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The Form Gallery, Issue #053 - Top 12 Tips to Writing a Church Accounting Policy Manual
September 09, 2012

Top 12 Tips to Writing a Church Accounting Policy Manual

I want to extend a sincere "Thank You" to everyone who prayed for relief from the 100+ degree weather we were having in Oklahoma. The next day after I asked for prayer in the last newsletter we received relief out of no where, and not only did the weather get cooler but we received some badly needed rain to help end our drought in the area where I live! I know the prayers were going up! Thank You Again! :)

In this issue I have the "Top 12 Tips to Writing a Church Accounting Manual and 2 free sample accounting policy manuals to download along with some Pastor Appreciation cards & more.

Shepherdbase (Church Membership Database) will track memberships (unlimited), contributions, attendance and much more for ONLY $34.99 so Hurry & Enjoy these Savings!


Top 12 Tips to Writing a Church Accounting Policy Manual
Pastor Appreciation Month Ideas New Web Pages with New Forms
Shepherdbase (Church Membership Database)Labor Day Special
FCF (Free Church Forms) CD
Church Office Package – Special Limited Offer
Free eBook - ”Top Ten Tips on How to Organize Your Office” Table of Contents

Top 12 Tips to Writing a Church Accounting Policy Manual

Organizations/Churches create accounting policy and procedures to stress the importance of protecting their financial assets. When your organization has so many hands overseeing accounts payable and receivable, it’s easy to get the money lost in the shuffle if employees or volunteers don’t have guidelines for handling it, even in the simplest tasks. Due to the high penalties for failing to maintain careful financial records, most organizations rely on direct accounting procedures to make sure they have consistent compliance with reporting regulations.

The Top 12 Tips to Writing an Accounting Policy Manual include:
  • 1. Policy Objectives Introduction - Write an introduction stating policy objectives. For example, “The [Church Name]’s purpose in writing this Accounting Policy Manual is to guarantee the protection of assets and compliance with standard accounting principles. All of the [Church Name] accounting staff must follow these policies.”
  • 2. List Accounting Staff Members & Responsibilities - List and identify the church accounting staff by their title and name. Also list and summarize each accounting staff member’s individual duties.
  • 3. Distinguish Funds - Decide between designated or unrestricted funds. Fund accounting is a type of accounting for any nonprofit institution (requiring IRS approval to become a nonprofit institution). Fund accounting distinguishes between designated or restricted funds and nondesignated or unrestricted funds. All revenues fall into a general account out of which bills, etc. must be paid in a business, but a church does not have revenues or customers. A church has donations and donors, unlike a business where customers pay you. A church donor might specify which project this donation is to go to such as a donor might donate $10,000 toward the purchase of a new church van. This would have to be restricted to the church van account, and may not be used for general fund purposes. Establish procedures to distinguish funds, etc., and create a separate fund account for each restricted project being donated to within the church. You do not have to open a separate bank account for each project unless you just want to as long as the records reflect each account individually and the funds are never mingled with the general fund account.
  • 4. Church Budget - Establish a budget based on regular giving of the members of the congregation such as tithes and offerings donated weekly or monthly. The budget must also reflect staff member’s salaries, mortgage or buildings rent payments, utilities, insurance, etc. Make sure all fixed expenses is able to be met by the regular giving so the restricted projects (new church van, etc.) will not jeopardize the immediate needs of the church.
  • 5. Internal Controls - Explain and list all your policies for areas such as check writing, deposits, offering counting, account reimbursements, credit card usage, etc.
  • 6. Reconciliations - Establish reconciliations procedures by stating what to do when the accounting ledger balances are shorter than the current church budget allows. For example, accounting staff members must compare the dates, amounts, returned and cancelled checks in order to determine reconciliations for bank accounts. Describe how to fix differences with other accounting ledger amounts such as what is the essential amount balance for petty cash and security deposit accounts?
  • 7. Petty Cash - Establish the church petty cash procedures by writing the process of the petty cash fund such as what is the total maximum account, maximum individual disbursements, and who is the overseer of the funds. Also, discuss procedures for replenishing the fund and how to record disbursements, and how often the fund should be reviewed. Establish a process of what to do if there is a discrepancy between receipts collected and the fund’s current balance.
  • 8. Manage Fixed Assets - This is a very important section that should include the recording, capitalization, and disposal of all fixed assets. Explain the methods of managing church fixed assets. Explain on your church property logs what information to include, when to do physical inventories, and how to report changes in property and equipment.
  • 9. Payroll - Explain how to manage church payroll by choosing the method you will use in payments to church staff, identifying who maintains payroll files and where the files should be stored. Prepare lists with steps for preparing time sheets, processing staff member’s work time and calculating payroll. Explain who will review the payroll summaries and distribute the final checks.

    The unique position that ministers are in allows them to choose if they want to be considered an employee of the church (taxes held from their pay) or to be considered an independent contractor (they are responsible for their own taxes). This puts the church accountant in the undesirable position of having to explain the good and the bad with each option.

  • 10. Monthly Financial Reporting & Statements - Write policies for preparing monthly financial reporting and statements. Identify who will prepare draft reports and how will they approve final versions. Also, give detailed instructions for conducting year-end assessments.
  • 11. Audits - Explain what kind of church audits are performed and how often they are required.
  • 12. Records Retention - The section of the policy manual is absolutely necessary to define how long to keep supporting records and documents on file.

Click here to download the free Church Accounting Policy Manual (2 Samples)

Pastor Appreciation Month Ideas

The second Sunday in October is always Pastor Appreciation Day officially and the entire month of October is celebrated as Pastor Appreciation Month. This celebration was established in 1992 with a mission of showing appreciation by uplifting and encouraging Pastors, missionaries, and religious workers.

