Churches are typically known for their “can-do” attitude and zeal to serve their communities — inside the church’s walls, and outside.
Congregants, volunteers, and staff within a church are often ready to lend a hand and dedicate time and resources to make a difference in people’s lives.
However, when it comes to managing finances, many churches struggle to keep track of their income and expenses. They may rely on volunteers or members who have some accounting knowledge, but this approach is not always an effective means of ensuring quality church accounting services.
A virtual accountant (like the CPAs at Temple) can provide the support and expertise churches need to manage their finances efficiently and effectively.
In this post, we will explore five ways a virtual accountant can help your church do just that.
1: A virtual accountant can provide deeper expertise in church accounting
Church accounting is not the same as regular accounting. Churches have unique financial challenges, such as managing donations and tracking expenses for various programs and activities. And don’t get us started on compliance with certain tax laws.
A virtual accountant who specializes in church accounting can provide deeper expertise and knowledge in this area. Just a few of the specialized ways a virtual accountant help give churches a preliminary “fresh start” with their daily finances include:
- Charting accounts that reflect the church’s unique financial situation
- Setting up a system to track donations and expenses
- Guidance on how to allocate funds for different programs and activities
- Detailed understanding on the financial implications of decisions
- Tailored advice on how to optimize financial best practices
Additionally, a virtual accountant can also help churches identify potential financial risks and prevent fraud. They can set up internal controls that protect the church’s assets and ensure that all financial transactions are properly documented and recorded.
Is your church prepared for audits and financial reviews? A virtual accountant can help you confidently say “yes,” and ensure that all financial statements and reports are accurate and comply with regulatory requirements. With a virtual accountant on board, churches can have peace of mind knowing that their finances and reputation are in good hands.
2: A virtual accountant can assist your church with financial planning
Many churches struggle with financial planning. They may not have a clear understanding of their income and expenses, which makes it challenging to plan for the future. A virtual accountant can help your church create a budget that reflects its financial goals and priorities.
A virtual accountant can also provide your church insights into how to optimize its finances and reduce expenses without compromising on its mission and values. For example, they can provide guidance on how to save for major expenses, such as building renovations or equipment upgrades. They can also help your church set up a reserve fund that can be used to support operations during tighter times.
Did you know that a virtual accountant can provide financial analysis and forecasting? They often help churches understand financial trends and identify areas where they can improve their financial performance. This can help churches make informed decisions and ensure their long-term financial sustainability.
3: A virtual accountant can help your church with tax filing and compliance
As a church, you are subject to certain regulations and tax laws. In addition to donation and contribution management, a virtual accountant can help you navigate the regulations your church may face and ensure that your church is compliant with all applicable laws.
Your church needs to accurately document its finances to meet federal regulations such as IRS Form 990. A virtual accountant can also provide guidance on how to handle donations and charitable contributions accordingly.
By working with a virtual accountant, you can stay compliant with regulations, maintain your tax-exempt status, and ensure that your church’s finances are in order.
4: A virtual church accountant offers transparency in financial reporting
Transparency in financial reporting is essential for any organization — especially churches. It helps build trust and credibility with members and donors and ensures that the church’s finances are being managed responsibly.
A virtual accountant can help your church develop a system for financial reporting that is transparent and easy to understand, and relevant to the church’s mission and goals. A virtual accountant can also provide financial reports on a regular basis, giving you a clear picture of your church’s financial health.
In addition, a virtual church accounting service can help you create a system for tracking donations and contributions. This can help you communicate with your congregation about where their donations are going and how their contributions are being used. Moreover, your virtual church accountant can provide guidance on how to present this information in a way that is compelling and engaging and that highlights the impact of the church’s programs and activities.
By offering transparency in financial reporting, you will be building trust with your congregation and donor base and ensuring that your church’s finances are managed ethically. Consider letting a virtual accountant help you get this part if any, right?
5: A virtual church accountant can enhance fundraising and grant applications
Many churches rely on grants and fundraising to support their programs and activities. However, grant applications and fundraising campaigns can be time-consuming and complex. Being able to track and recognize donations and contributions in a timely system is vital to keeping your organization on budget, and pinpointing ways to improve fundraising practices.
A virtual accountant can help churches with grant applications and fundraising by providing financial analysis and reporting services. They can help your church better understand its own financial needs and goals, and provide guidance on how to present this information to potential donors or grantors.
They can also help your church track donations and expenses related to grant-funded programs. This ensures that all financial transactions are properly documented and recorded, and that they comply with the grant requirements.
Your church’s virtual accountant can also help develop a fundraising strategy that aligns with your church’s goals. They can provide insights into how to maximize your fundraising efforts and identify areas where you can improve.
By taking advantage of a virtual accountant’s expertise, you can increase your church’s fundraising potential and secure more funding for your ministry.
How Temple can impact your church finances
A virtual accountant can provide a wide range of services that can help your church manage its finances more effectively and ensure long-term sustainability. If your church is looking for a way to improve its finances, you might want to consider investing in a virtual accountant with Temple.
Temple Management consists of industry professionals whose virtual bookkeeping and nonprofit accounting services help nonprofits prepare annual filing, audits, establishing financial best practices, and more.
Temple‘s team of Certified Public Accountants (CPA)s and Accountants can help you define your financial needs and do the legwork of managing your fund accounting.
Learn more about how Temple can help you focus on your community, while we focus on what we’re good at: empowering churches to succeed financially.
Reach out to our team virtually here, or give us a call at 770-892-2087.