If Jim Bee was the M-Agency's Vol Board Treasurer 8089-02 ZZmis

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                     TO:  Interested Mission Agency                                                                                     FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired Auditor CPA
                                                                                                                                                                      FILE: 8089-02/mis

                      RE: 
If   Jim Bee was the Volunteer Board Treasurer of a Mission Agency       Originated:  October 2000                               


    Below is a transcript of another hypothetical Online conversation, or THRD WRITING, between  Jim@bcidot.org  and members of a M)inistry F)inance Team - MFTeam: the MFTeam members are PAT .. the Ministry Executive, LEE .. the Volunteer Board Treasurer, and FRAN .. the Ministry Computer Bookkeeper.  Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at www.bcidot.org


Fr:  LEE
       Jim, I am the Voluntary Board Treasurer of a non-denominational Mission Agency with some 100 missionary units and various special projects; or each Missionary unit MUST raise their own support and monthly we generally zero out their account.  
       Basically I would be interested in what you would do if you were in my place, or what would you do if you were the Voluntary Board Treasurer of a Mission Agency like this?
       At some time please share with me your Mission Agency background.

         FR:  Jim@bcidot.org   

      Thank you for mentioning that you handle some 100 mission (Deputizer) units and various special projects that are generally zeroed out each month.  For smaller Mission Agencies, I suggest that you "farm out", or outsource,  your bookkeeping via something like INTERNET FINANCIAL SERVICES as detailed at a Church  within  5109.   Please also  go to  88880175   and  0930  for related Mission Agencies Ministry Finance Application issues.
       Please especially note after July 2006 the
"Spending Control"  resources found when you  Click Here.

W H A T  is  "INTERNET FINANCIAL SERVICES" ?

  •   This service provides a straight-forward computerized Fund Accounting and Reporting system.
  •   The key accounting software product is Quickbooks (QB). -- go to www.eBay.com  and obtain inexpensive older versions as you do not need current or Non Profit version to be effective..
  •   As serviced by qualified personnel via the Internet.  Click here for a possible source.
  •   The results include: 1>  Report of who belongs to the money on deposit - 0601 for sample 2>  "Actual to Budget" General Fund expense reporting - see 0691 for a sample,  and 3>  electronically handling clergy and all payroll.
  •   It could include the use of Excel spreadsheet software
  •   The service might include some ASSUROR aspects - see 0063 for more info.

W H O needs  this  service  ?

  •   Smaller Evangelical Mission Agencies

  •   Whose staff/volunteers have limited Fund Accounting experience and are comfortable using Computers and the Internet

  •   The Mission Agency headquarters is ideally in the USA or Canada 

H O W  does  it  work ?:

  •   A Ministry Finance savvy HOMER is retained; or a Mom or a Keenager who works via the Internet from their home.  See 0905  for more details.

  •   The service would include use of inexpensive older versions of the desktop QB software as obtained via eBay or other sources. Or the QuickBooks Online Edition (QBOE) as explained at www.quickbooks.com

  •   The desktop QB file content  is assured and moved weekly by email to/from a CHURCH volunteer's home computer (usually) and the HOMER  (and possible a Ministry savvy CPA-Auditor).  See 0801 for some info about the QBOE.

  •   The service has a weekly finance emphasis;

  •   Please link to  INTERNET  FINANCIAL SERVICES  for more specifics

      Sharing "what Jim Bee would do if I were the Mission Agency's Volunteer Treasurer"  sounds like a ' fun'  thing to do with regard to Mission Agencies like yours.  However, please remember that some of what follows is rather platonic, or ideal,  and not always practical for everyone.
      
Some of my Mission Agency finance background is in the above  Jim Bramer  link, but mostly my Mission Agency perspective comes from serving some 20 of such Ministries as CPA-Auditor since the early 1970s and by serving as Treasurer for the ECCU Credit Union for most of the 1980s. 

Fr:  LEE
    Good ..... thanx, Jim, very helpful.  You no doubt have worked with some great ways of how our Mission Agency should be using 21st Century computer and electronic tools in carrying out my responsibilities.

         FR:   Jim 

    Yes, I have some 21st Century computer and electronic thoughts. But let me share also,  from my personal perspective, at least, some needed Mission Agency finance basics.  Please note I have included after each paragraph below relevant links to material on  www.bcidot.org; also please click here  for a list of resources.

