It’s amazing what God will do!
By Raymond Hendrix
When Charlene Fink and I were discussing the procedures for closing out the Synod fiscal year, January 31, 2017, I thought about 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Everything old has passed away; behold, everything has become new!” Could this verse also apply to our financials and accounting records and procedures– closing the old year and starting the new year?
Out with the old
First, let’s review the policy manual for keeping and discarding records and files. What? No written policy? Then, we must establish a policy. How about a policy in which the church (meaning congregations and/or synods) will keep files such as (a) remittance forms and documents supporting deposits; (b) vendor invoices, cancelled checks and other documents supporting payments; (c) letters pertaining to accounting, etc. for a period of four years. Payroll records and payroll tax forms will be kept for six years. Year end financial reports we will keep forever. Now, we will box up the files for 2016/17, and then move the box to the storage room. Before moving the files to the storage room, let’s remove and shred the files for 2012/13 and prior years.
In with the new
Where should we start? Let’s start by reviewing the budget for the new year. The budget is the financial plan adopted by the church to guide the finance committee in meeting the church’s ministries for the year. For the finance committee, a budget is like a blueprint for a carpenter.
I know the operating expenses are necessary in the operation of a church, but let’s review mission support (benevolence, proportionate share, etc) first. As we review mission support we need to make sure commitment forms have been turned in to the church. Commitment forms assist in the administration of the budget. Next question. Are we to pay mission support first or wait to see if we have any money left? Let’s plan to pay mission support first!
After a review and planning for the budget expenditures, we can now turn our attention to (a) setting up file folders for the various documents such as remittance forms, vendor invoices, bank statements, letters, payroll and payroll taxes, etc.; (b) carrying over balances from 2016/17 to the year 2017/18; (c) reviewing and updating permanent files; (d) reviewing insurance policies; and (e) arranging for an audit of the records for 2016.
We give thanks for God’s blessings and pray for His continued blessings and guidance.
Thank you for all the ways you live out “God’s work, Our Hands.”