Edition of "JIMs  JRNL"
   (Click Here for "Blogger like" perspective/rationale)   

- - 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 months of
November/December 2009                                                   FILE:  jrnl/2009/1112-09                   

01 -  An eBook published by Jim Bramer  (14)

    Well I have done it ....... I have written a Book entitled  "FINANCES at CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES"  -------  well an eBook, at least.  Please Go Here for details.   An outline appears below:                                            

Perspective of our eBooks or Web Books  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Page 00
"Table of Contents" Cover Page    - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -    Page 01               
Unique Matters re Christian Ministry Finances   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Page 02
In Charge - who is responsible  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -     Page 03
Financial Accounting Features    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -    
Page 04
Structural Matters   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -     
Page 05
Money Coming In   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -      Page 06
Money Going Out   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -     
Page 07   
Spending Controls  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - -     
Page 08  
Reporting of Ministry Finances  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -   
Page 09
Fiscal Year End Matters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -    
Page 10      

   02 -  January is a busy Month (06)

    As indicated when you  Click Here ,  one of the reasons we recommend that Ministries do NOT have "Calendar Year" for their operational/fiscal year is that the month of January is very "task filled."   We trust that all is going well as you have been involved in at least some of the following during January 2010:

         >>  Annual contribution statements  >> Housing Allowance matters  >>  Estimated tax payment  >>  IRS Form 941 Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return  >> Employee's W-2 s >>  1099-MISC

   03 - Are you getting meaningful weekly "Spending Control" information? (07)

      Whether you are responsible for spending at either a Christ-Centered Ministry or at your Home,  I trust you can answer "yes" to this question:  "Are you getting meaningful weekly "Spending Control" information?  I trust the INTER - OFFICE MEMO contents  that  follow are some possible resources that enable you to do this: 

                                                                           INTER - OFFICE MEMO


TO:    Those of you who are Interested                                     FROM: 
Jim Bramer

RE:    Use of "Envelope" like resources
           for Ministry Finance & Accounting purposes                 DATE:  July 2009


        I am a retired “Auditor-Certified Public Accountant (CPA)” who functions remotely as would a fully supported vocational Missionary.  This CPA would count it an honor to especially assist you  “Smaller Ministries” who are  “Ministry Finance Internet Friendly.”   By this term
I mean those of you who use your Computer (especially Lap Tops) with a fast connection to access the Internet minimally once a day to at least receive and send Email. 

        Some of you use the
Mvelopes  bookkeeping system (or like software) to manage your personal finances as advocated by Crown Ministries.   Or when money comes into your possession it is immediately placed into the appropriate “Envelope” (like we did when we only handled green stuff or cash) and we could spend money only when that physical "Envelope" had money in it, etc.  The  Mvelopes  system uses the same “Envelope” concept as you mainly account for your individual Bank and Credit Card transactions as they flow automatically into the Mvelopes  system.  Benefits of this system include the following:

   >>  You go Online at any time and update the Mvelopes  system
   >>  You know the running balance from these reliable Bank and Credit Card resources
   >>  There is no need to manually maintain check stubs and running balances 
   >>  There is no need to manually enter your transactions into your computer system and
   >>  Then go and reconcile your manually kept records to theirs (No need for a Bank or Credit Reconciliation process, etc) 
   >>  You have no Credit Card debt when you can go Online and weekly pay off your Credit Card balance.
   >>   All of this obviously greatly contributes to your # 1 goal of living within your available monies.

       Please note when you to review this  eFINFAX  data how we have taken many of the principles of this Mvelopes process above, and its features, and applied them to the unique "Fund Accounting" needs of "Small Ministries."  Note our use of the term "BuxBoxes",  rather than "Envelopes".  Or you make full use of the same Internet resources and related computer accounting systems so that you are the very best steward of your finances.   In my mind, “Small Ministries” are “Christ-Centered Entities” who handle $500,000 or less per year.  Entities include:   Such Churches, such Mission agencies or like endeavors, Christian Camps, Christian Schools, etc.  Those of you that are just beginning need to lay good finance management foundations.

       Additional features of the eFINFAX system, as set forth in detail within the
"Blue Links"  below, also include the following:

    >>   Using Internet resources, you can receive money that comes directly from their bank to your bank account -
     >>   And you can pay bills via the Internet – or money electronically goes from your bank directly to their bank account.
     >>   The staff’s net pay can go electronically from your bank to their bank account.
     >>   You would have a separate computerized “People” database which includes donation information that provides deposit information for this overall system.
     >>   Trained remote helpers are available via the Internet as you arrange for them to help you either each week or as often as they are needed, etc.

       Please note the eFINFAX  system provided "BuxBox" and "Photo"  financial Charts  (or reports) per the samples displayed below.

