"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
                                                                                                                                                                        
   
   RE: 
J I Ms  J R N L for the month of
May 2009                                                   FILE:  0205-09/jrnl                   


         From time to time I restrict the contents of a single monthly  "J I Ms  J R N L"  edition to one topic.  That is the case during this month of May 2009 as my thrust is that all Onliners should make full use of such God-provided contemporary electronic Online Tools that are outlined below as we use them to be the appropriate steward of money and related fiscal resources.  In addition to the Editorial content on this topic found at  Click Here,  this month's only topic is: 

                                      "Ministry Finance Internet Friendly" resources (Online Tools) for "Christ Centered Entities" (13)

         Our web site www.bcidot.org was established over ten years ago.  Of course, during this period there has been some significant updates of how we use technology in managing money ....  especially re the use of such Online Tools as Computers and the Internet.   Please especially note after October 2009 the free WebBOOK information when you Click Here and reference the WebBOOK that is entitled "Journey to be Christian Ministry Finance "Internet Friendly"."   Our prayer is that this resource will be effective along these lines.

         Nearly every Ministry now has a web site.  We did not use the world-wide web and the Internet then like we use it today.  Our grand-daughter is a Missionary on the other side of the world -- we Emailed her the other day and got a reply within a few hours  -----  Email is such a world wide communication blessing !  

      The definition of "Christ Centered Entities”  includes Churches,  Missionary Organizations, Christian Schools, and Christian Camps/Retreats. This might also include a Christ Center Family Unit - CCFU ” consisting of a single person or a husband-wife plus kids.  Ministries include the following:  

·            “Mom-Pop” Ministries who handle $99,999 (five digits) or less per annum
·        
   “Smaller”  Ministries who handle $499,999 (six digits) or less per annum
·        
   “Larger” Ministries who handle $500,000 (six digits) or more per annum

        The terms "Online Tools" and "Internet Friendly  include an Onliner with a fast Internet connection who minimally goes there once a day to at least receive or send Email.  We are told that almost two thirds of  U.S. Household members now use mobile "Lap Top" computers with high-speed fast Internet Online connection.  Another factor in all of this is that users of the Internet were recently divided up in the following age groups:

·                 Almost three fourths of all people aged 18 to 49
·           
   Nearly two thirds of all people aged 50 to 64
·              
 Some one quarter of all people 65 and older.  

           Suffice to say,  there is the technology and the electronic means to do a variety of wonderful things related to "Ministry Finances" at such  "Christ Centered EntitiesThis approach also includes full utilization of trained  Homers  who function from across the country (or across the street) as they remotely provide assistance in doing many of these finance management responsibilities.

           We recommend that you buy as much as possible with Plastic via the eCHECK process 
(you answer "debit" when they ask you if it is "debit" or "credit" purchase plus provide another code).   Or if you use Plastic and incur debt (you answer "credit" in this case) BUT you go Online weekly and prudently pay off the balance of your Credit Card Statements and therefore have no Credit Card debt.   They also are very comfortable using such means so that after they make a deposit they know  (maybe even via their Cell Phone or Black Berry resources)  if they have money to spend by going to such reports as found when you   Go Here. 

           Some of these "
Internet Friendly”  
"Christ Centered Entities  use such "Ministry Finance" resources whereby they do NOT buy software and place it on their computer.  Or they pay a small monthly fee and more than one person can go directly from their Computer desktop to the applicable Web Based (or Internet) product, etc.

                                                                                                   
     T O O L S


            This overall topic reminds me again about the meaningful use of "Tools"  that I recently experienced.  Our son, Don, is a carpenter who recently helped us update some things at our house.  It was quickly and efficiently done via the use of his "Contemporary" carpenter tools.  I was also impressed recently with "Tools" when we had some trees removed from our property --- the  "Lumber Jacks" of these days are much better equipped.  Would you like to go across the USA from one ocean to the other via wagon train like in the old days?

             In order to be the very best steward of resources,  we must NOT always do things the "Old Fashioned" 
way.  Sometimes we are questioned about using some of the "Tools" available out there today;  I sometimes get this message, whether articulated out loud or not:   "
Let's not mess around with that stuff. Let's just do it the  'old fashioned'  true and  proven way like we have always done.  Seems that too many are out of control anyway."  

