- - And the Lord direct your heart in the love of God as you continue to faithfully serve Him - -

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                    TO:  Interested Onliners                                                                                                   FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                                                                       FILE:  0210-04/jrnl
                    RE: J I Ms  J R N L  for the month of October 2004                       
                                                    Originated: October 2004  

     This process allows me to share some rather personal comments/thoughts (and sometimes written Prayers)  about Ministry Finance issues and matters concerning Righteous Personal Finance for Christians during this month.  Please go to  0200  for further explanation and links to earlier JIM's JRNLs.  The four digit (or sometimes xxxx-xx six digits) links  xxxx  below come from www.bcidot.org sources.  If you would like to receive the upcoming monthly JIM's JRNL  during the first week of the subsequent month,  please join the following Yahoo Group:   ---- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JIMsJRNL/.    Caution --- the non  www.bcidot.org  web links that I reference below do NOT necessarily imply my endorsement.  Further, if any of the links below do not work, let us know which one at LINK@bcidot.org.  Incidentally,  our more recent www.bcidot.org  Web Docs, or writings, can be found at 9712. and 9716.  

From  "Mom at Home"  Pen Pinscher  (4)

        I trust you find a copy of the following Email from Pen Pincher of value. Before you read it, please go to   3500   and get a feel why this lady is very special to me.

To:   Jim@bcidot.org  

From: PinchinPenny@yahoo.com

Subject: Just to say thank you for opportunity to serve via the eEnvelope System


        All is well with Jack and I---and the kids.   I hope all is well with you and Bettie---thank you for sharing that you have your Grand Daughter Janelle living with you now as she prepares to go to College in California. 
I was hoping to get some hearing improvement via a recent procedure, but now both ears seem to be even worse.   Like a lot of life,  I have to trust the Lord in these issues also.
        But again, I want to thank you for all of the recent training in your  eEnvelope System.   I really look forward to helping Christian families with their personal finances as would be pleasing to the Lord. I am really impressed with this tool as a means of helping people do such things as: 1> comply with their tithing/pledge commitments, 2> live within their income and 3> reduce their debts, etc.  I especially feel for those who are really frustrated doing their own bookkeeping and value some help from someone like myself that they do not have to meet face to face, etc.   Please continue to pray that I will have the needed Online credibility that is essential when working remotely like this.

                                Your friend,  Pen

Ministries need to "MARSHAL, MANAGE & MAINTAIN"  Fiscal Fuel (2)

        Are we sometimes too "SPIRITUAL".... now do NOT misunderstand..... but does the spiritual perspective of a Ministry sometimes overshadow the practical?   In ACTS the Apostles found it necessary to remain focused so they delegated some of the practical (shall I say pragmatic?) aspects of the Master's endeavor to some trusted associates.  They were called Deacons and were appointed to determine and carry out the best way to help such fellow Christians as widows and others who needed practical things as food, lodging and clothes. Which reminds me that there are some things that need to get done that may not be inherently SPIRITUAL in nature, but absolutes if we are to be effective.  It also reminds me that some Christians are blessed with the ability to get the appropriate every day things done. I believe this is the primary intent of the term "Spiritual Gift of Administration."
        Frankly, some of this Administration 'stuff' has to do with handling money and what it can acquire!  Life-changing, or sustaining, Ministries, are fueled with fiscal (money, or what money can acquire) resources that require righteous stewardship (or application of the "Spiritual Gift of Administration") in both garnering and administering such resources.
        Personally, I like to view finances as one of the "FUELs" needed to be righteously used, or expended, to accomplish a Ministry's purpose. Very simply .... it takes money (a necessary FUEL) in order to get things done!  There are not only Cash/Money fiscal "FUELs",  but other non-Cash fiscal resources like facilities, equipment and materials. For some Ministries these non-Cash assets may be in the form of sums due the Ministry for services provided.  But suffice is to say, the Ministry needs to prudently use these God-provided resources, or FUEL,  as it judiciously ---

M)arshals  ---- First you must rightfully 'obtain' money, or garner the FUEL. 
---- Then you MUST prudently manage and efficiently use such resources as FUEL in carrying out the purpose of the Ministry.
M)aintains ---  Land, Buildings and Equipment is FUEL that is spent now and is applicable to a longer period of time ...   make the very best use of these resources.  Sometimes the FUEL is temporarily not used ...manage money deposits prudently.  Be righteous about 'hoarding' ... the FUEL needs to be properly consumed. 

    These efforts take responsible human beings who carefully use their "Gift of Administration" and proper tools/systems as the Ministry covers the two economic areas of resourceful  funding and purposeful spending. With the smaller Ministry in mind, most Evangelical Ministries need to determine and effectively use certain fiscal resources and tools in accomplishing the Ministry's purpose. Please click here to a link that includes such 'how to' helps as establishment and efficient use of a Computer System that handles your unique Bookkeeping/Accounting needs; Donation and Mailing list requirements; Accounts Receivable record keeping. Plus Financial Status/Flow reporting needs for making timely fiscal "FUEL" decisions. Task clarity, structure and instruction as shown in   0074  is needed.

