Vital Tips: Upgrade How Your Church Manages Expenses

Whether you have a full accounting department, a part- time bookkeeper, or a few savvy volunteers, your expense management processes 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 allowing volunteers and employees to support your mission. 

No matter 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. pancake 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 

In this post, you’ll learn some key challenges you may face in managing finances for a religious organization. You’ll also learn how you can meet 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 won’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. 
PEX 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.  Whoever handles expense management has to bear this responsibility on top of their other duties to the church (or, for volunteers—potentially a fulltime job).  These expenses might be made through 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. 

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 tip: 
•    Platforms with mobile apps give you the flexibility to manage expenses anytime, wherever you are. 

The PEX Visa® Prepaid Card platform 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 is prepaid cards plus expense management: PEX Prepaid Cards ensure staff and volunteers spending power while establishing controls on how much they can 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 greater control over spending. 


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