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Blogging Beyond the Numbers

Faith in Numbers
Posted by: Hannah Lanser 1 month ago
Faith in Numbers was created as an educational offering to churches and religious organizations in the Midwest region. Additionally, we wanted to provide an opportunity to gather with similar organizations to network, share insights and solutions, and act as resources for each other. As such, we want to reiterate our gratitude to the speakers, sponsors, and attendees who made Faith in Numbers 2018 a success...
Retirement Plan
Posted by: Hannah Lanser 1 month ago
Have you heard of the 403(b)(9) plan? This type of plan, as opposed to an IRA, 403(b), 403(b)(7) or a 401(k) plan, has two key benefits for ministers described in greater detail below. Many churches are using one of the other categories of plans as opposed to the more advantageous 403(b)(9). There are multiple reasons for this. Typically, the retirement plan vendor of choice is either a local financial repr...
Posted by: Dana Outhouse 6 months ago
On June 21, 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standard Update (ASU) 2018-08: Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made.  This ASU will impact all organizations that receive or make contributions of cash or other assets. This ASU includes specific criteria to consider when determining whether a contract or agreeme...
Posted by: Brent A. Hafele, M.A. 6 months ago
I was recently asked about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect on January 1, 2018 on major donor giving.  In that tax reform, the standard deduction—the amount an individual or couple can claim without justifying it—essentially doubled. The fears of many is that having a higher deduction would limit giving because donors will not get a tax benefit if their deductions do not su...
safeguard
Posted by: Mike Hablewitz 8 months ago
As church members, we probably do not want to entertain the idea that the people handling the church finances could be dishonest. But, the truth is that fraud is a serious problem in all types of organizations, and churches are certainly not immune.  In fact, churches often have limited resources and staff, which makes it difficult to establish adequate internal controls. This creates an opportunity for fr...
offertory
Posted by: Hannah Lanser 8 months ago
“We have such wonderful staff. They would never do anything.” “Oh, he’s been a volunteer counter for years. We trust Bill.” “Our staff is so small. Thankfully, Jill is able to handle everything.” How many times have you heard statements like these? No matter the person, trust is unfortunately not an internal control. Too many times, fraud occurs with the person most trusted. The perso...
key to successful audit
Posted by: Lisa Lang 1 year ago
Successful audits hinge on communication and documentation. As such, preparing for an audit can either be an easy or daunting task depending on your experience and the state of your financial records. Wegner CPAs is committed to making the audit process be a positive experience. Here are the secrets from an auditor’s perspective Obtain the audit preparation list from your auditor. This is a vital co...
creating a church budget
Posted by: Melodi Bunting 1 year ago
Say the word budget and you may see eyes glaze over, people shrink down in their chair or attention shift to cell phones.  The term “budgeting” is often burdened with negative connotations of being restricting, time consuming, useless, and confusing. Budgeting is not a mysterious process done by an accountant in a windowless office, nor is it a futile exercise, but instead it has the ability t...
Budget
Posted by: Hannah Lanser 1 year ago
Budget season. Two words that you'll be hearing a lot in the upcoming months. Have you considered budgeting for an accountable plan as an alternative for expense reimbursements for your pastoral staff? Why reimburse under an accountable plan Under regular employee reimbursement, expenses reimbursed to an employee are considered income and must be accounted for in the employee’s gross income. This causes...
Cash Gift
Posted by: Melodi Bunting 1 year ago
As individuals begin to finalize their year-end giving, it is important to consider the deductibility of contributions. According to IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, deductible contributions must be made to a qualifying organization.  Qualified organizations include nonprofits, churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques.  Gifts to a nonqualified organization or individual are not tax deducti...