Church and Ministry Computer Management Systems (3)

         Christian Computer Magazine can be found at   www.ccmag.com .  I have just read the October 2004 edition where it includes the latest grid (please  Click Here  for some perspective) as done annually by  Nick@mbsinc.com  with respect to Church Management Software (CMS) resource providers. Of the some forty listed within his grid, there are eight listed below who rely on  QuickBooks  to do their computerized accounting services. Please  Click Here  for an analysis of how Ministries use QuickBooks to do such things as Fund Accounting, Actual Budget and Clergy Payroll, etc.  Please use the following for further research on this topic.

        Resource Provider: Users:             Link Address:
Advanced Solutions International 2,600   http://www.imis.com
Church Community Builder 200   http://www.churchcommunitybuilder.com
Helpmate Techology Solutions 1,200   http://www.helpmate.net
Icon Systems - Revelations 1,200   http://www.iconsystemsnetwork.com
Members to Action 150   http://www.memberstoaction.com
Servant PC Resources 14,000   http://www.servantpc.com
TLC Communications 300   http://www.tlccommunications.com
White Mountain 330   http://www.churchwatch.com 

Mileage SetASide Accounting (7)

        What do you think about the general idea of charging the Operating Departments of a Ministry (or the GPFund) for miles they use a vehicle and place that amount into a  SPFund  for future purchase of replacement vehicles?   Or  Vehicle users would log miles and the Operating Department budgets would pay for this type of SetASide for probable future equipment needs. Obviously, any future equipment purchases would be charged to the SetASide  SPFund account and not against the General Fund, etc.

Self Examinations (5)

        The objective is for Ministries and Christian Families to use the resources below to do some "SELF"  examinations  (audit, if you please) that are designed to help you to be even better stewards of your finances.  

        Content About:               Link to Click On
Financial Internal Controls at a Church http://www.bcidot.org/chu/5039-77.html
Editorial re Self Exams http://www.bcidot.org/fwi/0901-03.html
Self Fiscal Exam - Generic http://www.bcidot.org/all/0075-01.html
Self Fiscal Exams by Ministry Type  http://www.bcidot.org/all/0128-77.html
As to Financial Reporting, etc. http://www.bcidot.org/all/0005-01.html
As to Internal Financial Controls http://www.bcidot.org/all/0039-77.html
Ten Commandments re Ministry Finances http://www.bcidot.org/all/0032-01.html
Fiscal Exam - help from Jim Bramer http://www.bcidot.org/hlp/0129-06.html
Another approach to Fiscal Exam by Jim B http://www.bcidot.org/hlp/0025-01.html
TRUISMS  re Ministry Finances http://www.bcidot.org/all/0069-01.html
        ******Christian Families******:  
Need Bookkeeping Help Exam http://www.bcidot.org/env/BookkeepingSelfExam.html
Righteous Personal Finance TRUISMS http://www.bcidot.org/rpf/BLVR-RPFin Self Exam.html

Business Office of Proverbs  (6):

           Way back In 1977 I came across a statement attributed to Evangelist Billy Sunday, named: "I entered into the Business Office of Proverbs".   I was a Business Man at that time and I was encouraged to examine the book of Proverbs and capture some of my thoughts along these lines.  I trust you find the result of value when you   Click Here  .  I have been impressed how such matters are equally applicable to a Ministry's business dealings.  

Potentially Helpful Links for JIMs JRNL Readers  (1):

01) Do your Board Members understand the

       Ministry's Financial Statements


02) Non Profit Resources


03) Church Payroll Services


04) Bank Sweep Services


05) Personal Finance Software


06) QuickBooks to QuickBooks resources


07) Why a Church Financial Audit


08) Info re Evangelical Counsel for Financial

         Accountability - ECFA - Quarterly Publ


Prayerful Thots:

     Heavenly Father,  it has been my valued experience to participate this month in a small group of our Church re the "40 Days of Purpose" thrust as set forth by Pastor Rick Warren.  You are my Purpose, Help me Lord  !!!!  In thy precious name, Amen.

 Possible "Ministry Finance Lingo", or "Frequently Used Vocational Terms" appear below:

            CBA =
Church Business Administrator, CBAer;  CMS = Church Management Software/System;  CPA = Certified Public Accountant;  GAAP = Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/Practices;  GPFund or GPF = General Purpose Fund; MFTeam or MFT= Ministry Finance Team QBOE = QuickBooks Online Edition;  QBooks or QB = Quickbooks; SPFunds or SPFs = Special Purpose Funds


Click Here and go to a list of earlier JIM's JRNLs - Contact  Jim@bcidot.org 

This document was updated last on:  April 20, 2011