with some great ways of how I should be using 21st Century computer and electronic tools in carrying out my responsibilities.

         FR:    Jim@bcidot.org  

    Yes, I have some 21st Century computer and electronic thoughts. But let me share also my views per the "link-able topic list" below.  Please click here to view a list of Church resources.

         From the following "link-able topic list", please click on those of interest to you.

  1. Reporting and Understanding Church Finances - also GAAP at Churches 
  2. Current Finance Activity Accounting Emphasis 
  3. Make full use of Internet and Computer System Tools
  4. Church Finance Policies
  5. Meeting re Church Finance
  6. Budget and/or Spending Management
  7. Maximize Internal Financial Controls
  8. Manage Bank Balances and Investments
  9. Righteous Personal Finance
  10. Management of Amounts due to the Church/School
  11. 21st Century Church Revenue Issues
  12. Pay Bills Electronically
  13. Payroll - Retain Someone Else to do it
  14. Auditor Matters
  15. Church Weekly Counting Information

- # 1 - 


    Effective communication re finances at a Church must take place.  Those that need to know MUST understand the financial information so timely decisions can be made. I would require full or complete, not cash only, ministry financial information so that we know immediately who belongs to the monies on deposit and where we are financially. 
    With regard to General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), plse see 0004 and 0919 for our views on their "end of year" and "during the year"  application, etc.

0300-01 eFINFAX Mission Statement 0300-01 uptd 11-08-09
2004-07 Acctg Issues Unique to a Church 2004-07 ZZeod
2009-07 Pastor in Control of Church Finances - ZZeod
2020-07 Donation Systems at Ministries -ZZeod
2026-07 Finance Job Desc or Duties at a Church - 2026-07 ZZeod
2034- 07 QB and Church - Set up dialog etc - 2034-07 ZZeod
2035-07 Church Chart of Account Info - 2035-07 ZZeod
2036-07 Online Giving & Worship at a Church - 2036-07 ZZeod
2039-07 Purchase Order (P.O.) Alternative - 2039-07 ZZeod
2040-07 CPA Audit Issues at a Church 2040-07- ZZeod
2042-07 Contemporanteous Donation Receipts ZZeod
Accounting Options at a Church 5010-02 ZZchu
Accounting System Essentials   0031-77  ZZall
Acctg and Church Budgets 5009-02 ZZchu
Acctg at a Church via QBOE Web System 0802-01 ZZweb
Annual Budget - Sacred? 0910-03 ZZfwi
Annual Church Operating Financials 5999-99 ZZchu
Annual GAAP Financial Issues at a Church 5700-07 ZZchu
Auxiliary Groups Finance Issues related to -- 5090-02 ZZchu
Benevolent Fund Thoughts/Protocol  5021-02  ZZchu
Big Pix Finance Reporting at a Church  5012-02  ZZchu
Big Pix Reporting - More Info         5022-02  ZZchu
Budget at a Church-Comments 5008-77 ZZchu
Budgets, Approved Annual Budget Process, etc 5013-02 ZZchu
Buying Protocol at a Church - Q & A 5014-06 ZZchu
Combined Mission Org & School Issues 8910-02 ZZmis
Construction or Facility Bldg Issues ZZchu
Counting Issues at a Church 5001-77 ZZchu
Debt and Ministry          0126-02                ZZall
Edited Onliner Dialogs re Churches   5000-00   ZZchu
eFINFAX Mission Statement 0300-01 uptd 04-17-09
Electronic Church Financial Ideals  5016-02  ZZchu
Ethnic Ministries and Church Finances 5003-01 ZZchu
Financial Policy Manual at a Church, Sample of -- 5005-08 ZZchu
FinFax Mission Statement 0300-01 uptd 12-14-09
FISCAL FUEL Stewardship   0093-01   ZZhlp
GAAP at Ministries                         0004-01          ZZall
GAAP RECAP Work Trial Bal    5699-07  ZZchu
Grade Report re Church Fiscal Matters, Sample of  5128-77   ZZChu
Homer Tasks/Issues at a Church 5777-07 ZZchu
If Jim Bee was the Church's Vol Board Treasurer 5089-02 ZZchu
Internal Audit Group - 0113-01 ZZall
Internal Control Self Exam Questions at a Church    5039-77  ZZchu
Internal Financial Control Ideals at a Church 5039-01 ZZchu
Internal Financial Control Ideals      0039-01      ZZall
Internal Financials Controls - Self Testing 0039-77 ZZall
Members - Finance info to Church 5004-01 ZZchu
Missions Finance Issues at a Church 5015-02 ZZchu
New Churches - New or" Lil Sister" Church --- 5050-02 ZZchu
New Treasurer at a Church dialog 5091-02 ZZchu
One Page Sample Annual Church Operating Financials  ZZqbsam
Online (Web based ) Ministry Finance Applications 0175-99 ZZall
Policies - Financial - at a Church - Q & A 5005-01 ZZchu
QB Church Fund Accounting Samples    ZZchu
QB Church Management Systems-CMS --- 0645-02 ZZqbb
QB Church Samples Link      5900-01                 ZZchu
QB Companies - multiple at a Church    0611-19  ZZqbb
QB Features at a Church    0609-01  ZZqbb
QB Giver DBase Accounting 0621-02 ZZqbb
QBOE via the Web System for Churches  5802-01  ZZchu
Raw Land - Investment or Fixed Asset 0103-02 ZZall
Restricted Donation Issues at a Church -- 5040-02 ZZchu
Scrip Issues - mostly at a Church  5018-06  ZZchu
Self Funding Church Activities     5023-02  ZZchu
Small Church - Business Adm Helps    0924-03 ZZfwi
Virtual Debt Servicing Matters   5019-02   ZZchu
Web Accounting System Sample at a Church 5888-01 ZZchu
Weekly Church Acctg System Issues 0912-03 ZZfwi

