Pros & Cons of Changing the Fiscal Year

Changing a church’s fiscal year away from a calendar year is hard. Usually it requires changing the constitution and that alone means multiple presentations to the church membership. It also requires changes in the budget year, the way committees and teams plan and spend, the way the Finance Committee reports to the church, etc. But it can be beneficial to the church’s finances and not ending December with “will we make it” mentality.

I recommend a church do an analysis to determine the cost/benefit of such a change. Here are some points to consider.


  1. Allows the church to use the end of year gifts into the next year.
  2. Avoids the “Will we make it?” mentality associated with getting end of year gifts and all that uncertainty.
  3. Moves the budget process to the spring instead of the summer and early fall.
  4. Aligns the fiscal year with the school year which in society is the beginning of the year.
  5. Allows TCCC to have their fiscal year aligned with their school year.
  6. Pushes the year-end financial reports away from January and the requirement to get that done even if staff is sick or the weather is bad.
  7. Moves the year-end and year-beginning work on the creating/storing folders and files; inputting new budget into the financial software; adjusting personnel wage changes in payroll; etc. away from the holiday season.
  8. Every five years allows the audit to be done during the low auditing season. High season is tax season (February-April).


  1. A lot of work initially to adjust the fiscal year, the budget, and communicate with all the vested parties and get their input on the process and its desired outcome.
  2. Affects several committees/teams and changes some routines:
    1. Admin Board and Finance – new budget timeline, end of year reporting, etc.
    2. Personnel – affects when salaries are changed and reviews are done
    3. Constitution – requires a constitutional change
    4. TCCC – moves their budget
    5. Nominating – may affect them (uncertain about this)
  3. Moves away from a clear fiscal year = calendar year.
  4. There is still a last minute, year-end rush to get gifts which still keeps the staff busy at Christmas, New Year’s, and the first few weeks of January.

 Treasurer’s Recommended Fiscal Year: August 1 through July 31

Lead On!