Monthly Financial Statements

My “Intro to Accounting” professor taught me some basic concepts which have guided me ever since. They are simple principles but vitally important to any and every organization.

 

  1. Always release a complete balance sheet and revenue & expense statement
    • These are the two basic financial statements. At a minimum these should always be released. There are a multitude of other financial reports but these are the minimums. These statements measure different things:
      • A balance sheet is a financial picture of the organization at a specific date. It shows all cash, debts, and restricted funds of a church.
      • A revenue & expense statement is shows how the organization is doing this fiscal year. It should have columns for the total annual budget; the monthly actual & budget figures; and the year-to-date actual & budget figures. Collectively these numbers indicate your current year’s financial status
  1. Never hide or not-release financial figures, even if they will elicit lots of questions
    • Never, ever, NEVER hide anything, period (.).
    • All numbers will come out. You need to be in control of bad AND good news. Hiding numbers only makes you look like you’re hiding things. That will always hurt you.
    • The numbers may look bad but the numbers are not about you but about the organization. Sharing everything allows you to keep your integrity. If the finance office has lost its integrity, it needs new staff.
  2. Release the data by the 15th of the subsequent month. To delay longer than that is to release “stale-data.”
    • There is no reason to delay releasing monthly financial data. Bank statements are available online so the bank reconciliation can even be done on the 1st of each month. There are going to be journal entries and maybe some backdated checks, but frankly, the financial office should be so update that closing each month is fast and routine.
    • Releasing financial data 30 days or later communicates that the finance office does not know what it is doing and/or that things in the financial area are unnecessarily complicated and needs help.

 

The bottom line, release financial data accurately and timely.

 

Lead On!

Steve

I am a strategic thinker, a short- and long-term planner, and I am experienced in creating and managing operating budgets, endowment funds, and giving campaigns. I believe that church finances must be efficient, effective, and excellent.