Faith in Numbers

At Wegner CPAs, we understand that financial accountability is important to all places of worship and other religious organizations. We want to ensure that you stay informed of how accounting and other financial related issues affect your church or religious organization. Join us for a full day of education guiding churches and religious organizations on a path to financial accountability.


October 30, 2018   |   9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Middleton, WI 53562




Welcome (9:00 - 9:30 AM)

Registration and Breakfast

Keynote Speaker (9:30 - 10:30 AM)

Brent HafeleBreaking the Four Flaws of Nonprofit Thinking

Brent A. Hafele, M.A., Senior Vice President of Client Services, Dickerson, Bakker & Associates

Too many nonprofits and ministries are limping–boards and budgets, staff and volunteers, fundraising and programs—frustrations abound. The same things keep holding nonprofits back from making their best community impact. In this session, speaker and consultant Brent Hafele will share four common flaws of nonprofit thinking. Brent will challenge you to look critically toward ways of leading your organization into greater vibrancy and sustainability.

Breakout Session I (10:45 - 11:45 AM)

Scott Haumersen

Managing Church and Financial Risk

Scott Haumersen, CPA, CGMA, Partner, Wegner CPAs

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Have you heard of it? Most haven’t, yet most corporations spend considerable time managing risk and even employ full-time staff to analyze, reduce and mitigate risk to their organization. In this session you will learn the typical risks for a church, how you can identify them, and how to mitigate any problems that might occur in the future through a practical step-by-step approach you can implement yourself. The session will also discuss the role of reserves in protecting your future.

Financial Fraud: Don’t Let it Happen to You

Mike Hablewitz, CPA, Partner, Wegner CPAs

All organizations are susceptible to fraud.  Churches and other religious organizations are no different. Mike will share his experiences from working on recent fraud examinations at religious organizations, and other stories of how fraud schemes were perpetrated.  He will also discuss simple, practical ways you can ensure financial stewardship and protect your organization from becoming the next victim of fraud.

Laura Gallagher

Reputation Management in the Digital Age

Laura Gallagher, Founder and President, The Creative Company

Crisis, in the Greek sense of the word, means decision or choice, especially at a turning point. Mitigating reputation risk for clergy and churches has always been challenging but now with the speed of information, it’s essential to have a plan. In this session, you will learn the foundational principles of crisis response, effective framing, what not to do (avoiding crisis missteps), the single biggest predictor of reputational harm and how Biblical teaching aligns with crisis response and leadership. This is a session that should be attended by Executive Pastors, Non – Profit Executives, Communication Directors, and CFOs.

Lisa Sotis
Jace Jontz

Building for God – How to Plan for Successful Church Expansion

Lisa Sotis, Project Development Manager, NCI-Roberts

Jace Jontz, Senior Project Manager, NCI-Roberts

Pastor Larry MacKenzie, Fulton Church

David Bilhorn, Finance Committee Chairman, Fulton Church

Expansion, for many church leaders, is a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor – and one of the most challenging, both financially and logistically. Building a culture of generosity and engaging professional partners early on can help ensure a smooth fundraising and building process. In this session, Madison-based church builder NCI-Roberts Construction will share fundraising strategies and resources, and preliminary services that general contractors and architects can provide; and Fulton Church in Edgerton, Wisconsin, will share lessons learned from its recent journey of expansion. NCI-Roberts will explain different building design and construction options and the phases of church design and construction. Then, Fulton Church will detail its own fundraising efforts, how its addition completed in January 2018 has impacted its congregation and community, and pastor’s tips for construction projects. Attendees will leave with ideas for how to use building funds efficiently, how to engage the congregation throughout the building process, and more.

Lunch and Networking (11:45 AM - 12:30 PM)

Breakout Session II (12:30 - 1:30 PM)

Hannah Lanser

The How To’s of Recording Contributions, Restrictions, and Designations

Hannah Lanser, Supervisor, Wegner CPAs

This session will build upon last year’s session on accounting for restricted and designated gifts, and will address how to properly account for revenue on the accrual basis. We will discuss several topics including: promises to give (pledges receivable), including multi-year pledges, and other restricted and designated gifts; in-kinds; and how to record special offerings collected and passed on to other organizations.

Mary Beth Collins

Processes and People: Managing Legal Risk and Advancing Best Practices as a 501(c)(3) Organization, Church, and Employer

Attorney Mary Beth Collins, J.D., M.A., and Julie Collins Reyes, MBC Legal

Join Attorneys Mary Beth Collins and Julie Collins Reyes of MBC Legal as they provide an overview of compliance considerations for your non-profit church or faith-based organization, and legal requirements and best practices relating to your employees and volunteers.  Topical issues ranging from changes in the tax code that impact nonprofits and churches, to anti-harassment and non-discrimination, will be touched on.  Engage in Q&A about what risks, concerns, or approaches you may wish to explore on behalf of your organization.