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- # 2 -


    We would segment our financial records so we can concentrate on current financial events.  See information below re such options of having a separate set of books for your Land, Building and Equipments (LB&E) non cash assets and liabilities, etc --- plus, probably, your Building/Facility construction effort..

Church /Fixed Assets Acctg Issues - 2007-07 ZZeod
Construction and LB&E Equipt matters - 0124-02 ZZall

Current-Dormant Sets of Books - 0127-02 ZZall
Depreciation at a Ministries - 0125-02  ZZall 
Fixed Asset (LB&E) Accountability - 0033-01  ZZall
Fixed Asset & Debt Retirement Acctg - 2011-07 ZZeod
Fixed Asset and LB&E Issues - 0018-09  ZZall 

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- # 3 -


    We would make full use of software products such as QuickBooks (TM) (QB)  for Church fund accounting.   Please link here and view a list via the specific search group 05> QB resources. Also we would make full use of applicable Internet "Application Service Providers - ASP" resources.

(1) Church Giving DataBase - 2016-07 ZZeod
Church Internet Acctg System - 5888-01 ZZchu
Finances Electronically - 0035-01 ZZall 
Finances Electronically; Church - 5016-02 ZZchu
Fund Acctg via QB Method One - 0622-02 ZZqbb
HOMERS & Church - 5777-07 ZZchu
HOMERS & MFTeams - 0905-03 ZZfwi
Internet Application Service Provides - 904-03 ZZfwi
Non BCIDOT QB Web Sites - 0640-77 ZZqbb

Online (Web) Ministry Finance Applications  0175-99/all

Online Bill Payment, etc.  0926-03 ZZfwi
QB Church Samples - 5900-01  ZZchu
QB and Fund Accounting FAQ - 0601-06 ZZqbb
QB in a Church setting - 2021-07 ZZeod
QB Sample Reports - 0799-07 ZZqbb 

QB Self Exam - 0603-09 ZZqbb
QB Tips - 0699-07  ZZqbb

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- # 4 -


    We would fully document and index our authorized Finance policies; and we would regularly review them to insure relevancy.

Church Financial Polices Q & A - 5005-01 ZZchu
Finance Policy resources - 0081-01 ZZall
Fund Raising Philosophy  - 0036-01 ZZall
Manual: Finance and Admin  - 0054-01  ZZall
Record Retention Guide - 0082-01 ZZall
Short Term Mission Trips - 0007-01 ZZall

Ten Commandments re Ministry Finance - 0032-01 ZZall

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- # 5 -


    We would do our best to have quality Finance Committee (Ministry Finance Team) meetings. To include a regular and "written down" monthly expression of the group's view of what is most important.

Chairperson, Suggestions to - 0085-01 ZZall
Finance Committee (FinCom) Helps - 0028-01 ZZall
Finance Committee  Perspective - 0029-01 ZZall
Finance Meetings - 0027-01 ZZall
MIFI (Most Important Financial Issues) - 0122-02  ZZall 

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-  # 6 -


    The church needs to make full and effective use of a Budget effort (see content of 0053-01 re PlanJecting below) and "A to B, Actual to Budget" information at least weekly, or as needed.It is not practical to control our buying via Purchase Orders, so we control our buyer purchases by the prudent use of Plastic ( see the content of 0014-02 below.) 

