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

         TO:  Interested Onliners                                                                     FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired Auditor-CPA
J I Ms  J R N L for the month of August  2008                           FILE:  0208-08/jrnl        
 (Click Here for "Blogger like" perspective/rationale)      

(01) - Missionary Money Management - MMM  - (3)

        Our grand daughter mentioned HERE was recently commissioned by her home Church (her Dad was one of the commissioning/praying Elders) to be one of the leaders of a "Mission Team" of a well known "Mission Organization" as they serve for over a year in No-name-istan (sorry, for security reasons I can not name the Ministry or the Overseas country).   It was neat for us to be at this very special occasion.  
        She is now overseas and it is my prayer that someone can be of assistance to K (I have to careful about using her full name),  and perhaps any of her teammates,  as they do their applicable "Missionary Money Management" -- hopefully, via the use the appropriate Internet resources. 
        Such essential money responsibilities by each "Team Member", or "Missionary Unit",  includes at least the following:

  •      Deputize and raise over $10,000 per "Team Member" from interested "Constituent-Pledger-Donors - CPDers".

  •      Do the necessary acknowledgement and record keeping so each Missionary knows which "CPDer' has make the promised donation plus ---

  •      Who has not -- so they can make the applicable/appropriate follow up

  •      Ideally, recruit and train an "Online Helper" who remotely helps each Team Member do much of this "Missionary Money Management"  record keeping, etc.

  •      The bulk of these "CPDers"  are individuals and not Churches.

  •       In general, be in regular communication (preferable via email)  with each "CPDer".  Communication purposes include: 
                a> acknowledge and provide appreciation for their donation;
                b> seek prayers for Ministry needs and
                c> share answers to such prayers etc;
                d>  or,  in general,  let  each "CPDer" know what is going on in their life.

  •      As any "Christian Family Unit" should do,  the Missionary needs to do the necessary personal money record keeping so they can comply with their Christ-Centered   "Spending Limits"

  •      Often Missionaries have "Spending Limit" areas of responsibility for both "Ministry Money" as well as their own "Personal Money."

  •      Make full use of the secure ability to access,  and/or transmit,  applicable financial information via the Internet.

  •      Make full use of computer software that fully utilizes the applicable Internet resources such as what is set forth HERE.

        A personal goal of mine is to assist in the effective use of the Internet and Online resources as this is done in ways that please the Lord.  Let me know at Jim@bcidot.org if you want more information about such a "Missionary Money Management"  system or if you have any thoughts along these lines.   Please be in prayer about all of this - especially for our grand daughter.  

(02) - Facility Fire at a Ministry   (8)

        During over 50 years of Ministry Finance involvement as a Church/Ministry leader, Employee or via any such a Client situation,  by God's grace,   I have not had to deal with the financial impact of any type of  "Facility Fire at a Ministry" calamity.  An Onliner recently asked me some questions about handling theirs.  Below are some of my thoughts.
        Let's suppose the status of a Ministry's "Land, Building and Equipment - LB&E"  was currently itemized and dollared out per the $670,641.00  total shown by the "(1) Cost" column per the data shown below.

(2) Percent




(1) Cost

by Fire

(3) Affected by Fire



$ 66,875.00


Ministry Building

$ 375,493.00


$ 281,620.00

(Less): Accumulated Depr

$ (25,144.00)


$ (18,858.00)

1st Annex Building

$ 151,322.00


$ 90,793.00

(Less): Accumulated Depr

$ (12,788.00)


$ (7,673.00)

2nd Annex Building

$ 75,358.00


(Less): Accumulated Depr

$ (8,466.00)


Furniture and Equipment (4)

$ 50,876.00


$ 10,175.00

(Less): Accumulated Depr

$ (6,855.00)


$ (1,371.00)


$ 12,625.00


(Less): Accumulated Depr

$ (8,655.00)



