Cross of Christ Community Church

  "Preaching the Gospel of the Cross" 

Financial Policies

Basic Guidelines

This document was created to present a general overview of the general financial policies and procedures of Cross of Christ Community Church. There are various functions of Cross of Christ Community Church (COCCC) that have financial implications including offerings, fundraisers, accounts, disbursements, etc. This overview provides a basis on which the leadership of COCCC can build a sound financial structure, and an understanding of general procedures and methods to be used in regards to this structure.


I. Plan of Organization

To achieve control over financial matters as well as actual operations, planning must begin at the top of the organization. The highest body of authority in the organizational structure and government of COCCC is the Elder Board. The elders are responsible for the oversight and management of the church’s resources. To accomplish this goal, several functions or positions are necessary. The elders are responsible for appointing such positions as they deem necessary to meet the financial needs of the church, but at the minimum these should include a treasurer.

Treasurer

It is the treasurer’s duty to keep accurate records of all receipts, accounts and disbursements of monies. The treasurer shall deposit all monies of the church in a duly authorized bank in the name of the church. He/she shall disburse funds as authorized by the elders.

He/she shall provide financial statements in all finance committee meetings or as otherwise requested by the elders, as well as reports to the members.

Budget Committee

The budget committee shall be appointed by decision of the Elder Board and shall consist of no less than three members, with one who shall serve as the chairperson. Its primary function is to coordinate the preparation and implementation of the annual budget. The committee must obtain from the pastors, staff and departmental leaders their estimates of financial needs for the coming year. The committee is responsible for making sure that the budget is realistic and reachable. The committee is also responsible for keeping the church on track financially according to the budget, working with the treasurer seeing that expenditures are charged to the proper budget categories and accounts. The treasurer should serve on the budget committee.

Trustees

Trustees are responsible for maintenance of buildings and grounds as well as of furniture and equipment. Those selected must be knowledgeable and capable in the arena of purchasing and maintaining buildings, property and equipment.

Trustees are to sign documents as authorized by the Elder Board. This shall include, but not be limited to, deeds of trust, promissory notes and other legal documents. It shall be the duty of the trustees to hold in trust all properties or portions of property deeded to the Cross of Christ Community Church. They shall assure that all deeds, legal certificates and records are deposited in a place for safe keeping.

Personnel Committee

From time to time the Elder Board may find it beneficial to appoint a committee for the purpose of hiring new staff members or recommending staff salaries and benefits. In addition, the committee should see that all employee policies for staff members are given to each employee in writing.


II. Business Functions

The primary business functions that need to be recognized are discussed in the following topics:

A. Budget Preparation

As a church, COCCC has definite goals; therefore, the church needs a plan to help prepare for the financing of such goals. In the process of preparing a budget, the church is forced to define certain categories and classifications for expenditures. Projected plans and programs must be converted into estimated dollar amounts. The same categories used in preparing the budget will also serve to report on the utilization of resources/monies. Actual results can be compared with budget estimates for each category, providing a means for evaluating performance throughout the year.

      1. Budgeting Philosophy

Several statements are presented here to summarize the aspects of budgeting that are of most importance to the church:

  • Budget planning and preparation require input from the entire church organization. The budget committee will be responsible for coordinating the activity and presenting the budget to the elders for approval.
  • The Elder Board, in one or more business meetings, shall discuss the budget, making any necessary amendments/changes and voting on its adoption. Likewise, the elders shall discuss and vote on any subsequent amendments/changes in amounts and/or purposes of expenditures as it deems necessary from time to time.
  • As a practical matter, the budget will require careful planning of both programs and costs. The programs of the church should be developed in such a way as to reach and fulfill the vision and goals of the church. If growth is to take place and initiative be encouraged the organizational leaders should be encouraged to think in terms of programs that are needed.
  • Organizational leaders, including the pastor, church staff and department heads, should be requested when planning, to set a priority or ranking for their programs. Later, if it is necessary to reduce budget requests, lower priority programs can be scaled down first.
  • Provision should be made for unexpected needs that arise during the year.
  • The elders should also consider and make provision for long term plans for future projects and programs.
  1. Budgeting Process