                                                                                               MINISTRY FINANCE FEATURES LIST (01)

        Most importantly,  my prayer is that you will  digest all of what has been shared here and then go below to this "MINISTRY FINANCE FEATURES LIST" .   It  has been designed to help you conclude, by application,  how to leverage these Ministry Finance  "Online Tools"   to your personalized unique situation.  Please be sure you understand the recommended use of a separate Computerized People Database  that includes Giving Record information.   Ideally you would do a personalized "Self Examination"  re this list and check off what is appropriate for you per the "Now in Use", "To Place in Use". "Perhaps" and "Not an Option" columns below.            

 

                 MINISTRY FINANCE FEATURES LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            RECEIPTS

Now-in   Use

To-Place in Use

Perhaps

Not-an Option

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

    They come to your own Web Site for such action

 

 

 

 

 

 

and use either Credit or Debit Cards

______

_______

  _____

______

 

 

Some details 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vow re using Credit Cards (Plastic) 

______

_______

  _____

______

 

 

Online Internet Receipt Provider Info

______

_______

_____

______

 

2

   Online Donations - via a DonaMail process

 

 

 

 

 

 

via its own batch proof etc  (a)

______

_______

  _____

______

 

 

(Electronically from their Bank to your Bank) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-- One time

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

-- Repetitive

______

_______

_____

______

 

  3

   Events Sign up and Payment 

______

_______

_____

______

 

  4

   Scrip Ordering and Payment  (a)

______

_______

_____

______

 

  5

   Please Click Here and learn about your Ministry making a deposit of checks without having to go to your Bank. 

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           EXPENDITURES

Now-in   Use

To-Place in Use

Perhaps

Not-an Option

 

             

10

Plastic Debit Card or the eCHECKS process

______

_______

_____

______

 

11

Online Payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via QuickBooks (QBs) resources

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Via non QBs resources

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

By going to Vendor's web site

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Repetitive -- same vendor amount 

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Repetitive -- different amount up to certain limit 

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Weekly pay off Credit Card (Plastic) Balance

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

      (Electronically from your Bank to their Bank) 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Payroll - direct deposit of Staffer's net pay

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

      (Electronically from your Bank to their Bank) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use of QB's Payroll system  (a)

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Use of Remote Payroll system (a)

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            BOTTOM LINE

Now-in   Use

To-Place in Use

Perhaps

Not-an Option

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

"Control Spending" - BuxBox features

______

_______

_____

______

 

22

"eFINFAX" system

______

_______

_____

______

 

23

"ATF" - mostly electronic movement of tranx

______

_______

_____

______

 

24

Combined Sweep and Bank Rec 

______

_______

_____

______

 

25

GO HERE and learn about a tool whereby Onliners can use the internet to update and view supporting
financial transaction documents and related info.

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         RELATED MATTERS

Now-in   Use

To-Place in Use

Perhaps

Not-an Option

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

Remote HOMER matters

______

_______

_____

______

 

31

Do buying Online

______

_______

_____

______

 

32

Online move Money from one Bank Acct to another

______

_______

_____

______

 

33

Remote viewing only  (a) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff access restricted information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Board members access information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Auditors access information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             (a)   If you need assistance in any of this your contacts are:  Jim@bcidot.org  or Brad at Brad@rpfin.org 
 

The "ATF (After The Fact)" System: (02)

       Please "Go Here" and discover a method of handling "Bank Activity" for mostly Smaller Ministries as they are encouraged to thoroughly examine what we share here.  Some of following does  NOT apply to “Larger” Entities, but everyone should examine in depth what follows: 

      >>  You do not have to buy expensive computer checks where the computer types them out, etc.  Or you hand write as few checks as possible.  Almost all vendors these days sell via Credit Cards (hereafter referenced as Plastic) and you buy everything possible via Plastic --- especially via the  eCHECK  process.   

       >>  As applicable you go Online weekly and pay off your Plastic unpaid balance so you do not have a Plastic debt issue.  Since you buy via Plastic, your Entity does NOT have vendor charge accounts, like at Christian Bookstores, etc
     
      >>  Then as much as possible all of your other Bank Paid-Outs (disbursements) are made via an "Online Payment” process --- especially via any Online Payroll system whereby the net pay to Staffers and related settlement of payroll taxes are done Online, etc.  This “Online Payment” process also applies to voluntary repetitive checks to vendors of the same amounts (samples are:  Payments for Rent or for Debt servicing;  Payments to a Mission Organizations, etc.) or repetitive checks of variable amounts  like Amounts due for Utility costs, etc.