$ 670,641.00

       $ 354,686.00

        Then let's suppose that the estimated fire losses are that shown by the "(2) Percent Destroyed by the Fire" column above.  You would then remove (by Journal Entry) the individual cost and accumulated depreciation line items shown in (3) column above and reduce your equity in "LB&E"  by this total of $354,686.00.  Ideally you would be able to remove the individual "(4) Furniture and Equipment" items per a subsidiary record of the same.  Click Here for some information about an overall physical inventory of these kind of assets, etc.
These "LB&E" assets were, of course, covered by insurance, so you establish a SPFund  for this "Fire Settlement Fund"  activity.  You increase this SPFund by the insurance proceeds and you charge it with the expenditures involved in getting these "LB&E" assets back to what they were -- plus you likely will have some enhancements.    You might also have a fund raising project (Donation Income etc),  or you might be able to allocate a portion of your GPFund for such purposes.  All of these transactions would also flow into this "Fire Settlement Fund"  SPFund.   Except for the insurance proceeds, this would function very much like the "Building Fund" construction project (including any borrowings that you might need, etc.) activity that we display and discuss when you  Click Here.  Of course, the final result of all this is that your "LB&E  Equity" loss of $354,686.00 mentioned above is replaced, or maybe even increased, by the activity within this "Fire Settlement Fund" .

(03)  - View someone else's Desktop (4)

         The general idea is for people involved in an endeavor view a computer's desktop.  This means that you use a computer system (either a laptop or the usual desktop) that has the needed files on it and is a fast Internet connection.  The invited person gets an invitation via email.  After this person replies they are then authorized to do such things as the following: 

>>  View the content on the Sender's computer desktop screen
>>  Use your mouse as if you were there
>>  Dialog in writing -- both of you view the dialog content
>>  Or, better yet, arrange for a phone call so you dialog in this manner
>>  Be sure and make full use of the speaker phone options.
>>  Transfer files to or from either computer 

        If you do not have a fast Internet connection with your computer, then you discover who does and you make arrangements for this process like at these places: 

>>  Someone else's home
>>  An office in an available company or business
>>  This might be doable at a private room in a public library -- inquire first. 

                On the invitee's desktop you can then view anything that this person desires.  This could include such data as: 

>>  Learn how to use software like QuickBooks (QBs)
>>  Or view QBs reports, etc.
>>  Completed or in-process text/word/excel docs etc
>>  Internet or web site content         

        When you go to www.bcidot.org/hlp/0130-06.html you will find out more details about the tools that I call "Invitation to an Onliner's Desktop".  Also ask me about:   >> >  Free services on your computer for some 30 days".   >>  A  "Print Screen" resource whereby you print only what you see on your desktop screen.  Often the entire effort can take less than 30 days.   

(04)  -   Church Finance and Ethnic Ministries (03)

          Many areas of our country now have a number of non-Caucasian ethnic groups --- and it is encouraging to see that local Churches and Schools are participating in ministries to such groups. Since culture and languages are unique, we cannot over emphasize the absolute need for clarity regarding the organizational relationship -- especially re financial matters.  It is one thing for such groups to lease facilities, but quite another if these groups are all a part of one corporate entity. The following finance 'things' are thought-worthy under these circumstances:

     a>     Each group have a Board of Leadership for operating and budget control; including it's own Treasurer.
>     There is an annual agreement in writing as to how much this group pays for overhead expenses such as common staff members, office services and maintaining and servicing the facility.
     c>     There could be a "unified" accounting system under the supervision of your Internal Accountant whereby the various groups would function as departments of the whole. Ideally there is NOT a separate checking account for each ethnic group. This is because they are a department of the overall entity (albeit with their own Leadership Board, etc.) and because it promotes togetherness.  It is amazing how finances tie groups together, etc .... if they can work together re finances they can work together on almost anything.
     d>     Each group DOES make their own deposits and could write their own checks, but ideally they are part of a centralized Bank Account and accounting system which provides timely and complete information re activity within their own General Purpose Operating and their Special Purpose FundsPlease Click here for more Fund Accounting Info.
     e>     There could be one unified Donation record keeping system .... as necessary, this system could readily report on giving by the various groups.  But usually each group would have their own computer people database -- that includes giving records, etc.
     f>     The payroll system would be unified with each department (group) bearing its share of the gross pay, payroll taxes and costs of payroll processing.

     g>     If the group is to be completely on their own, then Click Here and conclude if some of such matters pertain this group.

