This article about quarterly meetings was originally published March 9, 2013.
Around this time of year, church boards often have their first quarterly meeting. Usually, the board will want to review the financial aspects of the church. Church accounting systems like CMO offer a great variety of financial reports to review just about anything you could think of. But what are the main reports that treasurers and financial secretaries should provide for board review? What reports do you need in order to understand the financial health and activity of your church?
To have a clear picture of the church’s finances and to make informed decisions, church leaders need reports that show them
1. What’s happening in funds.
2. Details about expenses and revenues for the quarter.
3. A clear overall picture of the financial position of the church – the net worth of the organization, the total liabilities, total assets, etc.
Below are three IconCMO reports (found in General Ledger: GL: GL-Reports) that can clarify and summarize the church’s financial position and activities. To learn more about nonprofit essential reports and accounting standards, visit fasb.org.
Statement of Activities: see what’s been going on since the last quarterly meeting
This report works like a Profit and Loss (for all you for-profit accountants). It shows revenues for each revenue account, expenses for each expense account, and total net revenues after expenses are taken out. You should run the report for all funds combined to see the overall expenses and revenues of the church, and you can also run it for specific funds of special interest for the meeting (maybe to see how a new Capital Campaign fund is doing). You can set the report’s date range to cover activities for the first quarter of the year.
Change in Net Assets 2: let nothing slip through
This report gives a summary of the balances of each fund and the money coming into and out of each one. It also shows any transfers between funds – an important transaction type that won’t show up on the Statement of Activities. Again, you can set the report’s date range as needed.
Statement of Financial Position: a must-have for quarterly meetings
This report shows the overall financial health of the church. It shows total assets, total liabilities, and total net assets ( = total assets – total liabilities). There’s no date range for this report, just one “as of” date. That’s because this report gives a “snapshot” of the financial position of the church as of that date. Again, run the report for all funds combined, and then you can also run it to see the financial position of any funds of particular interest.