The Dreaded Church Budget!!!
Financial management can be daunting…
Few things are more stressful for church leaders than compiling the annual budget. Proper financial management can be both intimidating and at times overwhelming. Yet, good accounting practices can go a long way down the road toward financial stability for a church. A well-organized budget and accounting controls can allow church leadership to focus less on administrative issues and afford more time and energy toward ministry and outreach.
Planning. Checking. Planning some more.
A good church budget can provide a way to track the income and expenses giving church leadership the information necessary to make the best strategic financial decisions.
When creating a church budget for the upcoming year, one budgeting approach is to start from zero and evaluate each expense line item based on the church’s ministry needs. There are many different types of expenses that go into maintaining the church, from staff salaries to computer equipment to items such as choir robes and Sunday School materials. A well-designed church budget can assist church leaders with keeping track of various costs and expenses to make certain that the necessary funds are available when needed.
A good church budget can assist church leaders with keeping track of various income sources, such as tithes, offerings, and certain designated giving such as building fund contributions. Federal, state and local economic conditions at any given time can make it difficult for church leaders to forecast future income the church will receive, so consider historical income trends as one way to forecast future giving. Conservative budgeting is one way to avoid funding shortfalls. Church leaders can revisit the church budget mid-year to make the necessary adjustments to avoid overspending or underspending in important key areas.
The importance of proper financial management cannot be overstated, because it is the foundation for financial sustainability and stability of the church. Good fiscal accountability can allow the church to conduct important ministry projects without the burden of worrying how to keep the lights on. A healthy budget can help feed a healthy church.