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+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.

Church Data Matters, Because People Matter!

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Have you ever wondered how to keep visitors coming back to your church? What about how giving in your church fluctuates from season to season? Do you have a clear picture of your ministry’s overall financial health? Is your staff recording data in a way that makes it easy to spot these trends?

Continue reading “Church Data Matters, Because People Matter!”

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.

Introducing FellowshipOne Academy!

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Welcome to the new FellowshipOne Academy.  The FellowshipOne Academy is designed to host our online training courses, taken at your convenience. Our Getting Started with FellowshipOne course is now open for enrollment. This simple course offers a new staff member or key volunteer at your church an overview of FellowshipOne. Topics include logging into the portal, setting up activities, navigating through charts and graphs within Insights, and much more. The course can be completed in as little as 1.5 hours or over a few days, and the best thing about it, is that it’s FREE.

 

To enroll in the courses, you must create an account.  Navigate to FellowshipOne Academy and click Sign In in the top right corner of the page.

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On the login page, choose the option to Create a new account. This will require your name, email address, password and church code. Pretty simple! We suggest using the same password for FellowshipOne to eliminate memorizing a new password.

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After logging in, you will be immediately routed to our courses landing page where you’ll have an opportunity to enroll in the Getting Started with FellowshipOne course.F1Academy4 - Introducing FellowshipOne Academy!

 

We’re so excited to offer new learning opportunities for our FellowshipOne users.  In the weeks to come, we will begin rolling out all new Certification Curriculum designed as modular courses, allowing you to learn about the specific areas you care about the most.  In the future you’ll also find replays of our webinars. Stay tuned for more information to come!

Easter Follow-up Made Mobile Webinar

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Did you know that the word ‘church’ is Googled more in the month of March than at any other time of the year? It’s never too late (or too early) to review your visitor follow-up process and see where improvements can be made. Our team has worked with thousands of churches to develop the best practices and best processes when it comes to visitor follow-up and assimilation. Recently, one of our church consultants, Bobby Lester, hosted a webinar tackling some of the challenges churches face with visitor follow-up following Easter weekend.

Click here to view the webinar!

 

Church Check-In, Not Just for Kids Anymore!

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Learn new ways to use check-in to improve outreach, grow your ministry and connect people to the life of your church. Simplify processes and free up your staff to better care for visitors and members of all ages. This 30-minute webinar will help your team better understand all the connection points that happen in your church.

To view the webinar, click here.

 

How to Capture Visitor Information Online

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One of the most common problems we hear at FellowshipOne is church leaders wanting more information about visitors to their church. If you’re not intentional about engaging visitors, they can slip in and out of your services completely unnoticed. But what about on your website? These days, your website is most often the first point of contact for potential visitors. How can you build a site that will encourage people to give you a heads up that they are interested in attending? Or need some sort of outreach?

Our friends at Clover have addressed this common problem, and you can read some tips from them here.