    Please see the number topic list below and click on those of interest to you.:

  1. REPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING MISSION AGENCY FINANCES -GAAP
  2. PERIODIC/MONTHLY SETTLEMENT PROCESS AND ISSUES
  3. CURRENT FINANCE ACTIVITY ACCOUNTING EMPHASIS
  4. USE OF THE INTERNET AND COMPUTER SYSTEM TOOLS
  5. MISSION AGENCY FINANCE POLICIES
  6. MEETINGS RE MISSION AGENCY FINANCES
  7. EFFECTIVE SPENDING MANAGEMENT
  8. MAXIMIZE INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROLS
  9. MANAGE BANK BALANCES AND INVESTMENTS 
  10. 21ST CENTURY MISSION AGENCY REVENUE ISSUES
  11. PAY BILLS ELECTRONICALLY
  12. PAYROLL - RETAIN SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT 
  13. AUDITOR MATTERS

1 - REPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING MISSION AGENCY FINANCES - GAAP

        Effective communication re finances at a Mission Agency must take place.  Those that need to know MUST understand the financial information so timely decisions can be made. I would require full or complete, not cash only, ministry financial information so that we know immediately who belongs to the monies on deposit and where we are financially.
        All involved must thoroughly understand the accounting and reporting of  Special Purpose Funds - SPFunds (for Missionary Units and Projects) and the  General Purpose Fund (or our essential General and Administrative costs). In that regard, we need to assess the SPFunds in order to fund a large portion of the expenses of our General Purpose Fund. 
For more info on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP, please click here.

(Footnote 1) Acctg system essentials - 0031-77 ZZall
Accounting; Not Fun - 0041-01 ZZall

Beyond the Bank Balance -  0058-01 ZZall
Board Members and Finance Info - 0008-01 ZZall
Chief Financial Officer Suggestions - 0014-01 ZZall
Expenditure; not Expense - 0067-02 ZZall
Fiscal Fuel Stewardship - 0093-01 ZZall

Founder Ministry Finance Questions - 0049-02 ZZall
Glossary of Ministry Finance Terms - 0063-07  ZZall

Key Item Trend Statements; KITS - 0045-01 ZZall
Ministry Acctg Issues - 0060-02 ZZall
Ministry Finance Team - 0000-99 ZZall
Phiscal (Fiscal) Philosophy - 0052-01
Reports, Ministry Finance - 0084-01  ZZall
Reports, Photo and Video - 0086-01 ZZall
Reports, Year End Ministry Finances  - 0097-01 ZZall
SetASide Accounting Issues - 0088-01 ZZall
Special Purpose Fund Perspective - 0070-77  ZZall
Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer - 0015-01  ZZall
TRUISMS list - 0069-01  ZZall
Two Sides of the Same Coin - 0094-01 ZZall 
Web Site Links re Ministry Finances - 0107-77 ZZall 

Click here to return to the Topic List


2 - PERIODIC/MONTHLY SETTLEMENT PROCESS AND ISSUES

    As indicated above, our Mission Agency is non-denominational and each Deputizer Missionary Unit (husband/wife etc) must raise their own support.  If $10.00 comes in designated for Missionary A, then virtually $10.00 goes to them ... if $5,000.00 comes in for them that month, then virtually $5,000.00 goes to them upon periodic settlement, etc.  We at Headquarters (HDQ) automate this entire process.  See 8888-01 where we share in depth just how this is done - certain features are listed below:

>>  The one donor/contact list (WEB CONTACT SYSTEM) serves both the individual Missionary and HDQ. Missionaries anywhere in the world can access this WEB CONTACT SYSTEM located at HDQ..
>>   We have expanded our QuickBooks (TM) (QB)
  system to  electronically/ automatically accept donation receipt information from the above WEB CONTACT SYSTEM.
>>   This
QuickBooks (TM) (QB)  system now electronically/ automatically provides Missionaries, etc, with weekly details of the receipts, paid outs and balances of their SETTLEMENT FUND account.
>>   The net balance of their SETTLEMENT FUND acct electronically/ automatically flows to the appropriate bank account.  There are no paper checks.
>>    The applicable Missionary payroll information electronically/ automatically flows to the integrated payroll system for needed accounting and reporting during and at the end of the calendar year. 

 

                    Other Missionary Agency links along these lines are:

                            Designated Staff Donations Q & A                8501-06/mis

                            Expense Reimbursements Issues                8505-02/mis

                           Taxation IRS - Sequence                                  8503-01/mis

Click here to return to the Topic List


3 - CURRENT FINANCE ACTIVITY ACCOUNTING EMPHASIS   

    I would segment our financial records so we can concentrate on current financial events.  See information below re such options of having a separate set of books for such accounting of your Land, Building and Equipments (LB&E) non cash assets and liabilities, etc.

