This article post was originally published March 9, 2013.
Around this time of year, church boards often have their first quarterly meeting and 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 are essential to clarifying the financial health and activity of the church so that the church leaders can make informed decisions?
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.
1. Statement of Activities
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. The report should be run for all funds combined to see the overall expenses and revenues of the church, and it can also be run 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.
2. Change in Net Assets – 2
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.
3. Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)
This report shows the overall financial health of the church – total assets, total liabilities, total net assets ( = total assets – total liabilities). There’s no date range for this report, just one “as of” date because this report gives a “snapshot” of the financial position of the church as of that date. Again, the report should be run for all funds combined, and can also be run to see the financial position of any funds of particular interest.