5 Step Checklist to Prepare for Natural Disasters Infographic

As your community and church prepares for Hurricane Florence to make landfall, know that we stand with you in love and prayer. We realize how important it is to rally support following a disaster. To assist, we have made a quick infographic to give you some guidance.

Continue reading “5 Step Checklist to Prepare for Natural Disasters Infographic”

2018 GAAP Reporting Standards: What You Need to Know

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Is your ministry prepared for the new GAAP reporting changes that take affect for this filing season? If your church files reports according to these GAAP standards and you haven’t made the necessary changes in your accounting practices, you could be looking at a larger bill from your auditors and a scramble at the end of the year. Join the team from FellowshipOne along with our partners at Arlington, Texas accounting firm PSK CPA as we discuss these changes and talk about ways you can be sure you are in compliance.

BONUS: Get a preview of the new tool coming to ShelbyFinancials that will help make pulling together records for GAAP a breeze.

To register, click here.

5 Steps to Prepare for Natural Disasters

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During a crisis, communities tend to turn to churches for support. If ministries don’t plan for the worst, they may find themselves unprepared, overwhelmed, and unable to provide the necessary assistance for members of their congregation and their community. Without proper preparation, a church might risk exhausting its resources, responding inadequately, or — worst-case scenario — failing to respond at all.

Join the team at FellowshipOne for our webinar, “5 Steps to Prepare for Natural Disasters” where we will outline some of the most important elements you need to consider when preparing for a natural disaster.

BONUS: Those who register will get a copy of our FREE e-guide also titled, ‘5 Steps to Prepare for Natural Disasters”.

To register, click here.

Shelby Financials Best Practices: Separation of Duties

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Our blog today is from Alfred Johnson, the product owner for Shelby Financials, who has been working with churches implementing Shelby for the past 22 years. Alfred has also served as a pastor for 32 years, served on the board of directors for a Bible training institute, and taught business and computer classes at a junior college among many other accomplishments. You can find more thoughts from Alfred on his blog at alfredjohnson.net.

A number of years ago I was contacted by a pastor wanting to know how he could log in to their accounting application. I told him that his church accountant could give him access. His answer? “She will not let me look at the books.” On another occasion, I was assigned to assist a church with their accounting approach. I contacted their accountant about one week before scheduled to arrive. She asked how much I knew about accounting. When I told her, she canceled the training.

From what I have observed and read, churches that have a long time highly trusted employee or volunteer with access to church funds are guilty of either tempting an employee to steal from the church or allowing the possibility of undetected theft.

It does not matter how small or large your church is. You need to create and enforce a separation of duties protocol if for no other reason than protecting the integrity of your employees. Using the tools in Shelby Financials along with common sense will help you structure tasks so that there is less chance of becoming a victim of an internal theft or someone questioning staff integrity.

Accounts Payable: Let’s start here.

  • Do you allow staff or volunteers to take a blank check on a shopping trip? That check can be made payable to anyone. Oh, I know you always get a receipt to enter into AP. Well anyone can alter or simply create a receipt that looks legit. Just do not allow this practice.
  • Does the same person who enters an invoice into AP, also print, sign, and post the entries to GL? It would be better to have someone not associated with the purchase or entry of the invoice be the one to sign the check. If you use electronic signatures when printing checks, then there needs to be some multiple person control with this process.
  • Do you allow credit card holders to purchase anything they want? It would be better to have a purchase approval process prior to making a purchase and a routine to validate charge was actually for church use. Using a credit card can be similar to giving someone a blank check.

Bank Account Management:  This one is simple.

  • Balance the bank statement into the accounting system and do it each month. Don’t let statements stack up.  Just do it.
  • The person assigned to reconcile the bank statement should not be associated with any of the payments or receipts posted to the bank account. And, it has been suggested by some auditors that every so often an additional person should examine a copy of the bank statement.

General Ledger:  Watch for the following.

  • If you have the staff, then have your accounting manager or business manager finalize all postings into the ledger.
  • Be alert for an unusual number of correcting entries. If you see this with some frequency, then start asking questions.  If it continues, ask more questions.
  • Be alert for a large number of manual journals. If your chart of accounts is set up correctly, and the applications used correctly, then there should not be an unusual number of this type of activity. However, with outsourced payroll and other third-party providers, you might see more manual entries than usual. Just remember that it is easy to change journals from outside applications/services.

Accounts Receivable: This can be tricky.

  • Accounts Receivable is most often used by churches that support a daycare or have a school. By the very nature of the required structure, the daycare/school operation becomes separated from the church’s general operation. This separation can result in a lack of proper accounting oversight.
  • Create an internal audit committee to periodically check on the following:
    • Review amounts being charged to each student to verify compliance with established fees.
    • Check accounts receivable overdue accounts to be sure that customers are staying current with billings.
    • Assign the church business manager the task of finalizing all accounts receivable general ledger postings.
    • Church business manager should verify that accounts receivable balances with the general ledger at least once a quarter.
  • Checks and cash received should be secured and daily transferred to the church business office.

Payroll:  Paychecks are important.

