This is a suggested format of the reports that should be given to the vestry. It is never wise to overwhelm people with too much information but on the other hand it is vital that the vestry receives enough information to understand the financial situation of the church.
- A Revenue & Expense statement should be prepared monthly
- The Vestry should receive the most recent report at every meeting
- At least once a quarter, the Vestry should receive a balance sheet
See the right of your screen to download/view sample statement and balance sheet in Microsoft Excel format.
- Revenue & Expense statement
The important information is:
N.B. If the revenue & expense statement is more than two pages, it's meant for the Finance Committee, not the Vestry
- Where is the money coming from & where is it going? [Sufficient detail in the income & expense categories]
- How are we doing so far this year? [Year-to-date actual numbers]
- How are we doing against the budget? [Year-to-date budget numbers]
- How are we doing against this time last year? [Prior year-to-date numbers]
- What are our targets? [Full current year budget]
- What should we be concentrating on? [Like income/expense categories grouped together with subtotals in bold; concentrate on subtotals and call attention only to significant variances.]
Examples of unimportant information:
- Single month's activity [unless you're reporting on January]
- Percentages and variances; just show the four columns; your eye will do the rest.
- Too much detail - don't show every group that uses your space; show the one or two biggest ones and put everything else together under "Other space use"
- Click here to see how these numbers are reported on the parochial report.
- Cash - [don't list all accounts; total the cash]
- Investments - [update at least quarterly; See investment guidelines]
- Receivables [if anyone owes you money]
- Fixed assets less depreciation [if you capitalize fixed assets]
- Liabilities [what you owe; payroll taxes; loans, unpaid bills]
Crucial point: Don't imagine you can give the Vestry reports out of your system; they won't include all the important information, and they're sure to include unimportant information. You have to prepare spreadsheets every month from the reports that come out of the system.