      >>  You also provide the means for your Constituents to go Online and send you money for one-time or repetitive Donations or to complete an Online Event registration process. 

    CAUTION:  Initially it may take a couple of months for these “Online Transactions” to function properly so do not be discouraged if things do not immediately happen like you want   –   check back thoroughly and be patient!! 

       >>  Further, my experience is that Banks seldom make mistakes in handling transactions that add to your Bank Statement balance or to various transactions that reduce your Bank Statement balance, or such activity is seldom incorrect.  Or, in other words, your individual "Money Transaction Records” (or TRANXs, below)  are almost always exactly what the Bank says.

                                                                                         T H E R E F O R E 

        With all of this in mind, I recommend that you establish a remote Banking relationship with a Bank like,  ECCU - Evangelical Christian Credit Union,    and then take at least the following steps:

  •    Establish at least one Plastic account – perhaps via ECCU resources

  •    Have the appropriate computer software  –  I recommend older versions of QuickBooks (QBs) Pro

  •    Structure your “Chart of Accounts therein that meets your unique Spending Control” needs

  •    Set up as many “Online Payments” as possible

  •    Arrange to accept as many “Online Receipts” as possible  

  •    Pursue the possible use of HOMER  Onliners who remotely assist you in all of this.

  •    Ideally you do NOT  manually write any checks and then post any such “Money Transaction Records into QBs.  (Please discuss with us the possible process when you find it necessary to have the appropriate blank checks and have QBs write them, etc).

  •    You arrange with ECCU to at least weekly have the Bank’s “Money Transaction Records” use the Internet to electronically post their detail to QBs.

  •    Some smaller Entities may prefer to go Online and obtain the Plastic and Bank Statement equivalent information and manually post each "Money Transactions"  into QBs.  Or they would not do it electronically.

  •    Ideally the above “Money Transaction Records”  would include the weekly Plastic payment so there is no need to handle the Plastic transactions in some special way.  If the QBs user however,  want the vendor names to appear in the step below, please discuss this issue with us. 

  •    You weekly verify that these amounts are the same:   >>  the ECCU’s Bank Balance amount (as if you were working with a weekly Bank Statement) and >>  the Bank Balance amount appearing within QBs.

  •    When the weekly Internet electronic process above takes place, the emphasis is to capture your Bank Account detail (deposit and check, etc.) and place such detail into your Bank Account within QBs.   But each Money Transaction detail, or the other half of the transaction,  is also offset and posted to a Pending” account within QBs.

  •    So you weekly go to your supporting internal documents and reclassify each Money Transaction” appearing in this Pending” account and see that is goes to the appropriate “Spending Control” accounts per your Chart of Accounts.  Of course, the “Pending account is ultimately zeroed out at the end of the week, etc.

Please note the "Spending Controls" report samples below as provided via the electronic "eFinFax" system.   (5)

  Click Here    for access to the weekly    "Point in Time"    "BuxBox  Balance" report 
  Click Here    for access to the periodic  "Point in Time"      Photo  report
  Click Here    for access to the periodic  "Period of Time"    Video  -  
"BuxBox Activity"  report
 

Finance TRANXs  (Money Transaction Records) processing Issues

   >>     TRANXs  =  Deposit or Check (or their equivalent) information that flows through systems like your
          Bank or Plastic  (Credit or Debit Card)  accounts.
   >>     USUAL =  The normal process whereby TRANXs originate and flow first to your SOFTWARE SYSTEM 
         and you verify that this activity agrees with the TRANXs that appears within the Bank or Plastic  (Credit
         or Debit Card
)  accounts
   >>     The "ATF"  process above whereby TRANXs  go through the Bank or Plastic systems first and
          then such information is electronically posted via the Internet to clearing accounts within your
         SOFTWARE SYSTEM.  
   >>     CH of ACCTS:  Your internal accounting “Chart of Accounts” infra-structure and related matters
          as you post  TRANXs  to the Ministry’s Assets, Liabilities, Equity,  Income and Expense accounts.
   >>     SOFTWARE SYSTEM:  Accounting software like  QBs  plus  QBOE and Mvelopes (a)

 

 

 

 

 