  • Access to the Payroll application should be closely controlled. That said, more than one person should be able to run scheduled payments.
  • The employees that can process a payroll should not have access to change compensation or deduction.
  • Any changes to employee records affecting pay should be reviewed in the application by management.

FellowshipOne is Touring with XPastor!

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XPastor is bringing a compensation workshop to 12 cities around the nation, and we’re touring with them! We will have a booth at every single XPastor event from August to November, and we’re hoping to see you there! This workshop is ideal for Senior and Executive Pastors, Governing Board and Finance Team members, and staff being mentored. In this insider’s reveal of how to pay pastors and church staff, learn a top to bottom, step-by-step guide to setting equitable pay in your church.

Make plans now to join us at one of the 12 regional events:

1. South—Chase Oaks Church, Dallas (Plano), Texas: Tuesday, August 21

2. Midwest—Christianity Today at College Church, Chicago (Wheaton), Illinois: Thursday, August 23

3. Midwest—Stones Crossing, Indianapolis (Greenwood), Indiana: Tuesday, August 28

4. West—Mountain Springs Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Thursday, August 30

5. Northwest—Crossroads Bible Church, Seattle (Bellevue), Washington: Thursday, September 6

6. West—Shepherd’s Grove, Orange Country, California: Tuesday, September 11

7. Northeast—Shelter Rock Church, Long Island (Manhasset) New York: Wednesday, September 19

8. Midwest—The Grove Church, Minneapolis (Maple Grove), Minnesota: Tuesday, October 2

9. Northeast—Reston Bible Church, Washington, DC (Sterling, Virginia): Wednesday, October 10

10. South—Mosaic Church, Orlando, Florida: Tuesday, Thursday, November 1

11. South—Atlanta, Georgia: Wednesday, November 7

12. Pacific—Grace Bible Church Pearlside, Honolulu, Hawaii: Thursday, November 15

For more information on these workshops and to register please visit www.xpastor.org.

FellowshipOne+Shelby Financials FREE Overview Webinar

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Join us for a FREE Overview of FellowshipOne + Shelby Financials as we give an overview of the Shelby Financials suite including: General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Bank Account Management, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, and Payroll.

We will be joined by Alfred Johnson, the product owner for Shelby Financials, who has been working with churches implementing Shelby for the past 22 years. Alfred has also served as a pastor for 32 years, served on the board of directors for a Bible training institute, and taught business and computer classes at a junior college among many other accomplishments. He will give us a unique insight into how FellowshipOne and Shelby Financials can work together to benefit your ministry.

Join us next Thursday, July 12, at 1:30 p.m. CST. To register, click here.

Free Webinar on 2018 Tax Changes

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FellowshipOne is proud to partner with PSK CPAs to bring you a FREE webinar titled Navigating Uncertainty: Three Key Changes in the Financial and Tax Regulations for 2018 at 1 p.m. CST tomorrow (June 28). To help you prepare for these new changes, we will also be discussing the integration between FellowshipOne’s church management software and ShelbyFinancials, the leader in church accounting software. Don’t miss this opportunity!

To register for this upcoming webinar, click here.

Is Online Giving Right for Your Church?

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Despite the growing popularity of online giving, some church leaders still wonder if it’s right for their members. Countless other churches offer online giving but haven’t taken the time to educate and encourage their donors, and therefore, aren’t seeing the outstanding benefits of online giving. Hope Fellowship Church in Frisco, Texas discov­ered that even during a season of declining attendance rates, online giving rates–and overall giving rates–increased.
Today, as in the Widow’s Mites story, the place where the offerings are put is an incidental detail in a study of generosity, not—in any way—a commentary on which modes of giving are more biblical. If anything, online giving comes the closest to the Matthew 6:1-4 mandate to give in secret.
There are small transaction fees included in all online giving tools. Churches that use
online giving have seen an increase in consistency of giving per individual that far outweighs the costs incurred by that individual’s giving. Multiply that by the increase in the number of people who give, and the church will still be left with higher, more consistent offering rates, despite transaction fees.
• Because FellowshipOne is a cloud-based product, congregants can give anytime, anywhere they have access to the Internet
• They can set up recurring gifts so they don’t have to remember their checkbooks or keep going online
• The church can receive offerings even if members are absent
• Consistent giving and recurring gifts help churches budget more efficiently and minimize seasonal giving lulls or weather-related absences
• Processing the offering is faster and error free, so staff saves time and frustration
• Offering funds are immediately available for church use

Today’s church members and attenders are all about personal choice. If you’re not offering online giving, you’re limiting the amount of offering your church receives. It’s that simple.

If you’re ready to learn more about how easy it is to offer online giving, consider web-based FellowshipOne Giving or the comprehensive, web-based enterprise church management software, FellowshipOne, which includes online giving. Click here to learn more.

The Power of FellowshipOne and Ekklesia 360

Wouldn’t it be great if your members could login to FellowshipOne directly on your website to sign up for events? Or if visitors could get connected with a small group online without your admin team having to manually enroll them? What if we told you that this and so much more is possible!

Take less than 15 minutes to view this webinar from one of the strategists over at Ekklesia 360 to see just how effective it can be to integrate F1 with e360! And when you’re finished watching, sign up for a free Mission Online Assessment with Ekklesia 360 here.