If Jim Bee was the School's Vol Board Treasurer 7089-02 ZZsch

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                             TO:  Interested Christian Schools                                                                       FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
                                                                                                                                                                   FILE: 7089-02/sch

                              RE: 
If Jim Bee was the School's Volunteer Board Treasurer                     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 Ministry Finance Team Helps


       Fr:  LEE

      Jim, I am the Voluntary Board Treasurer of a Christian School with some 400 students beginning at Pre-School. We are not a part of a Church.  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 such a school this size.
       But, please first share with me your Christian School finance background.

        FR:   Jim 

      That sounds like a ' fun' thing to do .... remember some of what follows is rather platonic, or ideal,  and not always practical in all schools.  Some of the following School finance background is in the above  Jim Bramer  link:

        Served Biola College (now University) as Comptroller, or lead Accountant, beginning in the Spring of 1963 and for over 5 years. Have served probably as many as forty Christian schools in the past three/four decades as a CPA/Auditor.  A major concern/interest has been the effective management of what Parents or Students owe to a Christian School in the way of Tuition and/or Fees. Some of the ways this has been demonstrated include:

  •  Attempted some innovative Biola University Accounts Receivable collection concepts.

  •  Provided a service whereby Parents made payments to an agency and not directly to the school.

  •  Developed/designed/marketed/provided School Accounts Receivable Computer systems.

  •  Over two decades ago, coined the term "Schar" as an acronym for 'Sch'ool 'A'ccounts 'R'eceivable. Some of us refer to it as "Scar", others can it 'Shar'.  Click Here for  'Schar'  resources/links within  Ministry Finance Team Helps 

  •  Have lead and/or participated in Schar Seminars.

  •  Developed various means of articulating Christian School policies as to what was owed to them.

  •  Came up with the term "PAY-TO-STAY"; or how long does a student stay in school when their Tuition or Fees are unpaid

  •  Some time ago provided the "Assn of Christian School International" (ACSI) with various articles for their Christian School Finance publications.

  •  When Treasurer during the 1980s, gave some input to the Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) as they started their TMS (Tuition Management Services).

  •  Now provides Computer Online assistance to interested Christian Schools and attempts to assist them be good financial stewards.  

  •   Was serving as the Board Treasurer of a Church Credit Union when it and the ACSI Credit Union became the Evangelical Christian Credit Union ECCU. This Credit Union now provides special Tuition Collection services to Schools.

  •   Assist such schools Online via the Ministry Finance Team Helps web site.  Please click here for specific ways that we do this.

Fr:  LEE

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

         FR:    Jim

    Yes, I have some 21st Century computer and electronic thoughts. But let me share also my views on other needed School finance basics.  Please note that I have included within each caption below certain links to material on our Ministry Finance Team Helps web site. Please go to  0175  for more Ministry Finance application info.
    Please especially note after July 2006 the "Spending Control"  resources found when you  Click Here.

    Below is a list of subject matter covered within this document; plse click on that which is of interest to you.

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

1 - REPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING SCHOOL FINANCES -- GAAP

       Effective communication re finances at a School 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.
        For more information about Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP - please click here.

Accounting System Essentials              

0031-77

Accounting: Fund, Not Fun                       

0041-01

Allowance for Bad Debts                          

7001-01

Beyond the Bank Balance                        

0058-01

Board Members and Finance Info

0008-01

Chief Financial Officer Suggestions

0014-01

Expenditures; not Expense                        

0067-02

Fiscal Fuel Stewardship

0093-01

Founder Ministry Finance Questions      

0049-02

Glossary of Ministry Finance Terms       

0063-07

Holistic School Finance System              

7004-01

Key Item Trend Statements' KITS             

0045-01

Ministry Accounting Issues

0060-02

Ministry Finance Team

0000-99

Reports, Ministry Finance                         

0084-01

Reports, Photo and Video                    

0086-01

Reports, Year End Ministry Finances      

0097-01

Samples, Reports link

7900-01

SetASide Accounting Issues                   

0088-01

Summer Teacher's Salaries reporting

7011-01

Treasurer and Business Manager, or

           Chief Financial Officer

0015-01

TRUISMS list

0069-01

Web Site Links; Gen Ministry Finances

0107-77

Return to the List Above


2 - ISSUES OF MONEY OWED TO THE SCHOOL 

        We are convinced that the  Sch)ool A)ccounts R)eceivable,  or SCHAR area of School Finance administration is critical as it significantly impacts the relationship with the parents, students and the teachers. A basic issue is that our school can NOT loan money to the Parent .... and this happens when the Parent does not make payments to us when agreed. Therefore, such loans MUST come from other sources.  Click here for a list of SCHAR  resources on this web site.  
         As of March 2013 please note when you GO HERE the advocated use of contemporary Online resources to  rightfully manage School Acct Rec (SCHAR).
        As to "
Web, or Electronic,  SCHAR  Matters", please read  7888-01   This describes a proposed NetSchar partnership with an Application Service Provider - ASP, plus our School and a Credit Union.  Both the School and the Credit Union have access to the ASP provided secure  SCHAR  records so that we can efficiently manage and collect all money due us.  We desire to join with any interested Credit Union, work out the 'bugs' and have this partnership succeed.
  