The fiscal year for COCCC shall be the calendar year, beginning on the first day of January and ending the last day of December. The following shall serve as the processes and time tables for developing the annual budget:

  1. The date for the first budget committee meeting to discuss the budget for the coming year shall be set in early August.
  2. Projections for the next year’s budget shall be requested from all organizational leaders, including pastors and staff. All projections shall be completed by the end of September. The budget committee shall provide all necessary details of actual expenditures for the past year to date.
  3. After requests are collected and compiled, the budget committee and elder board shall meet in early October to discuss, raise questions and/or make suggestions to any budget item(s). The purpose of this meeting is to develop the “Recommended Budget.” The budget committee will provide a line item budget worksheet that will list in four columns from left to right; 1) actual expense for year to date, 2) budget for current year, 3) budget requests for next year, 4) budget recommended for next year.
  4. The Recommended Budget will then be approved or disapproved by the Elder Board. In the event the budget is not approved, the elders should seek to come to a consensus as quickly as possible. Any amendments shall be noted and the “Approved Budget” shall be returned to the budget committee for final drafting.

6.

  1. The final draft constitutes the “Adopted Budget.” The budget committee shall mail a copy of the adopted budget to all church members in good standing.
  1. Cash Receipts

Cash is received into the church at a number of different times and from a number of different sources, such as the following:

  • Collections from regular worship services.
  • Auxiliary or Bible study groups.
  • Fundraisers.
  • Online donations.
  • Media sales, etc.

As cash is received, regardless of the timing or source, it must be carefully protected and accounted for. Essential steps in controlling and recording cash receipts include the following:

  1. Counting, Recording and Depositing of Receipts

The following steps shall serve as the procedure for counting cash receipts:

  • Cash receipts collected during regular worship services shall be collected by the ushers. Two designated ushers shall count the receipts by tallying the amount of loose cash and coin as well as the amounts written on all envelopes. This will be recorded onto the “Usher’s Receipt Tally Sheet”. The ushers will sign and date the tally sheet. There shall be two copies made of the tally sheet, one shall be provided with the receipts and given to the treasurer (placed in safe), the other shall be retained by the designated usher and given to the church secretary for proper documentation.
  • Cash receipts collected from other sources (Men’s/Lady’s Ministry, Children’s/Youth Ministry, Bible Study groups, fundraisers, etc.), are to be counted and placed in a sealed envelope that has written on it; the source, date and amount enclosed. As well, each designated leader will have provided to them specific tally sheets which shall be used to record

7.

the receipts. The leader shall sign and date the tally sheet. Two copies of the tally sheet shall be made, one shall be provided to the treasurer along with the receipts, the other shall be given to the church secretary.

  • Online receipts shall be recorded and documented properly.
  • The treasurer shall then count and record all cash receipts (to be done on Mondays).
  • When emptying envelopes care is to be taken to determine if the amount and name on the envelopes agree with the contents (a good way is to circle those in agreement, and mark through and correct those that are not). Also, it is to be determined if the donation is designated or un-designated for specific use. All shall be recorded by using the “Receipt Summary Sheet”.
  • Having determined that the receipts have been accurately counted and recorded on the receipt summary sheet, the treasurer will properly prepare a deposit slip and take the deposit to the bank (First Citizens).
  • The deposit record from the bank shall then be stapled to the corresponding receipt summary sheet and properly filed.
  • All donations are to be recorded into the ChurchTrac software program for proper documentation. Contributors will be mailed a summary of their donations at least annually for their own records and tax purposes according to state law.
  • Reports of all receipts and deposits shall be presented at monthly finance committee meetings or as requested by the elders.

  1. Cash Disbursements

In general, the elders shall adopt a policy that will make it as simple as possible to make disbursements for normal, recurring items and yet retain control over nonrecurring items, whether they are budgeted or non-budgeted items.