      ACTION

    "ATF"

     USUAL

 

 

 

 

1

   TRANXs are moved

   Data includes Payee,

   Not applicable

 

from the Bank to the

Memo info ,  date and

 

 

SOFTWARE SYSTEM

dollar amount

 

 

 

 

 

2

   Deposit info is assigned

   After above TRANXs info 

   TRANXs are manually

 

to applicable CH OF ACCTS

is electronically posted

posted first into the Software

 

 

into the Software System

System

 

 

 

 

3

   If Checks are written

   After above TRANXs info 

   TRANX s are manually

 

manually and assigned

is electronically posted

posted into the Software

 

to applicable CH OF ACCTS

into the software system

System

 

 

 

 

4

   Bank Reconciliation

   Not necessary;  records

   The normal process

 

 

show the same balance in

as you determine what has

 

 

both sets of records

not yet cleared, etc.

 

 

 

 

5

   Checks are written by the

   Yes - and change dates

   Yes - as usual

 

software system and require

for uncleared TRANXs

 

 

a TRANX “clearing the  Bank/Plastic”  process 

 

 

        .                        
                                                    Below are some more of the known merits to this
"ATF"  system.

1.       You have the option of NOT manually posting  your Money Transactions” into your Computer Software – it is done electronically, with the applicable completeness and accuracy.   CAUTION:  You likely will want to manually post some additional internal information for each transaction.

2.       Since you do not manually enter any deposit or checks (or equivalent “Money Transactions”) into your Computer Software, you do NOT have to “reconcile” your manually inputted records to that shown by a periodic Bank Statement.  Or there is no need for the usual “Bank Reconciliation” process.

3.       Since you have a weekly processing emphasis, you are not overly concerned about any “Money Transaction”  that have not yet cleared the Bank ----  like “Deposits in Transit” or “Outstanding Checks”,

       We MUST prayerfully utilize the latest proven "cutting edge" resources (Tools) out there so we can be the best possible fiscal steward.   

                                                                        More helpful Links on this overall topic:

0907-03 --  Receipt Initiative
0926-03 --  Online Payments
0934-07 --  Small Ministries
0935-07 --  Expense Accrual and eFinFax
0175-99 --  Application by type of Ministry
5016-02 --  Church emphasis
8016-02 --  Mission Organization emphasis
7016-02 --  School emphasis

==============================================================================================================

Our usual "Helpful Declarations"  for you readers:       

       Below are some discovered Ministry Finance concerns plus some forthright Scriptural enablements that we have 'gleaned' down through years..... we trust you can relate as you click and link to the actual text of the verse.

  • Finding money to pay bills is exhausting ---- Isaiah 40:29

  • This particular financial system is frustrating -- Eph. 2:10

  • That computer matter is beyond me - I need help!! -- Psalm 37:30

  • Praise the Lord-we were able to meet payroll!!! --- Psalm 96:3

  • The General Fund income is more than expected --- Psalm 108:5

  • That department stayed within the budget and deserved praise; Prov. 16:24

  • Who !!  No one will take responsibility for that obvious over-spending - Isaiah 26:3

  • We gave to that needy person confidentially - Matt. 6:3

  • Staying within our income was (and is) hard work - I Cor. 10:31

       Editorial - The "Old Fashioned Way"  is   NOT  always the best

       Current "Ministry Finance" Truism

                    Tools can be a terrific blessing when used properly

      Prayerful Thots :     Lord, my prayer is that this document will contribute to readers effectively using the Internet as a meaningful Ministry Finance management tool,  etc.   Also that the eFinFax  system will "ring bells" with those that need it.   In thy precious name, 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.   
    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   9708 and 9709


 Probable "Ministry Finance Lingo", or "Frequently Used Vocational Terms" used herein, appear below:

            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 Team;  QBOE = QuickBooks Online Edition;  QBooks or QB = Quickbooks; RPFin 
= Righteous Personal Finance , SPFunds or SPFs = Special Purpose Funds


ABOUT  US   |  OUR PURPOSE   |  TABLE OF CONTENTS   |  SEARCH  MATTERS  |  HOW WE HELP SPECIFICS   |  FUND ACCTG VIA COMPUTERS   |  GLOSSARY

Click Here  for information about earlier JIM's JRNLs - or contact me via   Jim@bcidot.org 

This document was updated last on:  May 12, 2013