Finance Topics


Investments & Financial Guidance

Ross Williams

June 13, 2019

Dear Church Leaders,   Does your church need help with its investments?   Has your church lost a personal relationship with its broker / investment manager?   Does your church need help in developing and fostering a culture of generosity?   Does your church need help with stewardship campaigns, planned giving, capital campaigns, financial education?   If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you would benefit from working with the United Methodist Frontier Foundation for your investment ...


Church Internal Controls

Ross Williams

May 22, 2019

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, In this environment of scarce resources for vital ministry it is more important than ever that we protect our churches from financial fraud and administrative lapses.  The financial impact of such situations can often be easily prevented or at least minimized through implementing the controls listed below.  This list is not intended to be all-inclusive and if you have questions on these or other controls, please let me know!   Sincerely,  Ross  The ...


Clergy Housing Allowance Ruled Constitutional

Ross Williams

March 21, 2019

Dear Clergy, There is some good news!  The text below is from the National Catholic Reporter, which summarizes the latest developments on the taxability of Housing Allowances better than I could.  Keep in mind that it was only the Housing Allowance that had been challenged.  The tax exempt treatment of a parsonage was not at stake.  This very positive development does not mean that the matter is settled once and for all.  The decision could be appealed or pursued again in new challenges.  But ...


Discounted Software for Not-for-profits

Ross Williams

March 04, 2019

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), I want to let you know about the opportunity to purchase computer software for your church at steeply discounted prices through a Not-for-profit organization called "TechSoup" (yes, it's a very strange name). In my spare time I handle the accounting for a Not-for-profit charitable organization and a few years ago I purchased QuickBooks for only $19.00 through TechSoup.  The basic version of Microsoft Office is available for only $29.00. These...


IRS Issues Guidance on Parking Tax for Churches

Ross Williams

February 25, 2019

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, Please see guidance below from the General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church on the potential taxability of church parking. Also, please see a link at the bottom of this e-mail to an "FAQ" on this topic recently issued by GCFA. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that became effective on January 1, 2018 added a new tax provision that applies to non-profit organizations (like churches) otherwise exempt from income tax.  ...


Annual Audits

Ross Williams

February 22, 2019

Dear Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors and Treasurers) The Finance Committee is responsible for ensuring that all financial books, records and bank accounts undergo an annual audit. This is required by The Book of Discipline, the governing document of our denomination (see excerpt at end of e-mail).  Included in the audit (or audited separately) must be the transactions of the church's operating account, Board of Trustees, Preschool (if controlled by the church), Memorial Funds, Endowment Funds, ...


Church Audit Webinar

Ross Williams

January 25, 2019

Dear Church Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, This is just a reminder that there is a free upcoming webinar on how to perform a church audit.   See below for details and the link to register. Sincerely,  Ross Thursday, February 7, 2019, 6:30PM Central Standard Time! The Church Audit: You Can Do This! Every congregation needs to do a church audit, but it doesn’t have to be a big expense or an insurmountable obstacle. There is a great Local Church Audit Guide and related FAQ available that ...


Workers' Compensation Submission Due by February 28th

Ross Williams

January 18, 2019

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Preschools (copy to Pastors), (This communication is also being sent via U.S. mail to ensure receipt) As you may know, the Conference uses an on-line collection system for payroll data, which streamlines the process of issuing accurate bills for Workers' Compensation insurance. It is now time for churches and church-controlled schools, nurseries and day camps to report their final 2018 wages by February 28th using this system. Treasurers have found the system ...


Thank You!

Ross Williams

January 17, 2019

Dear Pastors, Church Council Chairs, Finance Chairs, and Treasurers, I would like to take this opportunity to say "thanks" for your tremendous commitment in honoring the work of our connectional church.  As a former church treasurer, finance chair and stewardship chair I am keenly aware of what it means for a church to pay their conference apportionments.  It is not a trivial accomplishment, especially in what have been challenging economic times.  We ended the 2018 year collecting 87% of ...


2018 Apportionments

Ross Williams

January 09, 2019

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc: to Pastors), Happy New Year!  My very best wishes for a new year filled with peace, joy and good health.   With the close of the calendar year I want to encourage you to do all you can to pay 2018 conference apportionments in full.  As a reminder, the cut-off date for receiving funds is this Friday, January 11th  .  If you are still planning on making a payment for 2018, please do so by sending it via overnight mail or hand-delivering to the Conference ...


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