The following shall be the policy and procedure of disbursements for expenditures:

  • The treasurer, before making any disbursement, must make sure that there are sufficient funds in the checking account to cover the expenditure.

8.

  • It shall then be determined if he/she is authorized to make the disbursement without the approval of the elders. The treasurer shall be authorized, without further approval of the elders, to make disbursements for recurring expenditures such as; debt retirement, salaries and allowances, utilities, insurance, etc. The elders shall make sure that all such items are made clear and known to the treasurer.
  • All budgeted items shall require the approval of both the department leader and the elders. All budget disbursement requests shall be submitted by the department leader to the elders for approval in an official business meeting of the elders. All such requests shall be made by using a “Disbursement Requisition” form.
  • All non-budgeted items shall be requested using the same procedure as budgeted items as shown above in line ©.
  • All requisition forms must be signed and dated by an elder and the treasurer in an official business meeting of the elders. Two copies of the requisition form are to be made. One shall be retained and properly filed by the treasurer. The other shall be given to the respective department leader. If the item is approved, the check in the amount, for the purpose and payable to the person/vendor approved shall be given to the department leader along with the copy of the requisition form.
  • The treasurer shall make a scanned copy of each check before it is given in payment. The copy of the check shall be attached to the vendor invoice for which it was written. If it is a budgeted item, the copy of the requisition form shall also be attached with the invoice and copy of the check.
  • All documents shall be properly filed monthly.
  1. Accounting Procedures

An entire accounting cycle is one year, known as the fiscal year. The fiscal year for COCCC shall begin on January 1st and end on December 31st of each year. The accounting cycle begins with transactions, ie, cash receipts and payments of cash, and ends with the preparation of reports for the church membership. The fiscal year is made up of 12 monthly cycles. Each monthly cycle begins with the first transaction of the month and ends with the last transaction of the month.

9.

The following shall be the accounting procedure:

  • All transactions are to be initially recorded by hand in a paper book of original entry known as the “Journal”. Receipts shall be recorded as credits and payments shall be recorded as debits. All transactions shall be recorded in order by date.
  • From the journal, all transactions shall be posted in the “Ledger”, ie, the ChurchTrac software. All transactions shall be posted in the ledger and summarized according to the predetermined budget categories.
  • From the ledger, all reports shall be comprised and prepared for monthly elder meetings, finance committee meetings, end of the year reports, or as otherwise requested by the elders.
  • At the end of each monthly cycle, a scanned copy of the journal and a printed copy of the ledger shall be properly filed, along with the reconciliation statement and the bank statement.
  1. Bank Account Reconciliations

At the end of each monthly cycle the bank account shall be reconciled. The reconciliation is necessary not only to determine possible bank errors, but also to detect possible errors in recording bank deposits and checks.

Steps in the reconciliation procedure shall be as follows:

  1. Sort checks in numerical order.
  2. Beginning with the list of checks outstanding at the end of the previous month, compare each returned check to the list and determine which checks have cleared and which are still outstanding. After checking off all the returned checks from the previous outstanding list, continue the procedure for checks in the current month. Place a mark beside each returned check.
  3. From the list of the previous month’s outstanding checks that are not cleared, as well as from the current month’s, prepare a list of checks outstanding.
  4. Compare bank deposits recorded on the books with the deposits on the bank statement, and determine if any deposits are not recorded on the bank statement.

10.

  1. Determine if any items appear on the bank statement representing checks returned for insufficient funds, service charges/fees, charges for printing checks, etc., and enter them on the reconciliation.

The information gathered above, along with any other needed data, shall then be entered on a reconciliation form similar to the following:

Sample Reconciliation Form

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Addendum: REQUISITIONS

10/19/14

All requisitions for special events or fundraisers should be submitted 2 months prior to proposed date.

All requisitions for any items above monthly budget should be submitted 1 month prior.