Annual Budget comments - 0910-03
Budget Policies - 5005-08

Budgeting at a Ministry - 0010-01 l
Budgets or PlanJecting - 0053-01
Buying Cycle - 0013-01 l
Church Budget Comments - 5008-77  
Church Budgets - 5013-02  }
Church Budgets and Accounting - 5009-02
Church Buying Protocol - 5014-06
Debt and Ministry - 0126-02 l
Glossary of mostly Budget Terms - 0062-07 
Goals and Budgeting - 0011-01  l
Plastic Buying and Vendors - 0114-02 

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- # 7 -


    We will structure the finance assignments for maximum internal control; this would include retaining a non-auditor (ASSUROR) that independently corroborates the veracity of primarily our own cash transactions.

ASSUROR Services - 0676-09 ZZqbb
Check Signing  -  0066-02 ZZall 
Ideal Internal Controls - 0039-01 ZZall
QB and Internal Financial Controls - 0647-02 ZZqbb

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-  # 8 -


    We will invest our pooled monies prudently.  This includes the need to earn the maximum amount of Interest Income by leaving as little in the Checking Bank Account as possible; with the balance in special Savings Account that daily earns interest for us. When available, we will make full use of a Bank's provided Sweep process.

Imprest; Petty and Bank Accts - 0112-01 ZZall
Investment and Cash Management - 0043-01 ZZall

Investments & "Double Duty" - 0044-01  ZZall 
Replicating Ministries - 0083- 01  ZZall
Sweep/Float Management System - 0006-01 ZZall

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-  # 9 -


    We especially will provide Righteous Personal Finance - RPFin - assistance and needed resources to our people at the Church.  Our people need to biblically manage their personal funds and we need to be a resource to them.

Church Perspective - 4011-02 ZZrpf
Resources - 4999-99  ZZrpf
RPFin; define - 4007-01 ZZrpf 
RPFin Precepts/Principles - 4015-01 ZZrpf
Self Exam - 4001-01 ZZrpf

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-# 10 -


    Our Church does not have a School Ministry, but if it did, we would insist on collecting all amounts due us; or tolerate no bad debts. We would fully  utilize the Schar (School Acct Receivable) tools/resources found on our virtual  Library 

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# 11


    See the many Church revenue issues below. Our Counters would be trained to complete their deposit process as a by product of making batch entries into our connected laptop.  We would continue to use Plastic (Credit Card) receipts for Donations and/or Church payments as these are 21st Century financial tools and vehicles. 

(1)Church Counting Issues - 5001-77 ZZchu
Church Donations systems - 2020-07 ZZeod
Credit Card Receipts - 0050-01 ZZall
DonaMail & Integrated Software - 0021-02 ZZall
Donations - Calendar Year End Issues - 0023-01 ZZall
Electronic Funds Transfer - repetitive gifts - 0035-01

Fund Gathering/Raising Perspective - 0123-02 ZZall
Fund Raising Philosophy - 0036-01 ZZall
Gifts in Kind Accounting - 0055-02 ZZall
Personalized Giving Issues - 0020-01 ZZall
Phiscal Philosophy - 0052-01 ZZall
Pledge Accounting - 0061-01  ZZall
Pledge Accounting via QB - 0631-02  ZZqbb
SCRIP Store Issues - 0064-01 ZZall
SCRIP Fund Raising - 0101-02 ZZall

  (Footnote 1)  If for some reason you can not link to any of these publications, please go to our LIBRARY and search using the named xxxx-xx (see the 0101-02 above.)
   In addition the content found at  0907  ,  I trust that the information below might also be of value as you pursue such matters (16):

          (3) Online 
      (1) Cash or (2) Online  via PDF 
      Check via Plastic Check
Church Dollar Receipt - Purpose:      
  Donations types:      
    Repetitive - like a Bldg Fund Pledge xxx xxx xxx
    Repetitive - Same amt each wk or month xxx xxx xxx
    Overseas or Mission Trip Fund Raising      
          via People in Church (4) DonaMail xxx xxx xxx
          Those not in DonaMail xxx xxx xxx
    Approved (5) "Special Purpose Fund" xxx xxx xxx
    Order Online - pay when picked up xxx    
    Order and pay Online   xxx xxx
    Order & Pay  at Church xxx    
  Events - Samples      
    Camps - Church collects and       
        Camp receives one check      
            for all Campers, etc. xxx xxx xxx
    AWANA xxx xxx xxx
    VBS xxx xxx xxx
    Men or Women's Activities xxx xxx xxx
    (1)  The usual process      
    Make full use of Church Website resources      
    (2)  Credit or Debit Card      
    (3)  Church receives Online a PDF doc      
         and handles like a check      
    (4)  People Emphasis DataBase      
    (5)  Limited use - must be approved in      
          advance , etc.      