Current-Dormant Sets of Books                              0127-02/all

Depreciation Expense                                                0125-02/all

Fixed Asset (LB&E) Accountability                          0033-01/all

Fixed Asset and Debt Retirement Accounting      2011-07/eod

Fixed Asset-Land, Bldgs & Equip-LB&E Issues   0018-09/all

Click here to return to the Topic List


4 - USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTER SYSTEM TOOLS

    We use the software product known as QuickBooks (TM) (QB)  to do our Mission Agency accounting.   See the above paragraph where I have discussed our use of the  Internet and QB in depth per the 8888-01 content..

Electronic Mission Agency Financial Ideals   8016-02/mis

Finances Electronically                                        0035-01/all

HOMERS and MFTeams                                       0905-03/fwi

Internet Application Service Providers-ASP    0904-03/fwi

Non bcidot.org  Web Sites                                   0640-77/qbb

Online (Web) Ministry Finance Applications    0175-99/all   

Online Bill Payment, etc.                                       0926-03/fwi

QB and Fund Accounting FAQ                         0601-06/qbb

QB Ministry Sample Reports                             0799-07/qbb

QB Self Examination                                           0603-09/qbb 
 
QB Tips                                                                  0699-07/qbb

Click here to return to the Topic List


5 - MISSION AGENCY FINANCE POLICIES (5)

    We would fully document and index our authorized Finance policies; and we would regularly review them to insure relevancy.

Finance Policy Resources                               0081-01/all

Manual; Finance and Administrative             0054-01/all

Mission Agency Fin Policies Q & A                8502-01/mis

Record Retention Guide                                   0082-01/all

Short Term Mission Trips                                 0007-01/all

Ten Commandments re Ministry Finance    0032-01/all

Click here to return to the Topic List


6 - MEETINGS RE MISSION AGENCY FINANCES

    We would do our best to have quality Finance Committee (Ministry Finance Team) meetings. To include a regular and "written down" monthly expression of the group's view of what is most important.

Chairperson, Suggestions to                    - 0085-01 ZZall

Finance Committee (FinCom) Helps        - 0028-01 ZZall

Finance Committee  Perspective              - 0029-01 ZZall

Finance Meetings                                          - 0027-01 ZZall

MIFI (Most Important Financial Issues)    - 0122-02  ZZall

Click here to return to the Topic List


7 - EFFECTIVE SPENDING MANAGEMENT     

    Our General Purpose Fund  needs to make full and effective use of a Budget effort (PlanJecting) and daily (if needed) "A to B, or actual to budget" information.  With that in mind, we will do the bulk of controlled buying via prudent use of Plastic. 

Budgeting at a Ministry - 0010-01  ZZall

Budgets or PlanJecting - 0053-01 ZZall

Buying Cycle - 0013-01 ZZall

Debt and Ministry - 0126-02 ZZall

Glossary of mostly Budget Terms - 0062-07  ZZall

Goals and Budgeting - 0011-01  ZZall

Plastic Buying and Vendors - 0114-02  ZZall

Click here to return to the Topic List


8 - MAXIMIZE INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROLS

    We will structure the finance assignments for maximum internal control; this would include retaining a non-auditor (ASSUROR) that independently corroborates the veracity of primarily our own cash transactions.

ASSUROR Services - 0676-09 ZZqbb

Check Signing  -  0066-02 ZZall 

Ideal Internal Controls - 0039-01 ZZall

QB and Internal Financial Controls - 0647-02 ZZqbb

Click here to return to the Topic List


9 - MANAGE BANK BALANCES & INVESTMENTS

    We will invest our funds prudently.  This includes the need to earn the maximum amount of Interest Income by leaving as little in the Checking Bank Account as possible; with the balance in special Savings Account that daily earns interest for us. When available, we will make full use of a Bank's provided Sweep process.

Imprest; Petty and Bank Accts - 0112-01 ZZall

Investment and Cash Management - 0043-01 ZZall

Investments & "Double Duty" - 0044-01  ZZall 

Replicating Ministries - 0083- 01  ZZall

Sweep/Float Management System - 0006-01 ZZall

Click here to return to the Topic List


10 - 21ST CENTURY MISSION AGENCY REVENUE ISSUES 

    See the various options explained in depth within the following links.