Return to the List Above


3 - CURRENT FINANCE ACTIVITY ACCOUNTING EMPHASIS   

    We 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 your Land, Building and Equipments (LB&E) non cash assets and liabilities, etc.

Current-Dormant Sets of Books                              0127-02l

Depreciation Expense at a School                          0125-02l

Fixed Asset (LB&E) Accountability                          0033-01l

Fixed Asset and Debt Retirement Accounting      2011-07

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

Return to the List Above


4 - MAKE FULL USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTER SYSTEM TOOLS

    We would use of the software product known as QuickBooks � (QB) to do our School accounting.   Please  link here  and view a list of QB resources. Also see "Electronic Schar Matters" above where such matters are covered.

Electronic School Financial Ideals                     7016-02/sch

Finances Electronically                                         0035-01/all

HOMERS and MFTeams                                        0905-03/fwi

Internet Application Service Providers-ASP    0904-03/fwi

Non BCIDOT QB Web Sites                                  0640-77/qbb

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

Online Bill Payment, etc.                                         0926-03/fwi

QB and Fund Accounting FAQ                             0601-06/qbb

QB Sample Reports                                                 0799-07/qbb

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

Return to the List Above


5 - SCHOOL FINANCE POLICIES

    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

Record Retention Guide                                 0082-01/all

Schar Policies and Related                           7009-01/sch

School Financial Policies Q & A                  7003-01/sch

Seven Schar TRUISMS                                  7010-01/sch 

Short Term Mission Trips                                0007-01/all

Ten Commandments re Ministry Finance    0032-01/all 

Return to the List Above


6 - MEETINGS RE SCHOOL FINANCE

    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

Return to the List Above


7 - EFFECTIVE SPENDING MANAGEMENT     

    The School 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  

Return to the List Above


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

Return to the List Above


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

 

Return to the List Above


10 - 21ST CENTURY SCHOOL REVENUE ISSUES 

    See the many School revenue issues below. We do ask for Donations to the School, so since these are 21st Century financial tools and vehicles, we would use Plastic (Credit Card) Donations for Donations as well as for Schar - see above. 
    In addition to resources found within 7888-01, we would also have a Web Site where Parents:

    >  Would be able to browse and find out the cost of Tuition and Fees - along with many other non financial matters concerning the School.
    >  Find out how to apply for available Scholarships, etc.
    >  Actually register their student(s) Online.
    >  Once the student(s) is accepted, they would have their own URL, or Web Site link,  established within the School Intranet; obviously, the Parent would login with their own password
    >  With the School assigned URL, the Schar System automatically sends the latest Schar monthly account detail to be available to the Parent by clicking on their URL . This way they can be Informed about automatic school receipts by the Parent via such means as: Plastic, Online payment, use of Draft, PayPal  -- plus other Schar matters.
    > Could choose to automatically receive this URL with a monthly Email. 

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

SCRIP Store Issues - 0064-01 ZZall

SCRIP Fund Raising - 0101-02 ZZall

Return to the List Above


11 - PAY BILLS ELECTRONICALLY 

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

Return to the List Above


12 - PAYROLL - RETAIN SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT 

    We now outsource this via QuickBooks � (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.

Clergy Finance and Tax Issues - 0016-01  ZZall

Clergy Stipends and Allowances - 0037-02 ZZall

Employee vs Sub-Contractor Issues - 0024-01 ZZall  

Forms 1099 - who must file - 0048-01 ZZall

QB and Clergy Payroll - 0607-07 ZZqbb

Return to the List Above


13 - AUDITOR MATTERS 

    The School has a specific AUDITOR strategy (in compliance with By-Law requirements) that includes use of trained Internal Auditors and periodic use of External Auditors (CPA Firms).  Now the CPA firm provides an Opinion Audit every three years and a Review for the other years.  At the time of the Opinion Audit they supplement 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

Return to the List Above


Fr:  LEE

      All right ----  exactly what I had in mind.  Our Ministry Finance Team will digest this information and then relate it to what we are doing.


     " FREQUENTLY USED VOCATIONAL TERMS"   USED HEREIN INCLUDE:

A to B = Actual to Budget reporting
ACSI = Assn of Christian Schools International
ASP = Web based, or Internet Application Service Provider
CPA  = Certified Public Accountant ..... Auditor
CrUnion = Credit Union
ECCU = Evangelical Christian Credit Union
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
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
MFTeam = MFT, or Ministry Finance Team
NPO = Non Profit Organizations
PAY TO STAY = Not surprisingly, parents who have not paid their School must keep their kids home
Plastic = Credit Card
Q & A = Questions and Answers
QB =Quickbooks, usually the latest version
Schar  =  School Accounts Receivable.
TMS = Tuition Management Services as provided via ECCU
TRUISMS = Ministry financial principles as set forth by Jim Bramer


       Please Click Here for a list of more Christian School resources on Ministry Finance Team Helps.  The bulk of this Publication originated in October 2000 and was  UPTD: April 08, 2013

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