Help For Finance Committees

Beautiful buildings require proper financial management to build and maintain As a member of your church’s Finance Committee you understand how important money is to your church’s ability to share the gospel and to minister to your congregation. You probably also realize that, your church’s nonprofit status is probably its most valuable non-monetary asset. Without it not only would your church have to start paying property and sales taxes like other businesses, but your donor’s contributions would no longer be tax deductible. The likely double whammy of less income and higher expenses could prove devastating to your church.

You want your donors, the people who’ve demonstrated their commitment to your church’s mission, to perceive that their gifts to your church are being handled with the highest integrity. With reports of financial impropriety at previously well-respected churches appearing in the media with ever greater frequency, it’s becoming painfully obvious that this is much easier said than done.

As a member of the Finance Committee do you have processes in place to assure that your donor’s gifts are handled appropriately and with accountability? These processes go beyond employing best practices for the counting and depositing of weekly offerings. Good accountability also includes policies and procedures that cover a well-defined purchase approval and payment system, the processes used for the church’s payroll, the handling of funds for non-offering revenue such as for special events and a system of maintaining an inventory record of church assets. If you already have such a financial and management policy and procedures manual that covers these areas, does it conform to best practices while at the same time guiding current practice?

Christ taught his followers to help those among them who are less fortunate. Your church probably tries to honor his teaching by providing hurting people with gifts of food, rent and utility payments. But did you know that doing so without adequately researching the recipient’s current financial situation could result in those gifts being viewed by the Internal Revenue Service as a private benefit? What about scholarships given to high school students in the church so that they can go to a Christian summer camp? When are they considered a private benefit and not benevolence by the IRS?

Church Administrative Professionals is a company made up of experienced Church Administrators who have a heart for serving churches like yours. We can help you answer the questions raised here as well as many others by bringing our expertise and experience to your church at an affordable cost. Because we bill you for our services, you won’t be expected to pay any employer taxes or benefits for us. This saves your church money.

We are available to work as consultants on individual issues or on an ongoing basis as outside contractors, working alongside the staff at your church as often as one day a week. If you would like to know more about how Church Administrative Professionals can help you and your church be better stewards of your financial resources and how to more appropriately handle them, please contact us.

Deborah Miller, cca

Charles Kneyse