Local Church Treasurer and Finance Training Resources
We’ve created this page in response to the increased interest in the information provided at our annual finance training events. We hope this will be a useful and convenient resource for you and your church staff. If you need information that we haven’t listed here, or have any suggestions concerning this page, please use our contact page to email your feedback (select Treasurer’s Office as the message topic). All downloads will be in Adobe pdf format, unless otherwise specified. If you don’t have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here to download it from their website for free.
Conference Treasurer’s Office Resources
- Our Staff Functions – If you need to contact us, this list will tell you which staff member can best answer your questions.
- Training Materials Summary – A list of resources available on this page.
- Other Resources Summary – A list of other resources available through the Conference and related agencies.
- 2020 Treasurer Training Slideshow – A copy of the PowerPoint presentation from our most recent training event. This will download the PowerPoint file.
- 2020 Treasurer Training Slideshow Handouts – A copy of the PowerPoint handouts from our most recent training event. Three slides per page.
- 2015 Treasurer Training Recording – Watch segments of the 2015 training event on YouTube
The Role of the Church Treasurer and Financial Secretary
- Administrative Committees – An excerpt from The Book of Discipline which discusses the role of the committee on finance in the local church.
- Local Church Officers Job Descriptions – A link to the GBOD website that gives job descriptions for those positions required in all congregations, as well as those positions suggested for ministry organization.
- Budgeting and Apportionment Process – A copy of the budget slide from the PowerPoint presentation from our most recent training event.
- Missions and Service Commitments Booklet – Conference Publication – see page 6 for the apportionment formula.
- Statistical Reports – A link to our downloads page, where you can access instructions for filling out your Table I, II, and II reports. There are also blank forms available for download.
- Local Church Statistics and Why They Matter – Read about the ways local church statistics are used.
- Apportionment Formula – Found in the CFA report adopted at Annual Conference.
- Church Remittance Guidelines – Helpful tips for remitting your apportionment and advance special payments to the Treasurer’s Office, how to sign up to make electronic payments, where you can go to view your current remittance statement, and end of year close-out procedures.
- Remittance Forms – A link to our downloads page where you can print remittance forms and EFT enrollment forms.
Local Church Audits
- Local Church Minimum Internal Controls Guidelines – The following guidelines have been developed in order to assist those with financial responsibilities in local churches to identify and implement basic internal control procedures.
- Financial Controls, Policies, and Procedures – Template which can be used for the development of internal controls within your church. Written policies and procedures are required.
- Financial Controls, Policies, and Procedures – MS Word version of template (can be edited).
- Sample Gift Acceptance Policy – A gift acceptance policy will guide the church leadership in the types of donations that can be accepted, proper approvals needed to accept donations for particular purposes and what happens to funds left after a project is complete.
- 2020 Local Church Audit Guide – A resource provided by GCFA for local congregations, to guide them through the process of having an annual financial audit. Updated to Fifth Edition.
- Local Church Audit Guide FAQ – Frequently asked questions about the local church audit
Clergy Special Issues
- Accountable Reimbursement Policies Q&As – A question and answer document designed to assist churches in establishing and maintaining accountable reimbursement policies for their clergy and staff. This document also includes examples of proper and improper reimbursement items.
- Housing Allowance Q&As – A question and answer document designed to assist churches in establishing housing allowance policies, along with a sample resolution, a sample notification by the church and an estimate worksheet.
- Parsonage Utility Payment Guidance – Effective January 2014, all congregations with pastors living in parsonages shall pay utility costs for the parsonages to the utility companies directly and should not provide cash allowances.
- Employee or Independent Contractor – A short publication from the IRS to help you determine whether your church workers should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.
- Pastor Discretionary Funds – Guidance from GCFA for the responsible handling of a pastor’s discretionary fund
- Employer Payment Plans for Medical Coverage – IMPORTANT UPDATE for churches that are helping employees pay for health insurance
- All of these documents, and many more valuable resources can be found on GCFA’s website, and are listed on their Tax Packet page.
- Don’t Take Logs Lightly – Article from ChurchLawandTax.com about a tax case that shows why employees must closely track mileage.