Cam Brawley

SALT and PEPPER: What to know about Wisconsin Sales & Use Taxes for Churches and Nonprofits

Cam Brawley, Director of State and Local Tax (SALT) Services, Wegner CPAs

Does your church ever host recording artists or performances with ticket sales? Does your church sell books or CDs to members? When should you collect sales tax on these items? This session will provide a Wisconsin sales & use tax snapshot to help you stay in compliance with these regulations.

Brent Hafele

Growing an Abundance of Major Giving 

Brent A. Hafele, M.A., Senior Vice President of Client Services, Dickerson, Bakker & Associates

Sector-wide, direct mail effectiveness decreases every year for the last decade, and at the same time the needs of our society continue to grow.  Thus, the need for a strong major gifts program is only increasing.  In this session, keynote speaker, Brent Hafele, will walk participants through the hallmarks of a robust major giving program including the Four Dimensions of Effective Major Donor Relationships, the Rule of Three C’s, and the most important element of any major gift program: the T Factor. Come only if you are interested in increasing your major donor revenue by 20% next year.

Breakout Session III (1:45 - 2:45 PM)

Melodi Bunting

How to Build a Comprehensive Church Budget

Melodi Bunting, CPA, CMA, CGMA, Training and Career Development Manager, Wegner CPAs

Building a budget for a church of any size is challenging. It involves predicting donations and membership changes, planning expenses for staff wages/benefits, church programs and building needs, and working with several committees to get the pieces approved. Bringing it all together in a format that is understandable by church leadership and the congregation is also important. This session will outline the steps in budgeting for a church, starting with a discussion of Cash vs Accrual vs Modified Cash accounting and what might be best for your church. We’ll walk through the steps to prepare a church budget including how to handle special giving and give examples of budgets for your use.

Dana Outhouse

How do the Recent Accounting Changes Impact my Organization?

Dana Outhouse, CPA, Supervisor, Wegner CPAs

Come join us to get the most up-to-date information on the recent accounting changes and how they will affect your organization.  We will discuss the new not-for-profit financial reporting rules as well as the new revenue recognition standards and their impact on religious organizations.  In addition, we will cover the relevant rules related to accounting for leases and we will give you an update on the status of the accounting for contributions standard.  This breakout session is your one stop shop for all of your financial reporting questions on the new standards.

Peter Tesch

Insurance Basics for Nonprofits: Getting the Most From Your Investment

Peter Tesch, Regional Representative, Church Mutual Insurance Company

For many nonprofits, insurance is just one of those must have items. It can be complicated, confusing, a big line item in the budget and something you hope you will never have to use. But in reality, your purchasing decisions could be the difference between continuing your mission or closing your doors for good. In this session, you will learn about areas to consider when evaluating the needs of nonprofits, how your overall strategy and purchasing decisions impact your mission and how some of the most common mistakes can easily be avoided. You will also learn five valuable tips on how to get the most out of your investment in insurance.

Michael Arnold

“Security is everyone’s responsibility” – Information Security User Awareness and Best Practices

Michael Arnold, Founder and Senior Cybersecurity Engineer, ITNS Consulting, LLC

Are you familiar with the most common security threats to your organization? Would you be surprised to find that you, or maybe one of your employees, are the weakest link in the security chain and likely the easiest to compromise? Do you have a general understanding of viruses, worms, and other malware that threaten your organization’s security on a daily basis and how to deal with them properly? What about Social Engineering, Phishing, and SPAM? Do you have an Acceptable Use Policy, WiFi Policy, Clean Desk Policy, Guest Policy, and other security policies for your organization? How about a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan? Does your organization really understand, and work to protect, the concept of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)? Please join us as we delve into the world of Cybersecurity and the need for User Awareness Training as we unravel the complexities behind many of these topics and more. This will be a one hour thought provoking session that you won’t want to miss. After all, “Security is everyone’s responsibility”.

Panel (3:00 - 4:00 PM)

Tax Reform Effects on Giving

Dan Bergs

Dan Bergs, CPA, Manager

Wegner CPAs

Mike Hablewitz, CPA, Partner

Wegner CPAs

Timothy Pederson

Timothy Pederson, Financial Consultant

Thrivent Financial


Jon Mueller

Jon Mueller, Director of Accounting and Administration, Blackhawk Church


Check out what some of our past attendees had to say about Faith in Numbers!

“Excellent conference, interesting, organized, meaningful.”

“Thank you for this opportunity. Great job everyone. Great to hear of an audit firm trying to understand nonprofits!”

“Looking forward to next year!”

“Loved the day! Thank you! I hope to bring more people next year!”

“This was very useful! Thank you! And affordable which made it possible. Presenters were very approachable.”

“Wonderful! Will definitely return next year. Very informative and great resources.”

“This would be very informative for Pastors. Marcio gave helpful info that would prepare pastors to lead and become responsible for financial info.”

Thank you to our sponsors!

NCI Roberts
Thrivent Financial
National Christian Foundation of Wisconsin
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