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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 months of July and August 2010                                                 FILE:  2010/0708-10/jrnl                    


   01 - Reasons Why People "Give Online"   (01)

    Most people make donations once or twice a month to their Christ-Centered Church (or perhaps to any Ministry)  depending on their payroll schedule. Giving electronically allows people to have more flexibility in their giving process.  Other benefits of Online Giving include:

                                                                    Convenience/Efficiency

     Online Giving  is much faster than hand writing a check and getting it to the Church or Ministry. Plus, it allows the user to choose if they want to:

>>   Make  a one-time donation,
>>   Set up recurring
donations,
>>   Or make
Event Payments at the time of Online Registration for an Event

                                                                     • Consistency

       People can give even when they are not physically in attendance, which can help improve the consistency of giving during a  Church's  ‘Summer Slump’ months.

                                                                   • Calendar Year End Issues

       Since most donors tend to contribute more near the Calendar Year-End,  the Ministry might want to consider launching an Online Giving resource in the Fall or before so that the users are comfortable with the system by the time the holiday season rolls around.

                                                                   •  Crisis Response

       Being able to immediately respond to crisis situations provides a sense of connection. Online Giving  allows a donor to meet a need now and make a difference without delay.

   02 -  Borrowing    "Temporarily Restricted Assets"  (02)

            Below is a edited version of a recent exchange with a fellow CPA Onliner on the topic of:   Borrowing "Temporarily
Restricted Assets.

To Jim:   

          Is it appropriate for a Ministry to loan itself money from its   "Temporarily Restricted Assets"  in order to fund ongoing operations?

To CPA  Onliner:

            Two word/terms stand out in your question: "Appropriate" and "Temporarily Restricted Assets".    Let's begin with supposing that as of a certain date the Ministry's "Photo Report" ( a Ministry financial report that shows the Indicated finance balances at a point in time) looks like the following:

         
  Bank Balances    $      50,000  
  Non Cash Assets    $        1,000  
          Total      $      51,000
  Land, Bldgs&Equipment    $    750,000  
  Mortgage Payable    $  (100,000)  
  (Less) Non Liquid Offset    $  (650,000)  
  Unpaid Bills  $      5,000    
  Other Liabilities  $      3,000    
         Sub-Total    $        8,000  
  (1) Donor Restrictions   $    35,000    
  (2) Board Designations  $      7,500    
     Sub-Total  $    42,500    
  (3) Net Income To Date  $         500    
       Sub Total    $      43,000  
  Total      $      51,000
         

     (1) The Ministry (often a Church)  has fiduciary responsibilities for this $35,000  non-discretionary money and
should NOT use it for something else at the Church.

     (2) The Board says this $7,500 can be spent only for named approved Ministry discretionary
purposes – but the Board is in charge and it can change its mind.

     (3) This $500 is the amount of "
Left Over" year to date discretionary "General Fund"
operational money.

To Jim:  

             Your structure of this information is helpful  ---  thank you ---  what is your answer?.

      To:  CPA Onliner

             Well,   the Ministry has $50,000 in the Bank, but there is only $ 500 to spend in its normal ongoing operations ("General Fund"). It needs a  "DO I "really" HAVE MONEY TO SPEND AT MY CHURCH ?"  system, so the Church can know this each week and appropriately limit its spending to only the $ 500 equivalent.   Please digest such a "Money Spending" system when you Go To this WebBOOK .

             My view is that there is $42,500 of "
"Temporarily Restricted Assets"  in this example that can be spent ONLY for said purposes and it is "Inappropriate" to temporarily borrow it or use it for anything else.   But, most importantly, the Ministry MUST weekly have a system that adequately answers the above "MONEY SPENDING" question.


   (03)   MIFIs, or "Most Important Financial Issues"   (03)

            I know of a Ministry's "Chief Financial Officer" who periodically provides the Ministry's "Finance Committee of the Board"  with a list of what is believed to be their  "Most Important Financial Issues - MIFIs"     This group regularly spends an entire meeting evaluating such matters as this person takes the time to explain positions/views on each MIFI matter and then gets their desired feed back.  The end result of this focused time is that they establish "MIFI " to do priorities and get such matters under way, etc.   My prayer is that you readers are doing something similar.

   (04)    Ministry Finance Online Features  (04)

            You are probably aware of the tremendous Ministries of both Nick N as detailed at www.mbsinc.com  and of Steve H and the Christian Computer Magazine www.ccmag.com ).  Steve is making known his new book per my edited comments of his below:

       Do you want some fantastic ideas on how to use technology tools and services to enhance and expand your ministry? Then get
my new book “PCs in the Ministry”! The “Thomas Nelson Publishers” have asked me to write the book as one in a series that they
are producing.  There are examples here of churches using  imaginative ways of combining technology with their children’s ministry,
youth ministry, discipleship, evangelism, worship, etc. 
            I am a firm believer that technology via the Internet and computers can be used in each and every aspect of the church today!
This book is available on our site at
www.ccmag.com/shop  for only $29.95 plus $5 for shipping and handling.

            Not too long ago I shared with Steve H. via  www.bcidot.org/onl/8888-08.html , plus related unanswered Emails,  of my conviction that "Christ-Centered Ministries  should  be making full use of such Online resources to basically answer this fundamental weekly finance question:  "Do I have money to spend in the Ministry areas for which I am responsible ?" 

            I trust you readers and users of such
Internet Friendly technology can see the need to encourage both Steve H. and Nick N. to include such Ministry finance management matters in their identification of such valuable Online resources to be used by Christ-Centered Ministries.

