Upgrade How Your Church Manages Expenses


Whether your church has a part-time bookkeeper, a few savvy volunteers, or a fully staffed accounting department, your expense management process can always be improved. With a combination of clear policies and smart financial management tools, you can reduce the possibility of errors and overspending, while making your mission the top priority for volunteers and employees. 

Regardless of their size, many houses of worship face similar finance-related challenges, including: 

  1. Relying on dedicated volunteers to support programs and help manage events 

  2. Handling large amounts of petty cash from weekly collections or as income from events (e.g.  breakfasts or summer camps) 

  3. Maintaining transparency into spending patterns and expenses 

  4. Accounting for purchases made with cash or shared lines of credit, or paid for upfront with employees’ personal money 

  5. Regularly adjusting and trimming the budget to efficiently meet the congregation’s needs 

It’s important to understand some of the key challenges you may face in managing finances for a religious organization. It’s also important to learn how you can address these challenges to help your house of worship maintain a clean balance sheet (and accountability to your community). 

Much of your income may arrive in the form of cash. Weekly collection plates, for example, contain almost all cash, plus the occasional check. Fundraising events, such as carnivals or yard sales, also often bring in primarily cash. 

The problem: In the absence of careful controls, it’s easy to misplace or miscount cash. You don’t have an accurate view of recent expenses until you receive receipts from all church employees and volunteers, introducing delays and complications to your expense reporting process. 

The solution: By reducing the amount of checks and cash that move back and forth in a congregation’s accounting system, you can reduce the chance of errors — while also decreasing the time volunteers and employees spend on financial management.

Pro tips: 
•    Automate the process with smart platforms and tools that create a simpler solution. 
•    Document policies that are accessible by mobile app and make life easier for you — and also help onboard new staff and volunteers. 

The PEX Visa® Prepaid Card platform easily integrates with other accounting or expense reporting tools for simple processing and thorough, transparent reporting.  

Financial management may fall to a church board of directors, a staff accountant, or even a knowledgeable volunteer. 

The problem: This responsibility is usually in addition to someone’s other duties to the church, and for volunteers this could potentially be a fulltime job. Expenses might come through as purchases from credit cards connected to one account, petty cash or upfront payments by staff members who need to be reimbursed. Each method introduces complications to the process of tracking and approving expenses. 

The solution: Tech-driven tools offer ways to streamline the expense reporting and accounting processes, saving hours of time each month. Better systems allow you to dedicate more focus to improving the budget or serving your religious community in other ways.

Pro tips: 
•    Platforms with mobile apps give you the flexibility to manage expenses anytime, wherever you are. 
•    The ability to fund cards in real-time is extremely important when you have active missions. 

PEX offers a way to give staff and volunteers spending power while establishing controls on how much they can spend. PEX also allows you to control what types of purchases employees and volunteers are allowed to make on a card-by-card basis—for greater control over spending. With the PEX mobile app, action can be taken on-the-go in real time.

PEX COMBINES: Prepaid Cards + Expense Management 

Houses of worship are entrusted to care for their congregation’s finances. This care includes making responsible spending decisions, maintaining visibility into expenses, protecting donations, and controlling organizational spending—while making it easy for staff and volunteers to perform their duties.  

PEX consists of an expense management platform and prepaid cards. This gives staff and volunteers spending power while establishing controls on how much they can actually spend. PEX also allows organizations to control what types of purchases employees and volunteers are allowed to make on a card-by-card basis for even greater control over spending. 


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