Payroll: Do you have your ducks in a row?

One definition of “dread” is managing payroll without qualified staff. For those churches with limited resources, ministerial staffing positions must be filled first. A common sentiment among pastoral leadership regarding payroll is, How hard can it be?

Well, it is hard. And, some mistakes could lead to serious consequences.

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3 key essentials to better stewardship

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As your church settles down from Christmas celebrations, things are no doubt getting into full swing for the person managing all your church’s accounting. If that person is you, you likely still have several time-sensitive tasks on your horizon that need to get finished by January 31. Putting a good system in place can help keep you on track — and that’s what we’ve outlined for you below.

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Church accounting basics: transparency & accountability

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How to lay the foundation for true church CHURCH ACCTNGaccounting stewardship

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Year-end tax & portfolio planning for pastors

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November and December are a busy time of year for most pastors. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the liturgical calendar begins anew with the season of Advent. As preparations are made to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, extra services need to be planned, multiple sermons need to be written, rehearsals are in full swing for the Christmas pageant, and pastors are also ministering to those for whom the holidays are not such a joyous time.

Amidst all these preparations, pastors need to set aside some time to focus on year-end financial details that have tax implications for 2015 and 2016. Don’t let the following items slip past you.

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Internal controls keep fraud at bay

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“What happens in accounting, stays in accounting.” If your finance team’s motto goes something like this, you might have an internal controls problem. Internal controls are put in place to clearly define proper procedures for finance and accounting team members, to minimize risk, and to alleviate suspicion. Even churches must mitigate risk and ensure that policies and procedures are in place and functioning as intended.

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Church audits: know the 4 V’s

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Depending on your role at the church, you’ll hear the word “audit” and come to one of two conclusions:

If you’re the finance manager, you understand the need for the substantiation of the integrity of the data — even though an audit can add to your already busy workload.

If you’re the pastor, it comes down to one word: “Why?” The financials are written in what appears to be a foreign language, and they don’t seem to help as you try to make good, mission-critical decisions, anyway.

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Dollar’s dollars: restricted gifts and abandoned projects

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Televangelist Creflo Dollar recently came under fire for asking that 200,000 of his followers donate $300 each to buy a $60-million luxury jet for his use. In the wake of bad publicity associated with the request, it appears that he may have cancelled the campaign before reaching his goal. The problem is: What happens to money already collected?

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The clergy housing allowance: get the facts

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As March and April roll around each year, a collective sigh can be heard as Americans prepare to file their taxes. Much of the groaning comes in response to the complexity of figuring out what regulations apply. The clergy housing allowance is a perfect example.

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Church management software (ChMS): where ministry meets monetary — new eBook available

Download the ACS Technologies "Church Management Software (ChMS) Forum" eBook!

In some ways, churches must run like businesses. However, houses of worship have specific needs that secular accounting software just can’t accommodate. In this insightful new eBook, ChMS expert Michael Jordan talks about those unique needs — and how the right ChMS meets them. Download this eBook now! And, keep an eye on your inbox for additional chapters, from giving / donation tools to first-time visitor engagement.

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Judicial Watch sues Internal Revenue Service for records about IRS monitoring of churches

July lawsuit settlement with atheist group, IRS admits monitoring churches for allegedly illegal political activity

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