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Financial Reporting

Financial Transparency in 1620

On August 17, 1620, the Mayflower and the Speedwell were anchored in Dartmouth, Devon, along the south coast of England.  They had twice turned back to repair major leaks, which used up valuable resources and exposed conflicts among them.  Robert Cushman (who served as the agent of the Leiden congregation) sent a letter back to London,… Read More »Financial Transparency in 1620

UPMIFA — Life after Death?

Since 2006, UPMIFA (the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act) has guided the way that non-profit organizations use the investment income earned by their endowment funds, effectively giving new life to funds given by a donor in the past.  Each state has customized their own version of the law, and only Pennsylvania and Puerto… Read More »UPMIFA — Life after Death?

Year-end Contributions

As the end of the year approaches, it is important to document contributions properly, so that donors may deduct the charitable contribution on their income tax return.  This involves dates, bookkeeping, and documentation. DATES  For the IRS, it is the date of the check and the date that the congregation receives the contribution that matters, even if… Read More »Year-end Contributions

Tracking Funds

Those special funds can make congregational bookkeeping quite complicated! I’ve seen congregations lose track of whether they’ve sent in a special offering they’ve collected. Some are unclear about the best way to record fundraising expenses — bookkeeping rules say that they should be listed as expenses, but the congregation only wants to see the net… Read More »Tracking Funds

Triple-entry Bookkeeping

The financial management of a congregation is simultaneously simple and complex. The day-to-day activity is usually straightforward — however there are always exceptions. Restricted funds, “pass-throughs”, pre-paid pledges, special missions offerings add complexity to the bookkeeping and reporting. Over the past twenty years, we have worked to develop a bookkeeping and reporting system that is… Read More »Triple-entry Bookkeeping

Micro and Macro

I’ve been thinking about micro and macro lately.  In soccer, we teach “micro-soccer” — individual ball handling skills and small games of keepaway that are designed to focus the child’s attention on their own handling of the soccer ball.  We also teach “macro-soccer” — the big picture — passing, teamwork, strategy, and rules to keep… Read More »Micro and Macro