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How to take control of the finances

Here is a list of things to think through regarding Finances.  It has been put together by Jacquie Driver.  If you don’t know Jacquie, get to know her! She can really help you. She is currently working for St John at Hackney and she has a wealth of knowledge and expertise.  Jacquie is also Managing Director of Jacquie Driver Finance Ltd, which actively provides business and financial management advice to several churches and Christian charities as well as book-keeping, accounts preparation and independent examination services.  She has a small team who are keen to use their services to support the church.  If you would like to speak to Jacquie for advice at a very reasonable rate please email hello@persevere.org.ukand we can put you in touch!

So here you’ll find some initial thoughts on Finances for you to think through to help you get your head into gear with the finances. 

1)    Managing finances week by week:

  • Count and bank the cash frequently

  • Petty cash system for small expenditure

  • Input purchase invoices to accounting system and make payment

  • Issue sales invoices and chase outstanding invoices

  • Post all transactions from the bank statements

2)    How to find the right treasurer:

  • Someone in the congregation wholly behind the vision

  • Financial expertise (used to understanding money at the amount the church will need to look after)

  • Chemistry/complement the church leader

  • You can buy in skills of a qualified person if necessary to do the detailed work and report to the treasurer

3)    What type of finance software to choose:

  • Easy to use

  • Online/cloud access for several people

  • Handle special issues with charity accounts

  • Regularly updated software

  • Xero or second choice Quickbooks

  • Competitive price

  • Flexible reporting

  • Easy to convert existing book-keeping

4)    How to open a bank account?

  • It is worth opening an account with CAF Bank as they have a dual authorisation function

  • Approve mandate holders by PCC in approved minutes

  • Collect information about trustees – name, address, date of birth, nationality…

  • Set up approval limits for signatories

  • Get CAF to come to meet you to approve copies of ID documents

  • Refer to governing document which for a parish is “PCC Powers Measure 1956 as amended & Church Representation Rules” and take along a copy to the bank when you apply for the account

  • For Bishop Missions Orders is a specific document

5)    Essential financial documents

  • Financial procedures – (see template in resources section)

  • Cash counting record sheets (see template)

  • Payment request forms and expense claim forms (see templates in resources section)

  • Dropsafe to put money in as soon as collected

  • Bank mandates

  • Receipts/invoices for all expenditure

  • Debit or credit card agreements for those issued with cards

  • Budgets to managers so they know what they are authorised to spend (see template in resources section)

  • Budget approved by PCC

  • Staff contracts (see templates in resources section)

  • Payroll new staff information (see new starter form in resources section)

  • Confirmation of self-employment/tax declaration for any individual that the church pays for work who is not on payroll

  • Risk management document

For further resources and help: 

Parish Resources

UCAN

Stewardship

Martha Bryant
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