I have the best Pastor in the world and I'm sure you may say the same about your Pastor. My Pastor has showed me how to have true Faith and a how to have a true relationship with Jesus my precious Lord and Savior, which is leading me into perfect Love, Peace and Joy. I said all of that to say this, My Pastor is worth more than I could ever give him and I want to try and show him how much I appreciate him every chance I get, but especially in this very special Pastor Appreciation Month.

Here a few ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month:
  • Pastor Appreciation Cards show appreciation in a very special way to a number of recipients including Pastor and his wife, Youth Pastor and his wife and any other Pastor-related ministries.
  • Freeing Up Pastor's Time by noticing and taking inventory of the different jobs and responsibilities your Pastor is under, and then finding other members in the church and yourself to lighten this load. This is very special to the Pastor because it frees up more time for God's Word, his ministry, and gives him more time to be with his family.
  • Prayer Calendar - Designate one member to organize this calendar who will go around and ask every church member to sign up for one day of month (to pray on that day every month) to pray for the Pastor so that he will be prayed for every day throughout the entire year. This member will need to be responsible also for sending reminders to these members to pray on designated day that they chose.
  • Gifts for Pastor(s), of course, are always appreciated. The links below are an affiliate of mine ( that has wonderful gifts for Pastor(s).
104696: Thank You, Pastor, Clock and Photo Frame Thank You, Pastor, Clock and Photo Frame
By Cottage Garden

For pastor's study, our shadowbox photo clock frame features four collage openings in brown woodgrain. Analog clock and tribute: Pastor, Thank you for giving your time so freely. You are a blessing; with Scripture. Photos may be inserted from the back. Velvetex easel and backing. 11.5" x 9.5"; for wall or table display. Pastor Appreciation Gift idea.

440437: Associate Pastor Framed Art Associate Pastor Framed Art
By Heartfelt, Inc

Handsome 13" x 11" framed wall d&#233cor to honor pastor; deep wood frame, matted; Bible accent; sentiment of thanks and affirmation Your great love and devotion for God is witnessed in all your actions. May you be blessed for your service.; Pastor Appreciation Gift idea.

037446: Reflections of Time, Clock, Pastor Reflections of Time, Clock, Pastor
By Heartfelt, Inc

Decorator gift clock for Home with loving sentiment is trimmed with gold foil accents and set in embellished goldtone frame. 6" x 6" square design, with easel back for desk or tabletop display; inspiration and Scripture for occasions and milestones, creating a practical keepsake gift. From our Reflections of Time Collection; button cell D393 battery. Thank you for your time and devotion to serving the Lord and His church. Pastor Appreciation gift idea. New Web Pages with New Forms

I will be continually adding new don't miss an issue!

Shepherdbase (Church Membership Database)

Shepherdbase (church membership database) is ONLY $34.99. You will also receive 2 Offering Envelope Templates and Offering Count Sheet free as a Bonus for purchasing Shepherdbase! Hurry and Enjoy these Savings!

Shepherdbase (church membership database) will:
  • Track member's information along with a place for member's picture and automates First Time Visitor Letters for new members
  • Track member's contributions and automates Annual Contribution Letters at the end of the year
  • Filter church member's information with the click of a button
  • Track Church Attendance and automates Attendance Report

Shepherdbase is a very simple and user friendly database, but very powerful.

If you purchased Shepherdbase in the past (before Sept. 2011) and would like to receive the latest new updated version of "Shepherdbase" free of charge contact me.

FCF (Free Church Forms) CD

This great CD has all the free church forms, certificates, flyers...on along with 4 Bonuses as a Thank You for purchasing the CD all for one special price of $13.99 plus shipping and handling ($6.00 in the U.S. or $20.00 outside the U.S.).

The FCF CD includes:

  • Free church forms, certificates, flyers...(450+ forms each in PDF and Microsoft Office Word format - some in Excel). Also continually updated to include the latest forms created.

  • Table of Contents that includes folders/subfolders named the page in which they were generated and the name of the files under the folders.

  • Bonus#1 - Church Offering Envelope Templates#2 (short and long) are included in the CD.
  • Bonus#2 - Expense Report in MS Excel format that will automatically calculate expenses.
  • Bonus#3 - Beautiful 12 Month Photo Calendar in Microsoft Office Excel format that you can easily automate any year you want with the click of a button and change any of the photos very easily on any month you choose.
  • Bonus#4 -ebook - "Top Ten Tips on How to Organize Your Office".
Click here to purchase the Free Church Forms CD.

Church Office Package – Special Limited Offer

The Church Office Package includes Shepherdbase - Church Membership Database and the FCF (Free Church Forms) CD along with all the Free Bonuses for only $40.99 plus shipping and handling ($6.00 in U.S. or $20.00 outside the U.S.)! Hurry and Enjoy these Savings!

Click here to purchase the Church Office Package Deal

Free eBook - ”Top Ten Tips on How to Organize Your Office”

This eBook is free to my newsletter subscribers as a special "Thank You" for subscribing to my newsletter. I have worked in several different secretarial areas with different jobs and I have learned the hard way how to organize more than one office. Take advantage of these tips in this free eBook and they will help get your office organized. Just click on the link below to download your free copy today.

"Top Ten Tips on How to Organize Your Office" Table of Contents

The Table of Contents is available here. You will now have access to all of the free church forms...listed in alphabetical order. I update it with new church I create them. I have them in categories so that you can just click on the form you want and it will lead you to that page. Just click on the link below for the free FCF Table of Contents. Enjoy! :) Table of Contents

You can easily contact me through my email: I will get back promptly with any questions you might have.

Have a Blessed Day!

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