Church budget

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Most, if not all churches have a budget.

    Who is responsible to make sure that someone does not spend more than the budget calls for?

    Should someone and/or a committe have some oversight?

    Would this be a responsiblity of the Finance committee?

    Suppose the budget for the the Electric and power is $1,000 per year - but it is all spent by mid November. Should the Treasuer pay the Dec bill before a vote by the church can be taken?

    Any other reccomendations for finance committee?
     
  2. SolaSaint

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    A church can always call for a biz meeting unless the by-laws prohibit that.
     
  3. Salty

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    though you answered the last question -

    My main point is who should have oversight of the budge and to make sure it is not being overspent.

    The purpose of the last question was an example of possibly going over the budget.
     
  4. JamesL

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    Budgets can really be a mess in some cases, especially if there are rotating positions on committees other than finance. For instance, one church I was on the Property and Space committee. Our budget of about 6,000 annually was supposed to cover maintenance and repairs of the building and anything permanently attached to it.

    However, we had 7 heating and cooling systems plus water heaters, etc. Averaging the cost of replacement over the life spans meant that we needed about 500 per month just for that utility equipment. That would be our entire budget, with nothing left to fix a toilet, buy light bulbs, repair door knobs, steeple clocks, roof leaks, yada yada.

    All of that was because the committee terms were three years. With a congregation of only 100, there just weren't enough people qualified rotate onto that committee. I don't think anybody there knew how to present realistic budget numbers to the finance committee.

    I came on the committee after being in the church for about 2 years, along with another gentleman who works in construction trades who had been there one year. We both about had strokes when we saw the skimpy budget for our committee.

    It took us a whole year to get an additional couple of thousand a year. The finance committee thought that 18 year old air conditioners would run forever. I don't think there were enough people qualified to sit on that committee either
     
  5. saturneptune

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    In our church, the Budget-Finance Committee is responsible. However, each section has a certain number that the person who runs that area is aware of. For example, if the budget calls for $400 for decorations, then those who decorate the church are aware of this and stay within the budget. Those are planned expenses.

    In the best of cases, unplanned expenses for a year can only be guessed in a budget. Things like a van breaking down, cooling unit going out, etc has a number in the budget that is a guess. If something happens that takes the number over the limit, enough to affect the rest of the budget, the trustees in this case will go back to the church for approval. If it is a minor repair, it is considered usual and customary maintenance and church action is not required.

    Our budget for the year is probably less than some churches for a month. We have changed building insurance and van insurance to save money from time to time. By the way, the cost of Life Way Sunday School material is outrageous.
     
  6. sag38

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    The church I serve has a Budget/Finance Committee that develops a proposed budget and oversees the budget once approved at an annual business meeting. Those in charge of ministries are allowed to spend within the confines of the budget and policy.
     
  7. Crabtownboy

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    There are times when it is necessary to spend more than is in the budget. Sometimes there are reasons to spend less.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    This is so true. Too many factions inside the church don't understand what a budget is.

    Just because the youth department has been budgeted $11,000 for fiscal year doesn't mean that there is $11,000 sitting in a little pile in the bank collecting dust just waiting to be spent.

    When I'm budgeted monies by the church - children's choir, Vacation Bible School, piano music - I make it my GOAL NOT to spend the money unless I'm in dire straits and the Lord is directing me to spend it.

    In many cases, I've kept my receipt to turn in and decided later that this would be part of an offering on my part and didn't get reimbursed and didn't worry about it.

    I've even asked when I was the church librarian for our budget to be drastically cut.

    A budget is just a guide.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Church monies should be spent not horded. That money needs to go to the glory of God and it cannot do that sitting around in a bank.
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    Yes, and that's why I try to NOT spend the monies I am budgeted. My monies are for sheet music, CD's, and art supplies.

    Not much glory of the Lord there.

    What if we as a church wanted to help out a family in need, but couldn't because everyone is out and about spending money unnecessarily?
     
  11. annsni

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    This is pretty much how we do it. One of our pastors is an accountant by trade and he handles the day to day finances with answering to the finance committee. He's tight where he needs to be and lose where he needs to be as well. If we don't have the money in the bank, the money isn't spent. We will not go into debt if we can help it.

    The problem with this is that there are times when giving is down and you just don't have the money to pay that which is budgeted. We've had times where giving was so low that we have not as a staff gotten paid. I believe a prudent thing to do would be, like for personal finances, to have a few month's worth of expense money sitting in a good bank account. It doesn't have to be millions but enough to get you through a hard time/extra expenses.
     
  12. Salty

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    What does the committe do to "oversee"

    And when you do need to overspend - how is it handled -
    A) the pastor says its okay, B) A committe approves C) must have church vote?

    No one has answered my question of:
    "Suppose the budget for the the Electric and power is $1,000 per year - but it is all spent by mid November. Should the Treasuer pay the Dec bill before a vote by the church can be taken"
    NOTE - the bill must be paid before a business meeting can be schedule - what should be done?
     
  13. go2church

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    The instructions are to pay all bills each month, even if higher than expected. At our monthly business meeting an accounting is given and overages are explained and discussed, measures taken to correct if necessary. This is given by the church treasurer in oral and written form. Those responsible for particular budget items are expected to manage their budget up until they show they can't or won't manage it properly. If that situation arrives, they are reassigned or lose ability to manage their budget and either the finance committee or pastor must approve all spending.

    As pastor, I choose to keep a close eye on all spending, but that is my choice, we have procedures in place if I were to never look at the spending. Our treasurer is a paid position.
     
  14. Salty

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    electric bill and water bill, I understand.

    But suppose the SS teacher has a budget of $25 but spends $30 - would the treasuer still pay the full $30?
     
  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Don't know about other churches, but that couldn't happen in ours. Each department has a budget and a staff member responsible for that department. All expenditures -- what is to be purchased, from where, and for how much -- are requested through that staff member and he/she approves them before the money is spent.
     
  16. go2church

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    Yes, all bills are paid. Consider it part of our public testimony to pay things on time and in full. The situation would then be addressed at monthly meeting if need be.

    We limit who makes purchases, in our case a Sunday school teacher, wouldn't be making a purchase, the request would be made to education director who would make or reject the purchase.
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    In our church, the annual buget agreed upon by membership is set up for each dept on monthly spread sheet basis, treasurer handles tracking those amounts, and reporting to Elders by report every month!

    Once account goes negative, that dept notified not ableto spend ny more that month, or else can continue to spend, but that difference wull subtract from next months budget allowed!
     

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