Church Finances

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, May 1, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    How does your church handle finances?
    Is one person - ie the Treasure responsible for counting, depositing, writing checks, and doing the financial report?
    Do you require different people each week to count the money?
    In addition to a Treasurer, do you need a Financial Secretary?
    Are certain leaders, such as the pastor not to count the money or be aware of who gives how much.
    How often should financial reports be made (monthly, quarterly, annually)
    How is the treasurer selected - vote of the church?, appointed by the pastor?
    How many people should be on the bank signature card?
    Should they be bonded?
    Other recommendations?
     
  2. annsni

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    We have a man who is the "administrative pastor" who is in charge of all of the finances. He went to school for accounting and is REALLY careful with the money (and yes, he's also ordained). He has two people who work with him as well so there are three who handle the church finances. Our budget is just over $2 million a year.

    When counting offering, we need two people who are not from the same family in the room. Everything is copied and carefully counted. We have an independent audit yearly to make sure everything is above board.

    Our pastors have no idea who gives what unless someone gives them a check directly. Not sure about the signature stuff or the bonding. :)
     
  3. 12strings

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    -One Treasurer who, along with the church secretary, tracks income and expendatures. She is nominated yearly and approved by congregational vote...generally one person holds this position untill they tire of it.


    -same team of 4 (counting commmittee) each week for a year, then the team members may change for the next year. All 4 aim to be there each week, but they can proceed with as little as 2 of them.

    -No.

    -Yes, pastors do not handle any money or know who gives what. The only money we handle is the money we ourselves use to buy ministry materials (books, curriculums, music, etc). We file a form for each expense.
    -ours are monthly, and also annually.

    -A Nominating commitee nominates a person who is then approved by congregational vote.

    -I know that all church checks require 2 signatures, and the church secretary, treasurer, and 4 members of the finance committee are approved to be these signatures. This must change at the bank whenever new people come onto the finance committee.

    -I don't know what this means. :BangHead:
     
  4. Salty

    Salty
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    Click here for info
     
  5. DiamondLady

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    Two people are responsible each week to count the money. They sign off that the amount recorded is the amount received. The treasurer then takes, recounts and deposits the money, and records the giving for each person on their yearly report for their taxes.

    We do not require different people each week, but we do require a pair each week, not from the same family. These people come from the finance committee.

    We do not have an additional financial secretary and the pastor never touches any money. He sits on the finance committee as an ad hoc member and does not even have a church credit card. Any purchases he makes must come through the finance committee and treasurer for reimbursment.

    Finance reports are given to the church on a quarterly and yearly basis. The finance committe performs an audit of the financial records once a year.

    The treasurer is selected each year, but it's generally the same person until they get burned out and quit. They are nominated by the nominating committee and elected by the church.

    Two people are on the signature card at the bank, the treasurer and asst. treasurer, but only 1 signature is required for checks. Our treasurer is not bonded, however the church is covered for error and embezzelment by our insurance.
     
  6. Deacon

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    I attend a small church with a budget totaling around 400k annually; about half of which goes to salaries and benefits of a small staff.

    The church has a group of people counts the collection after the service each week.
    The group is small but varies based upon their availability.
    Paid staff are not on the team, but an elder could be.

    The team deposits the checks and cash at a local bank.
    The checks and envelope amounts are tallied and sent to a financial firm the church has hired.
    The elders receive a weekly summary of the general totals ā€“ if anyone was interested they could also view the report.
    Once in a while we print up a report for the bulletin ā€“ it was done recently to show that costs are running under-budget (no snow removal costs and a warm winter helped a lot!).

    A deacon with experience in finance oversees the receipts and payments.
    He is the only person other than the elders who can cut a check.
    He was elected by the members of the church to serve in this position.
    Bonded? Probably not, but Iā€™m not sure.
    Deacons serve at the pleasure of the elders as long as they choose.

    An overview of the accounts is presented in the annual business meeting, although anybody, anytime, can ask to review the records.

    Rob
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    I'll give you the view of how a rather larger church handles it. (We run 4k plus on the weekend.) We have a department that is staffed plus a ministry team which oversees the finance ministry.

    The department is led by a guy who has a CPA and the employees (there are four of them under him) have a business or accounting background. We have an independent firm (which rotates every year) audit our entire church every year. These results are made public on our website and in a physical disclosure for anyone who desires to see them. As well our operating budget is made available for anyone who wishes to see it, though we don't publish staff salaries.

    Our total operating budget is $15 million so it takes a small village to make sure everything works properly.

    We outsource our counting operations to an independent agency which picks up the collections (which are increasingly being replaced by online payment systems) and runs them through their secure process.

    See above. Yes.

    No one knows how much one person gives over another person except for our staff accountant and they aren't allowed to disclose that information.

    I don't know what kind of report you're looking for but we publish where we are in our budget every Sunday and anyone can ask our staff at anytime.

    Affirmed by our church, selected by our finance committee, under the supervision of our executive team.

    All director level and above staff have a credit card for the church to make purchases. All statements are signed off on by departmental leaders and all receipts are included and expenses justified.

    Absolutely they should be bonded. We have a zero tolerance policy on finances. If there is any suspicion of misuse we run it down and relentlessly pursue resolution. Keep in mind, the more transparent a church is concerning finances the more trust your people have in the leadership. :)
     
  8. jprieto

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    we let those formally baptized and formally join our church vote on it
    even the pastor's income is voted on

    pastor is never present at financial votes
    its how he wants it, so that future pastor are in for the ministry not the money
    and no worried of pastor's excessive luxury living

    funds used for helping struggling members with utility bills, food, etc
    50% must be used solely for helping the needy, members first
    the other 50% is budgeted and voted upon every six months
     
  9. dh1948

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    Here is how at least one small, rural church handles the finances:

    Church treasurer is an institutionalized position. One person has been in this position for decades. No one questions the practice.

    After 180+ years, an assistant treasurer was elected last year.

    One signature on checks is all that is required. I don't think the assistant treasurer has even bothered to go to the bank and sign a signature card. If a check needs to be signed and the treasurer is not at home, his wife will gladly sign his name. The bank (small town...everyone knows everyone) knows this and honors the check. lol

    Two ushers receive the offering each Sunday morning, put it in a bank bag, and give it to the treasurer. He takes it home and counts it. The church doesn't even know what an offering envelope is. The mere suggestion of using them sent them into a state of shock. No contribution statements are given out at the end of the year because, "Your cancelled checks can serve the purpose."

    Sometime during the week, the treasurer will deposit the offering.

    Each month the treasurer gives a detailed financial report, reading aloud each deposit and each check written. The suggestion of printing a report for distribution was not taken, nor was the suggestion that the business meeting be held quarterly.

    So...there it is. I would say this is the model of most small, rural churches. The church is a tight knit group of relatives...by blood and by marriage. Change is scorned by the "power brokers" and the woman who actually provides pastoral leadership. Long story. They listen to me as I preach, but look to her for leadership.

    Why am I there? After retiring from fully-funded pastoral ministry, I thought I might be able to help such a church. Little did I know. Another story for another thread. :rolleyes:
     
  10. dh1948

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    Sorry about the typo in the previous post. A sentence in the next to the last paragraph should have read: "A woman actually provides the pastoral leadership."
     

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