Credit Card Receipts - 0050-01 ZZall

DonaMail & Integrated Software - 0021-02 ZZall

Donations - Calendar Year End Issues - 0023-01 ZZall

Electronic Funds Transfer - repetitive gifts - 0035-01

Fund Gathering/Raising Perspective - 0123-02 ZZall

Fund Raising Philosophy - 0036-01 ZZall

Gifts in Kind Accounting - 0055-02 ZZall

Personalized Giving Issues - 0020-01 ZZall

Phiscal Philosophy - 0052-01 ZZall

Pledge Accounting - 0061-01  ZZall

Pledge Accounting via QB - 0631-02  ZZqbb  

Click here to return to the Topic List


11 - PAY BILLS ELECTRONICALLY 

    As to selected regular/repetitive bills, an agent sees that our vendor gets their money and integrates it within our accounting system as if we had produced a check, and then signed and mailed it to the vendor.  We will utilize QuickBooks (TM) (QB)  for this purpose.   Also see information found within   0926

Click here to return to the Topic List


12 - PAYROLL - RETAIN SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT 

    From Settlement Information (see 8888-01), we outsource this via QuickBooks (TM) (QB)-Intuit as they care for the entire payroll process .... that would include: 1> From info you provide, they compute the pay check; 2> It is integrated within your accounting system as if you had produced the payroll transactions; 3> The pay checks are deposited electronically to your employee's personal bank account; 4> They care for the needed Depositary Receipt processing; 5>  Plus, they report and file required quarterly and annual payroll tax returns and employee reporting forms.  All of our clergy get W-2s.

Click here to return to the Topic List


13 - AUDITOR MATTERS 

    Our Mission Agency has a specific AUDITOR strategy in compliance with ECFA. requirements. We strongly feel that we should belong to this organization since we deal with so many members of the Christian public.  At the time of the Opinion Audit our CPA-Audit firm supplements their Management Letter with a Grade report ... see sample below:

Audits; Types of - 0003-01 ZZall

Audits & Volunteer Helps - 0057-77 ZZall

Exam Grades; Sample - 0128-77 ZZall

Remote CPA-Auditor firm and the use of Internet Hyperlinks at a Church Sample - 5432-10  ZZall

Click here to return to the Topic List


Fr:  LEE
      Thanx, Jim ----  exactly what I had in mind.  Let our Ministry Finance Team digest this and then relate it to what we are doing.


 " FREQUENTLY USED VOCATIONAL TERMS"   USED  HEREIN  INCLUDE:

A to B = Actual to Budget reporting
Assessments = A Missionary unit SPFund is assessed an agreed amount to cover GPFund expenses.
ASSUROR =  An Online  means of getting some assurance about the validity of your QB maintained financial records.
ASP = Web based, or Internet Application Service Provider
Big Pix = Big Picture report - snap shot or overview report
CFO = Ministry staff member who is Chief Financial Officer
CPA  = Certified Public Accountant ..... Auditor
CrUnion = Credit Union
DIBS - Daily Interest Bearing Savings bank account
DONAMAIL = Dona)tion and Mail)ing systems
ECCU = Evangelical Christian Credit Union
ECFA = Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
FinCom  = Finance Committees
Fixed Assets = Land, Building, Equipment, Furniture, Vehicles
GAAP = General Accepted Accounting Principles
GPFund =  General Purpose Fund; or single GPF
HDQ = Headquarters 
HOMERS = Those like "stay at home" Moms or retired people who prefer to work from their home, etc.
Jim Bee and Jim Bramer are one and the same
KITS = Key Item Trend Statements; also see Big Pix above
LB&E  = Land, Building and Equipment - Fixed Assets
MFTeam = MFT, or Ministry Finance Team
MIFI  = Most Important Financial Issues
NPO = Non Profit Organization
PHOTO = Ministry Balance Sheet or 'Point in Time' financial report
PlanJecting  = Planning and projecting in around budgets.
Plastic = Credit Card
Q & A = Questions and Answers
QB =Quickbooks, usually the latest version
SetASide = GPFund assessments for future purposes
Settlement Fund = A SPFund per Missionary unit that is zeroed out on a regular basis.
SPFunds = Special Purpose Funds; plural SPFs
TRUISMS = Ministry financial principles as set forth by Jim Bramer
VIDEO = Ministry Income Statements that cover a "Period of Time" financial report.


    Please Click Here for a list having to do with Mission Agencies topics here on www.bcidot.org.  The bulk of this Publication originated in October 2000 and was  UPTD: March 09, 2012   

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