BuxBox  (Same as  Envelope)  Balances
as of May 31, 2xxx

   500 Special Purpose Funds - SPFs BuxBoxes 


      501 Missionary Jones - Support


      502 Missionary Smith - Support


      590 GPF (Deficits) from previous years


      599 Board Emergency Fund


   Total 500 SPFs BuxBoxes



   600 Annual General Purpose Fund -GPF       


      601 Fixed Expenses #01


      620 Fixed Expenses #20


      625 Fixed Expenses #25


      681 Non Fixed  Operating Depart #81


      682 Non Fixed  Operating Depart #82


   Total 600  -GPF BuxBoxes for this year


  Contact Jim@bcidot.org  if you have "Fixed"  questions  

Total Year To Date BuxBox Balances


Photo (Balance Sheet) Report
As of May 31, 2xxx

ASSETS (See the BREC Sweep system)


      Bank Accounts


         101 Checking Account


         102 Savings - short term


         199 Savings - longer term


      Total Bank Accounts


   Fixed Assets  - Memo only


      140 Equipment


      141 Accumulated Depreciation


      149 Offset of Equity in Equipment










            222 Credit Card 


            280 Unpaid Payroll


        Total Liabilities




      Year To Date  BuxBox Balances


         Total Equity




       After you have digested this content, please let us know just how you think we can help you by contacting us at Jim@bcidot.org  ( An Outsider looking in) or Brad at Brad@rpfin.org  (An Insider looking out).  Of course, we would be happy to provide you with references. 

       Also there has been some consideration given to making available an Online "Yahoo Forum" for interested eFINFAX  system users as they help each other in such an effort.  Here is a "Yahoo Forum"  example: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qbunch/ Let me know if you think something like this would be of value.   

04 - Accounting for Self Funded Church Events (08)

            As indicated when you Click Here, you will note that I have been retained as a HLPER by a local Church that handles over $2.000.000 per year.   This Church uses the software product known as QuickBooks Pro (QBs) and it makes use of more than one QBs Company, or set of QBs.

     >>  The  first QBs company is called LIQ (short for Liquid) as it handles the  every day  accounting matters that have to do with the “General Purpose Fund -GPFund ” and the “Special Purpose Funds - SPFunds.”  This LIQ set of QBs meets the Internal accounting issues that we address when you Go Here.
     >>  Then there are two sets of QBs that have annual or fiscal year end use only.  One is the “Land,  Buildings and Equipment (LB&E)” set of QBs which, of course, is non-liquid and it is updated annually from LIQ’s set of QB’s transactions that have to do with: 

    a>  Fixed Asset acquisitions (or sales) during the fiscal year;  as budgeted items of the GPFund or via SPFs projects, etc.  At one time such information came from a Construction set of QBs.
    b>  LB&E debt servicing.  This includes the GPFund payment of both the required monthly payment of Principal and Interest, plus any optional GPFund payments on the principal only.  This Church also allows donors to make SPFund contributions for principal payment only. 
    c>   Depreciation Expense  that is booked within the LB&E only.

      >>   The last set of QBs used also only at the fiscal year end and is called the COMBO  set of QBs.  This complies with the External  accounting/reporting issues.   Its financial transaction source is both the above updated annual LB&E set of QBs and from condensed information flowing via the LIQ set of QBs.

            The SPFund section of the LIQ set of QBs has an area that has to do with what is referenced as EVENTs.   Or the Church has ministries, or activities, that are all or partially funded by the participants with the GPFund picking up the shortage when they do not pay for all of the activity’s expenses,  Applicable Mission Trip activities that appears within the SPFund area of the LIQ set of QBs are also detailed in the EVENTs set of QBs.  CHURCH EVENT examples include the following:

>> VBS
>> Camps
>> Events by various Church groups
>> Missions and Music Trips

    This Church has decided to NOT include the finance transactions of these EVENTs within the GPFund since it is confusing when the GPFund does, indeed, budget for coverage of any shortages mentioned above.  Or a segment of the SPFund area of LIQ is assigned to these EVENT activities and you always know the running Balance of each EVENT.    But in this process there are at least two missing finance accounting issues: 

        01>   When you use the QB Equity accounts and you know each EVENT balance within the SPFunds area, it is not possible to use the QB Budget feature as you control expense line items, and
        02>   There needs to be a comprehensive integrated method for knowing whether or not a participant has paid their pledge or promise, bill, etc.   This  “Pledge or Accounts Receivable” like system is referenced as the “YETOPAY” process.

    A potential solution is to establish yet another set of QBs for EVENTS.  When this is done then we need to handle the following Issues:

     >>  The cash flow transactions appearing within the LIQ's  EVENTs section of the SPFunds mentioned above are duplicated and assigned differently within this separate EVENTs set of QBs. 
     >>   Of course, there needs to be a means of proofing that all such SPFund activities get to this second set of QBs
     >>   You structure your EVENTS QB "Chart of Accounts" so that there are QB Income and Expense accounts for the types of income and expenses for these EVENTs .  In doing this, you now have the means to use the Budget features of QBs. 
     >>   QB Class accounts are established for each EVENT
     >>   Budgets for each EVENT are established and said information is placed herein and monitored accordingly..

As to “YETOPAY” issues:

     >>   The EVENT leaders (or their staff or volunteers) do their own YETOPAY bookkeeping. Some do it manually or they use Excel docs while others do it via their People Database facilities.
     >>   But this separate EVENTs set of QBs would be postured to use its own “Account Receivable” QB features to do this kind of record keeping.  Of course,  detailed information is needed via this method in order for it to be complete and current, etc.
     >>  Via whatever method,  this  YETOPAY information should appear in this EVENTs set of QBs at least at the end of each month.