             
A portion of an earlier JIMs JRNL included the following  “
MINISTRY FINANCE ONLINE FEATURES LIST” (since updated) as a Ministry determines their use of what I call Internet Friendly technology/tools.

 

                               MINISTRY FINANCE ONLINE 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  (eCHECKS) Cards

______

 _______

  _____

______

 

 

Some details 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vow re using Credit Cards  

______

_______

  _____

______

 

 

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 Registration 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 their Bank. 

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPENDITURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

Online Payments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via QuickBooks (QBs) resources

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Via non QBs resources

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

By going to a 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

"Control Spending" - BuxBox features

______

_______

_____

______

 

22

"eFINFAX" system

______

_______

_____

______

 

23

"ATF" - mostly electronic movement of tranx

______

_______

_____

______

 

24

Combined Sweep and Bank Rec 

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED MATTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

Remote HOMER matters

______

_______

_____

______

 

     31 Donation withholding from Pay Check          ______             _______         _____           ______  

32

Do buying Online

______

_______

_____

______

 

33

Online move Money from one Bank Acct to another

______

_______

_____

______

 

34

Remote viewing only  (a) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff access restricted information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Board members access information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

Auditors access information

______

_______

_____

______

 

 

     (a)  Contact me at  Jim@bcidot.org  for more info

 

 

 

 

 

  (05)    The "Big Pix" or "Overview Recap"  Report  (05)

       The QuickBooks (QBs) Fund Accounting Method One does NOT permit the QBs system to combine all of the Ministry's Income and Expenditures (some are QBs Classes and some are not, etc).   So below is a   "Big Pix or Overview Recap"  sample that meets this need via an Excel driven report that combines the General Purpose Fund - GPFund and the Special Purpose Funds -= SPFunds  areas and/or data.  

         This provides a meaningful one-page report which is helpful for your leaders as they take a
"Big Pix" overview of all of your finances.  Please note that the lines and columns are identified for cross reference purposes as either alpha or numeric ---   for example,  "H and 8 "  shows $ 77,800 of GPFund income for the period.  When you Click Here you will find a "Big Pix" type report that also includes a recap of your applicable Building/Construction activity.

                     
                     
A B C D E F G H   J K
1                    
2                    
3         "B i g   P i x"   or  O p e r a t i o n s       R e c a p  
4       Sample Church -  July 1, xxx1  through June 30, xxx2  
5                     GPF  Budget  
6            Total SPFunds GPFund   to Date Variance
7 Revenue              
8   Donations   $188,800 $111,000 $77,800      
9   Other     $1,500   $1,500      
10     Total   $190,300 $111,000 $79,300      
11 Expenditures            
12   Salaries/Benefits $57,500   $57,500   $57,667 ($167)
13   Operations   $157,952 $110,026 $47,926   $48,075 ($149)
14   (Defrayments)    (50,000)   ($50,000)   ($50,000)  
15   Debt Service Payments $15,000   $15,000   $15,042 ($42)
16   New Capital Assets $79,500 $74,500 $5,000   $5,000  
17   Other     $10,250 $1,000 $9,250   $9,275 ($25)
18     Total   $270,202 $185,526 $84,676   $85,059 ($383)
19 Excess Revenue (Expend) ($74,526) ($5,376)   Annual Budget $100,000
20 Begin Balance represented by:     Divided by 52  
21   Bank Balances     $97,500     (1) Wkly Need 1,923
22   Less: Unpaid Bills   $2,500     GPF Income to  
23     Begin Balance     $95,000     date $79.300  
24 Ending Balances as computed                                    $ 20,474     Divided by 48  
25                 (1) Wkly Average $1,652
26 "Spoken For" as listed below     Wkly Difference 271
27   Donor Restriction #1   $3,500     Ending  
28   Donor Restriction #2   $1,200     Bank Balance $16,879
29   Board SetASides   $13,550     Less Unpaid  
30   Board Discretionary   $2,224     bills $1,781
31 Fund Totals   $20,474   (1)(5,376)   Fund Balances $15,098
32       (1) This info could appear in weekly Church Bulletin  
                     

   (06)  Click below for Potentially Helpful Online Links for you JIMs JRNL Readers: (06)

      Helps for Church Treasurers ;   More Deposit Insurance at Certain Accts at Credit Unions  ;  Essential Guide to Church Finances Eight Federal Issues for Churches to Watch Free Finance Goodies for  Ministries ; Record Keeping re a Ministry's Receipts Dialog with a Small Church BeeTee (Bookkeeper - Treasurer)   ;    Why do we have Credit Unions ;  Internal Financial Controls at ChurchesHealth Care Matters at your Church How one Ministry explains their Online Giving options

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

    Below is one of my Ministry Finance precepts/principles, or  "rules of thumb".   Please GO HERE  for a complete TRUISMS list

        Income to the General Fund (GPFund) is often very volatile, so regardless of any authorized General Fund Budget,  spending  is limited to what comes in to the  (GPFund) --  period.  Knowing this information on a weekly basis is essential.

   (08)  Prayerful thots  (08)

    Dear Lord:

     Please Help me love radically, serve without regard to self, and look more and more like You,  my crucified, rejected, and risen Savior.   Thank you for this  Quote:    "Men may spurn our love,  reject our  Gospel message, oppose our presentations, but they are helpless against our prayers."                                                                  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.  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  9708  9709  and 9710


 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


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

This document was updated last on:  July 09, 2011