Finance Topics

Electronic Giving through Vanco

Ross Williams

December 21, 2016

Hi all: I am very sorry for the trouble many of you have had trying to view this video.  The password given to me by Vanco was incorrect. Pasted below is a link to the video that requires no password to view! Merry Christmas! Sincerely,  Ross Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs & Stewardship Chairs (copy to pastors)  The General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church has recently expanded their relationship with Vanco Payment ...

The Conference Center is on the Move! (again)

Ross Williams

December 16, 2016

Dear Clergy & Laity of the Annual Conference, Our Conference Center will be relocating back to our White Plains building early next week after a significant renovation that was years in the planning by our Board of Trustees.  Since last May, we have been operating out of temporary space in Greenwich, CT during construction.  The primary purpose of the renovation was to address functional issues with our building, including the installation of better insulated walls and windows, repaving and ...

IRS Reporting Requirements

Sally Truglia

December 09, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc to Pastors),    The end of the year brings the joyous celebrations of the Christmas season and the hope for a peaceful New Year. Unfortunately it also brings some financial housekeeping issues with which we must all comply.  Listed below are some new reporting requirements and some annual reminders.  1)   2016 W-2 Preparation:  All churches must prepare and distribute W-2 forms for their pastors and their lay staff by January 31.     Church plans are still ...

Steeple Cell Tower Revenues

Ross Williams

November 30, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc to Pastors), Many of our churches continue to operate in a very challenging environment as a result of an aging membership, decreased attendance and worship facilities that are far larger than needed.  Some churches have been able to create supplemental revenue streams through the lease of interior steeple space to telecommunication companies.  The leasing of "real property" such as a steeple by a 501c3 is generally exempt from taxation.  But there are ...

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

November 28, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), I previously sent an e-mail on October 3rd (see attached) summarizing new Department of Labor regulations for the payment of overtime that were to be effective December 1st.  The new requirements would have raised the threshold for "exempt" employees (those who are not paid overtime) from $23,660 to $47,476.  Last Tuesday, a Federal Judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the implementation of these new requirements. What this means is...

Volunteer Auditors Needed

Ross Williams

October 21, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc to Pastors), From time to time I receive requests to supply a resource that can perform audits or serve on a team of outside auditors.  Sometimes the request arises because there is no one within the church that is independent, like in the case of a very small congregation.  Other times, the request relates to concerns over irregularities that may have occurred in the administration of finances at a church. I know we have a tremendous number of talented ...

New Payroll Rules - Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

October 03, 2016

Chances are your church has someone other than the pastor on payroll, so you need to be aware of new Department of Labor (DOL) rules and guidelines that will become effective on December 1, 2016.  The new regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) strengthen overtime and wage protection for workers by raising the salary level for "Exempt" employees from the prior amount of $455 per week ($23,660/year) to $913 per week ($47,476/year).  Churches will therefore want to look carefully at ...

2017 Budget Inputs

Ross Williams

September 27, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to pastors), You will most likely be working on your 2017 budgets soon.  To assist you, listed below are some inputs from the Conference: Clergy Healthcare: The uniform rate for HealthFlex will be $16,104.00. Of this amount, $14,808.00 will be billed to the church and $1,296 will be billed to the pastor. Clergy Pension: (see attached worksheet) The cost will remain 11.8% of total compensation, which is defined as base salary plus either a) 25% of salary ...

Did You Receive Your Free Money For Ministry?

Ross Williams

September 06, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), You may or may not be aware that churches are entitled to government refunds if they have incurred costs related to Healthcare for their employees.  One church in our Conference recently received a refund of $15,356.  In total, refunds received for churches in our Conference now exceed $48,000, with another $73,000 in the pipeline.  Please see an e-mail excerpt below from one of our church Treasurers:   “Dear Monte & Ross, I want to thank you...

Free Financial Seminar at YOUR Church

Ross Williams

August 24, 2016

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs, Stewardship Chairs and Trustees (cc: to Pastors), This is just a quick reminder of the program below, which has achieved very significant results in terms of strengthening the financial condition of our churches.  Since it began, this program has resulted in new bequests to our churches totaling over $5.5 million.   I am very supportive of this program, which has many benefits  to our member churches or parishioners.  There is no selling of anything here, either ...

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