Start the year with 10 great time saving tips and improve your church financial management at the same time
After helping over 500 churches improve their financial management for over 20 years we have learnt and practice some great processes that not only save time by also improve the financial management of churches at the same time.
Adopt a mindset of progressive improvements
We strongly recommend that a mindset of progressive improvements be adopted.
This means continually be looking for processes that can be adopted to improve your church financial management. Be open to the idea that current processes may not be perfect and could be improved. New technologies, ideas and best practices are constantly changing. Be open to considering new ones regularly.
The process is progressive. It is not about changing everything at once, but each year make several improvements and continually build on these.
10 great processes that SAVE HEAPS OF TIME!
1. Go Paperless!
- Saves SO much time – filing, searching, boxing, sorting, sending, sharing, archiving, accessing
- Helps environment by reducing the use of paper & trees
- Provide easily accessible documentation for all approved users eg leaders, auditors, accountants
- See our other article on how to Go paperless
2. Set a fortnightly bill payment cycle
- Don’t pay bills as they arrive.
- Set the expectation of suppliers and staff
- Inform suppliers & staff when approved bills/reimbursements will be paid
- You are the head and not the tail!
3. Pay all your employees on the same day – fortnightly or monthly
- Don’t pay employees based on their employment start date
- Set your payroll payment date
- Set expectations that any approved changes, leave requests etc must be submitted 2 days before the payroll payment date
4. Implement an online accounting system
- No more software installations & upgrades
- No Rollovers, backups
- All approved users can access anytime and anywhere there is internet
- Auditors have access to the live data – no data & software version mismatches
- Automatic Bank Feeds with bank rules that create transactions with one click
- Regular invoices can be emailed automatically
5. Review & Document your church financial policies
- Ensures all have the same understanding
- Saves confusion and misunderstanding
- People know their responsibilities
6. Outsource your church bookkeeping & accounting
- No seeking, training new staff or volunteers
- No staff management problems & management
- Reliable & accurate Financial reports provided monthly at the agreed time
- Continuity & consistency – continues beyond the changeover of many treasurers/bookkeepers
- Minimal downtime & replacement costs during holidays, sick leave
- Additional financial services easily and quickly accessible as required
7. Develop a detailed budget
- The first detailed budget takes extra time – but each subsequent budget process is quicker & easier
- Reduces stress – you know where you are heading
- Empowers & informs decision – easier & quicker
- Forms a basis to compare actuals, understand where assumptions have not eventuated
- Makes decision making & allocation of resources much quicker
8. Make department leaders responsible for their budget
- Segment budgets into departments or areas of responsibility
- More people committed and involved – reduces time & stress by the admin team and overall leadership team
9. Improve your financial reports
- Take some initial time to create easier to read & understand financial reports
- Pre-empt and answer potential questions that the Parish Councils or leadership team may ask
- Makes it easier for the Parish Councils or leadership team to understand the financial status
10. Learn how to read and how to respond to your financial reports
- So much time is wasted in meetings when people do not understand the financial reports
- Training will speed the process & improve the success of the decisions
If you have questions about this article or would like to discuss the financial management of your church with us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Benkorp Management Services
1300 138 627