Your church plant needs to have some money-handling procedures in place to create an environment of trust and protect your staff & volunteers from accusation.
Your church plant is seeing contributions come in from outside supporters and local givers. Different people are handling the checks (and sometimes cash) that are donated. Someone’s got to balance the checkbook. The IRS says you need to keep track of everyone’s donations.
Ah, church plant finances.
What to Do
You should put these nonnegotiables in place:
- The Lead Pastor does not handle the money – you should not count the offering or be a signer on the bank account.
- Operate from a budget – one that was approved by a Board or Management Team that you are accountable to.
- Have 2 authorized signers on bank accounts – this creates accountability and provides a failsafe if the primary signer is incapacitated.
- Two people count the offering – your counting team should have at least three people that serve in rotation. And none of them should be related.
- Compare bank deposits to count sheet – to make sure all the cash that the two people (above) counted made it to the bank.
- Use accounting software – a spreadsheet only gets you so far.
- Track donations & send annual giving statements – this honors your donors and keeps the IRS off your back.
- Conduct an annual audit or review – it will be worth every penny.