(05)   QuickBooks (QBs) Users QBunch Yahoo Forum     (5)           

         When you go to   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qbunch  you will find a Yahoo Forum that is a -kiosk- for users of QuickBooks (QBs) software as used by Christ-Centered Ministries to especially administer designated/restricted funds as set forth when you to   0601.   After you become a member, be sure and view the resources found at: "Files", "Links", and the Member Specific "Database" information that some of you have voluntarily provided when you became a member.
        Please go to  0602  for more Q&A information about this. After you become a Forum member expect to be asked for Member Specific information as this greatly assist members get to best benefit from this Forum.  This enables forum members to learn and interact with fellow members as the following data is supplied:  >>  Your type of Ministry, >>  QBs Fund Accounting method (see the  0601  content),  >> Where you are in using QBs, >>  Which version of QBs you use, and >>  The way you do your Donations accounting.

(06)  Replicating Ministries: (6)

         The "Replicating Ministries"  term is perhaps new to you.  These are ministries whose primary purpose is to serve other ministries and most of their Income comes from the ministries they serve --- not the Christian public per se.  Examples include:

  • Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
  • Evangelical or Inter-denominational Foreign Mission Assn (EFMA or IFMA);
  • Association of Christian Schools, International  (ACSI);
  • Camps - especially denominational.
  • Church and Associational Headquarters

        We believe that appropriate income via Wills-Estates, Trusts, Endowments and/or Christian Foundations should primarily fund the operations of these "Replicating Ministries."  The income from such sources are replicated  (or "multiplied") to more than a single Christ-Centered Ministry and, of course, it reduces the amount needed from the individual Ministries that they serve, etc. 
other type of "Replicating Ministries" are those where investment capital is acquired and then re-invested in another ministry.  Examples include Credit Unions,  like ECCU and other groups,  who gather funds and turn around and invest it into ministry facilities, or capital assets.  Click here for
more details.

(07)   Click below for Potentially Helpful Online Links for JIMs JRNL Readers:    

(08)  Monthly Editorial - "For What It is Worth"  as rendered this past calendar year  --     Kids and Money

(09)   Current "Ministry Finance" Truism (2)

    Below is one of my Ministry Finance precepts/beliefs/principles, or  "rules of thumb". Please go to  0069  for complete TRUISMS list

     Ministries need to concentrate on what net liquid assets are available and who belongs to them.  The status of Land, Building & Equipment (Fixed Assets) does not contribute to making operational management decisions, but they need updating at least annually. See  0102  for more information about possible reporting of Fixed Assets - especially at year end only. 

          (10)  Prayerful Thots 

       Dear Lord -- my biological family is of concern to me at this time.  We are thankful for K and other members of our family who are living for the Lord, but , like many readers of this, certain of our kids and grand-kids (and families) are NOT living lives that are pleasing to you.   Our prayer to you, Oh Lord, is that this would change.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love, mercy and grace.  Amen!

     This "Blogger" like monthly endeavor (99) allows me to share some personal comments/thoughts as to Ministry Finance issues plus matters concerning Righteous Personal Finance for Christian people.  Please go to  0200  for further explanation and links to earlier JIM's JRNLs.  The four digit links  xxxx  and some  "Click Here" herein come from www.bcidot.org sources. 
    If you would like to receive the next 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 herein do NOT
necessarily imply my endorsement.  Further, if any of these links do not work, let us know which one at Jim@bcidot.org.  Lists of our  www.bcidot.org  articles (or Web Docs), can be found at  9707 and  9708

Below is probable "Ministry Finance Lingo", or "Frequently Used Vocational Terms" used herein.

            BLVR =  Someone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, 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 TeamQBOE = QuickBooks Online Edition;  QBooks or QBs = Quickbooks; RPFin 
= Righteous Personal Finance , SPFunds or SPFs = Special Purpose Funds


   Click Here  for an alphabetical list of topics within recent JIMs JRNLs  Editions    - Contact  Jim@bcidot.org 

This document was updated last on:  July 05, 2011