- Business Trip Documentation Guidelines – Guidance and examples for proper documentation of business trips and adequate preparation of trip reports.
- Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations – A publication from the IRS that explains the benefits and responsibilities under the federal tax system for churches and religious organizations. It covers several important topics such as tax-exempt status, unrelated business income, filing requirements, and charitable contributions.
- Charitable Contributions – IRS publication, similar to the Tax Guide above, but only containing information for charitable contributions.
- IRA Gift Receipt Information & Sample Letter – How to handle gifts received directly from an IRA administrator
- Records Retention – recommendations for how long different types of records (financial and other) should be kept.
- Group Ruling Tax Exemption – Information about the “Group Ruling” that is maintained by GCFA for the United Methodist Church.
- Group Ruling Online Application – For obtaining a group ruling certification letter from GCFA for your church.
- Good Samaritan/Benevolence Fund Policy – Guidance to help you set up your church’s benevolence fund policy so that members can make tax-deductible donations to help individuals and families in need. Includes a sample policy.
- Visit our Pension page for information about the Ministers’ Transition Fund and pension billing.
- Pension Downloads – A link to our downloads page where you will find blank pension forms, instructions, EFT enrollment forms, and other helpful resources.
- Employer Payments for Medical Coverage – Wespath has issued guidance for churches concerning the tax consequences of payments for medical coverage for employees that are not part of an employer group plan.
Local Church Income Reporting
- Clergy W-2 Form Information – A document which gives general information on completing Form W-2 for clergy.
- Clergy W-2 Example
- Tax Reporting Requirements (W-2 and W-3) – Information about the reporting requirements of local churches for Employee Payroll.
- Form 941 – Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return – IRS form.
- Tax Reporting Requirements (941) – Information about the reporting requirements of local churches for Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
- IRS Letter Concerning 941 – Letter referenced in Tax Reporting Requirements document – stating that the IRS does not require a 941 if a church has only a minister and no other staff, as long as no income tax has been withheld.
- Form W-4 – Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate – IRS form.
- Form I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification – USCIS form.
- North Carolina New Hire Reporting Form – For more information go to ncnewhires.com.
- FLSA Exemption Questionnaire – Questionnaire to help determine employee exempt or non-exempt status for payroll and overtime purposes.
Incorporating The Local Church
- Incorporation Information – Advantages, Powers & Formation
- Appendix to GCFA Legal Manual – Sample articles and bylaws & Incorporation Checklist
- Incorporation of UM Child Care Centers and Preschools – Memo from GCFA legal department about the incorporation of a child care center, early childhood development center or preschool as an entity separate from the local church.
- Visit the GCFA Legal Manual for more information.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance Memorandum – A notice concerning the NC Conference’s position on local church Worker’s Compensation Coverage.
- Recommended Insurance Coverage Limits – Also includes contact information for United Methodist Insurance.
- NC Cash Unclaimed Property Program – Link to the NC Department of State Treasurer website with information regarding how to handle unclaimed property. By law, outstanding/unpresented checks must be turned over to the state. This website guides you through the procedures for reporting unclaimed property.
Sales Tax Reimbursements
- State Taxation and NonProfit Organizations – Information from the NC Department of Revenue concerning state taxation and how the laws apply to nonprofit organizations.
- Form SS-4 Instructions – Instructions for the Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN) on IRS website.
- Form SS-4 – Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN) on IRS website.
- Employer ID Number Information – Information on the IRS website about the EIN, including how to determine if you need one and how to apply for one.
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online – link to IRS application
- Software Selection Tips – Helpful links and tips for choosing local church accounting software systems.
- Selecting Church Financial Computer Systems – A magazine article which discusses the challenge of choosing a financial computer system.
- TechSoup – Technology for nonprofits. Incredible offers for nonprofits from leading brands. Low administrative fees. Find out how it works by watching this video.
- GCFA Ministry Partners – GCFA seeks to build relationships with vendors and businesses outside of the connection in an effort to provide vetted and approved services to our annual conferences and churches.
United Methodist Foundation Investments
- For more information about the United Methodist Foundation and investment opportunities, please visit their web page at umfnc.org.