budgeting Archives - Page 22 of 24 - Church Executive


Church accounting basics: EMPLOYEE — to be or not to be

If your church is anything like mine, you are constantly trying to navigate the requirements of our nation’s employment laws. When researching the topic of “employee versus independent contractor,” what I find is consistently inconsistent. It’s easy to get lost in the lack of interpretation.

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What are banks looking for?

Long-term interest rates appear to have bottomed out and are projected to increase by year-end. So, now is the time to consider borrowing funds to undertake important building initiatives or refinancing existing debt.

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Best practices: insurance review and planning

The loan underwriting process is centered on determining the level of risk associated with each ministry. As a part of that risk management process, we inquire about the amount of debt, cash reserves, as well as the limits and type of insurance coverage the ministry maintains.

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Planning for retirement: it’s your choice

“Do I buy a car or lease one?” “Do I work to pay for my education — or my children’s — or do I take out a loan?” “Do I rent an apartment or buy a house?” For each of these questions, making the right decision depends on a number of factors that are unique to you. But one financial question leaves us with very few choices: “Do I save for retirement?”

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Proof that adding mobile giving won’t increase your church’s budget

A few months ago, I sat down for coffee with a young executive pastor. He was technologically savvy, ambitious and full of positivity as his church had seen triple-digit growth in the last few years.

As soon as the topic of church software came up, his countenance changed.

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Church audits: know the 4 V’s

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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A year-end financial review helps focus on your financial goals

The statistics on Americans and retirement planning are staggering. More than half of us do not know how much we will need to live a comfortable retirement, and 60 percent have saved less than $25,000. For clergy, the economics of retirement can be even more challenging.

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Performance bonds: beneficial or a waste of money?

For most of my professional career, I have been anti-performance and payment bond-oriented. To me, they seem like such a waste of money. In short, they’re just an insurance policy (although the Surety industry would say they are not “insurance” but rather a “guarantee” — semantics!) in the unlikely event the general contractor on a job is unable to complete the project (usually due to a bankruptcy or other major catastrophe related to the contractor). In theory, that sounds great. It almost feels like the proverbial “Get Out Of Jail” card. But is it really?

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Church Management Software (ChMS) Forum: It’s all about integration

Frankly, many churches have some form of online giving software already in place. So, the point isn’t just about having online giving or donation tools — it’s about maximizing all the benefits online giving can provide.

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The healthy church

The Bible has a clear definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 — “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.” As church leaders, we walk every day in faith. So, how do we marry faith and facts? The church has been put in our care, and we must be good stewards of what God has given us. So how do we care for the church?

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