05 - Daily and Year End GAAP at Christ-Centered Ministries. (09)

    It is more and more evident to me that there should NOT be a universal GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) for Non-Profits like Christ-Centered Ministries.   Such Non-Profits need daily operational information that includes accounting for GPFund budgeted required "Debt Retirement (monthly payments of Principal and Interest, etc)",  "Fixed Asset" expenditures provided via the GPFund Budgets,  accounting for budgeted GPFund "set aside" money for later or future activities..... plus some GPFund budgets has additional loan pay-off expenditures.  As we know, these transactions are handled entirely differently at the end of the year for GAAP Year End accounting and reporting purposes.   Please   Go Here  for more information on this topic.

06 - Web Site Local Search capabilities  (10)

     Please  Go Here  and find that we finally have the means for you Onliners coming to our web sites to do some electronically searching therein.  Thank you for being patient in all of this.

07 - Most Important Financial Issues --- or MIFIs (12)

     Ministry Finance Committees need to concentrate on what is most important at their Christ-Centered Ministry.  Let me know if you would like a copy of what was recently shared along these lines within context of this  Helper  assignment.  

08 - Analysis of Special Purpose Funds resources, or Receipts (13)

               What follows is an analysis of the source, or In-Flow Receipts, types that come into Special Purpose Funds

From Usual Scrip See 0101
 For more info see 5040 Current Year Tax  Tax   
 Ways to Receive Money see 5802 Gen Fund  Deduction Deduction   *** More Info ***
      From Gen Fund 
Board Discretionary Fund          of Prior Years
Facility Maintenance xxx      
Scholarship Fund #1   xxx xxx  
Scholarship Fund #2   xxx xxx  
Benevolence Fund   xxx xxx See 5021
Mission Projects $1 xxx xxx xxx  
Adult Mission Trip   xxx xxx  
SetASide fr the GPFund xxx     See 0088
Special Projects xxx      
Mission Education  xxx      
Mission Conference xxx      
Local Outreach  xxx      
Adult Group #1   xxx xxx Board Approved
Adult Group #2   xxx xxx Board Approved
Self Funded Events
      shortages flow from the
      Via Annual 
     GPFund        Depart Budget

09 - "Meaningful Declarations"  for any of us   --   God has the answer :  (02)     

       YOU SAY

        GOD SAYS


You say: "It's impossible"

God says: All things are possible

(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"

God says: I'll give you rest

(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"

God says: I love you

(John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on"

God says: My grace is sufficient

(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"

God says: I will direct your steps

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"

God says: You can do all things

(Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"

God says: I am able

(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"

God says: It will be worth it

(Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"

God says: I Forgive you

(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "This is too much"

God says: I will supply all your needs

(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"

God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear

(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried/frustrated"

God says: Cast all your cares on ME

(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"

God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith

(Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"

God says: I give you wisdom

(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"

God says: I will never leave you or forsake you

(Hebrews 13:5)

10 - Click below for potentially Helpful Online Link Contents: (03)   

        >> Board Members Resolution for New Year    >> Combating  Church Embezzlement   >>  Donor Management Software List  >>  When Does Your Ministry Need an Audit  >>   Designated Funds Accounting Made Easy 
The Return of Donors' Designated Gifts

11 -  "For What it is Worth"  editorials by Jim Bramer       (04)    

      >>  GAAP Internal and External    >>  One Business Manager Serves more than one Ministry

12 -  Ministry Finance TRUISMS - or precepts/beliefs/principles.   Please go to  0069  for complete TRUISMS list. 

            >>  Unified Accounting System  >>  Current Operations - General Purpose Fund

13  - Prayerful Thot :   

        Dear Lord ....  someone has shared the following with me about "Bookkeeping and two sets of Books." At the end of the age we all will stand before the throne, and books recording what each of them had done will be opened.   If God keeps a record of sins, who can stand? Our hearts are shot through with wickedness and idolatry and selfishness and pride and anger and lust and covetousness-- all of which are a grievous insult against a holy God. The first entry from those books will be enough to condemn us for eternity.
        But for us,  that the Lord has saved, the scene is different. "Then another book was opened, which is the "Book of Life." The dead are judged by what was written in the other book, but praise God, there is hope, for there is another book! Our only hope to escape the just condemnation of the other book content is to have our name found here.  I will not be judged according to what I have done, because my name is written in the book of life.  Thank you, Lord,  that, by your Grace,  there is this "Book of Life" .... or another set of books!  
        In thy Precious Name I pray --- Amen

  •     This "Blogger" like endeavor (99) allows me to share some personal comments/thoughts as to Ministry Finance issues.  For topic alphabetical  lists in earlier JIM's JRNLs. editions,  please Go Here.    
        If you would like to receive the next
    JIM's JRNL edition,  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 QBs = Quickbooks;
 SPFunds or SPFs = Special Purpose Funds

Links on our Website include: 



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

This document was updated last on:  April 20, 2011