What is a church budget and why do we have one?
Like any budget you may use at home or in your business, it is a guide and plan for spending. Typically in church settings, each ministry area creates their budget. We start early and plan for the upcoming year with what ministries do we want to take place. We then fund that plan with dollars, thus the budget. Once adopted, each minister has a guide and plan to follow and track so that spending is in control. Obviously, things change along the way and new directions are focused but still the budget is our best guide to keep us moving forward.
Is our budget from January to December?
No. We use a fiscal year rather than a calendar year. Our budget starts September 1 and ends August 31. With December being the largest giving month, with the fiscal year it places that month in the middle of our budget and allows us to better allocate income and spending for the whole year. In a church setting and using the calendar year, December is the last month of your year and that can make it difficult to plan.
Who creates the budget and monitors it?
There are many groups and people that create the budget. Each minister is responsible for their area and includes committees and lay persons to assist then in their planning. By the time you add up all the departments there will may be close to hundred people involved in the process. Once compiled the budget gets reviewed by the Deacons of the church, the staff, the Finance Committee, and then to the church for adoption.
Are audits done at Columbus Avenue?
That is s great question to ask. Yes! We use the services of an outside Independence accounting firm to look at our books annually. There are actually three levels of financial accountability; audits, reviews, and compilations. An audit s a full blown look at all aspects of the financial operation of the church and will take longer and cost more than the others. A review is slightly less of a look and does not dig as deep as an audit and costs less. A compilation is a brief overview and look of accounting practices. At Columbus we have many full audits under our belt and many reviews and one compilation. At the direction of the Finance Committee, we choose each year on the level that is needed. As a member of Columbus, you can rest assured we desire the best accountability practice and using an independent accounting firm ensures we achieve that.
Can I see the budget?
Absolutely! A budget is reviewed by the Finance Committee each month and presented to the church in summary format each month at our monthly Business Conference on the last Sunday nights of each month.
The 2017 / 2018 Proposed Ministry Plan and Budget is ready to view. As always, we offer you two options to view. Option 1 is the Ministry Plan Flyer which summarizes the budget. This option will be available in print. Option 2 is a more detailed report of all line items in the budget. This option is availbe in the church office or online.