Top 10 Ways to Help the Finance Office (part 1 of 3)

A colleague asked me how staff and lay members can help the church’s Finance Office. Here is my top ten list; yours may be different, so please let me know what I left out.      

1. Pay all bills on time

  • The church doesn’t want to be seen as a deadbeat, so get your bills/invoices to the Finance Office in a timely way so they can be paid on time.
  • The church has a Christian witness every time it pays its bills
  • If a payment is late, vendors will not want to work with the church and even tell others how poorly the church pays its bills
  • If a payment is on time or even earlier than expected, it generates good will and that is a good thing.
  1. ALWAYS attach receipts to EVERY bill to be paid. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  2. The Finance Office needs TWO weeks to process payments. This allows for sick or vacation time off in the Finance Office and for other crises that arise.
  3. The Finance Office can make emergency payments the same day, but that should be for benevolent or charity needs: medicine, housing, food, and gas for traveling to work.
  4. Fill out the payment request forms for all expenses. Make sure the following are on it:
  • Payee
  • Instructions for delivery (such as “give check to …” otherwise it will be mailed)
  • Budget account number
  • A BRIEF explanation of the expense
  • Dollar amount
  • Signature of authorizing minister

2. Using a credit card is convenient, but it has requirements

  • Every credit card expenses MUST have a receipt which is given to the Finance Office. NO exceptions.
  • Every credit card charge is posted into the financial database so that you can look back at your expenses to see what you spent money on.
  • For EVERY credit card expense, write in the budget line to which that expense should be charged.
  • Turn in all receipts as soon as you get the credit card statement.

3. Paying staff for work is a payroll expense

  • Unless you’re reimbursing staff for a work expense, all payments to staff must go through payroll. This even includes gift cards given to staff.
  • This is an IRS requirement. Don’t blame the Finance Office for this.


Lead On!