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# 12


    As to selected regular/repetitive bills, an agent sees that your vendor gets their money and integrates it within your accounting system as if you had produced a check, and then signed and mailed it to the vendor.  We will utilize QuickBooks (TM) (QB)  resources for this purpose.  See information shared at  0926

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# 13 -


    We would outsource this to QuickBooks (TM) (QB)-Intuit as they care for the entire payroll process .... that would include:

        1>  From info the Church provides, they compute the pay check;
        2>  It is integrated within our accounting system as if we had produced the payroll transactions;
        3>  The pay checks are deposited electronically to our employee's personal bank account;
        4>  They care for the needed Depositary Receipt processing;
        5>  Plus, they report and file required quarterly and annual payroll tax returns and employee reporting forms. 

     All of our clergy get appropriate W-2s after consideration for Clergy Housing Allowances and applicable tax free fringe benefits.

Clergy Finance and Tax Issues - 0016-01  ZZall
Clergy Stipends and Allowances - 0037-02 ZZall
Employee vs Sub-Contractor Issues - 0024-01 ZZall  
Forms 1099 - who must file - 0048-01 ZZall

QB and Clergy Payroll - 0607-07 ZZqbb

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    The Church has a specific AUDITOR strategy (in compliance with By-Law requirements) that includes ongoing use of trained Internal Auditors and periodic use of External Auditors (CPA Firms).  Now the CPA firm provides an Opinion Audit every three years and a Review for the other years.  At the time of the Opinion Audit they supplement their Management Letter with a Grade report ... see sample below:

Audits; Types of - 0003-01 ZZall
Audits & Volunteer Helps - 0057-77 ZZall
Exam Grades; Sample - 0128-77 ZZallRemote CPA-Auditor firm and the use of Internet Hyperlinks - 5432-10  ZZall

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Church Counting Matters

        Below are some links to information about ways and means of doing the weekly Church Counting.

                                Suggested Policies - 5005-08 ZZchu
                                Specific Issues at a church  - 5001-77 ZZchu
                                Internal Control Issues - 0039-01 ZZall

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Fr:  LEE

      All right ----  exactly what I had in mind.  Our Ministry Finance Team will digest this information and then relate it to what we are doing.



A to B = Actual to Budget reporting
ASSUROR =  An Online  means of getting validity of your QB maintained financial records.
ASP = Web based application, or Internet Application Service Provider
Big Pix = Big Picture report - snap shot or overview
CPA  = Certified Public Accountant ..... Auditor
DIBS - Daily Interest Bearing Savings account
DONAMAIL = Dona)tion and Mail)ing systems
ECCU = Evangelical Christian Credit Union
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
FinCom  = Finance Committees
Fixed Assets = Land, Building, Equipment, Furniture, Vehicles
GAAP = Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
GPFund =  General Purpose Fund; or single GPF 
HOMERS = Those like "stay at home" Moms or retired people who prefer to work from their home, etc.
Jim Bee and Jim Bramer are one and the same
KITS = Key Item Trend Statements; also see Big Pix above
LB&E  = Land, Building and Equipment - Fixed Assets
MFTeam = MFT, or Ministry Finance Team
MIFI  = Most Important Financial Issues
NPO = Non Profit Organizations
PHOTO = Ministry Balance Sheet or 'Point in Time' financial report
PlanJecting  = Planning and projecting in around budgets.
Plastic = Credit Card
Q & A = Questions and Answers
QB =Quickbooks, usually the latest version
QVE  =  Quite Virtual Envelopes as used in personal finance acctg.
Schar  =  School Accounts Receivable.
Scrip = Type of fund raising
SetASide = GPFund assessments for future purposes
SPFunds = Special Purpose Funds; plural SPFs
TRUISMS = Ministry financial principles as set forth by Jim Bramer
VIDEO = Ministry Income Statements that cover a "Period of Time" of financial reporting.

    Please Click here for list of Church resources here on www.bcidot.org.   The bulk of this Publication originated in October 2000 and was UPTD: August 15, 2011 Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at www.bcidot.org