Administration Matters

A bimonthly e-newsletter for ELCA congregational and synodical leaders. It addresses common, practical issues including finance, governance, risk management, tax, legal concerns and topics of interest about day to day operations and management in church settings.

Index of the May 2017 Issue

Issue 52 Of Administration Matters

Gathering opportunities for the summer

Congregational treasurers financial and accounting guide

This guide for treasurers and bookkeepers reviews the responsibilities of the treasurer, creating the chart of accounts, financial reporting and other topics. >More

HR Series – Records retention

A sound document-retention policy isn’t just a necessity these days, it’s mandatory! If just one important document is misplaced, misfiled or unintentionally destroyed, it could mean trouble. Identify required and important documents and make sure they are properly stored. >More

Congregational model Audit Committee Charter

The primary purpose of an audit committee charter is to provide oversight of the financial reporting process, the audit process, the system of internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations. The charter governs the operations of the Audit Committee. >More

Controlling office supply costs

Many organizations spend more on office supplies than necessary. Here are several ideas that congregations may find helpful in reducing their office supply costs. >More

Armed intruder security

No congregation is immune from acts of violence. Find out what you can do. >More

Index of the March 2017 Issue

Issue 51 of Administration Matters

Updated tax guides now available through Portico

Portico Benefit Services provides pastors and congregations participating in the ELCA benefit program with no-cost access to Richard R. Hammar’s annual tax guides. Members can use their Portico login.
For pastors, “Clergy Tax Return Preparation Guide” gives special attention to topics most relevant to ministers. >More
For congregations, “Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches” helps congregations understand their federal tax reporting requirements. >More

Buildings and grounds protection

Forty-five hundred churches are the victims of burglary each year, with the median burglary loss estimated at $2,000. >More

HR series – orientation

Few things in life are as exciting – or as harrowing ­– as starting a new job. It’s important that you make the new employee feel welcome and valued. Remember, first impressions last a long time and this is your opportunity to make it a good one. >More

Records retention information

It is important to know which records and information a congregation or synod should keep and which can be discarded. Some records need to be maintained permanently and others should be discarded periodically. Congregation records retention schedule. Synod records retention schedule.

Webinar for existing nonprofit users of QuickBooks

TechSoup provides donated products, services and educational resources for nonprofits, including webinars. A webinar on using QuickBooks for faith-based organizations is available for on-demand viewing. An upcoming webinar takes a deeper look for nonprofits already using QuickBooks for managing their accounting. The webinar, scheduled for March 22 at 1 p.m. Central time, covers these topics: best practices for list setup; different methods for entering income; using QuickBooks as a donor database; auto-allocating expenses to programs; reports for your board; tracking restricted grants; inputting in-kind gifts. Register online for this free webinar. >More

‘Here We Walk’ Lenten fitness challenge

Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa, is practicing healthy habits and teaching about the ELCA’s heritage this Lent. Parish nurse Becky Elsbernd shared Trinity’s resources with Portico for others to try. Members can use the Portico login. >More

Index of the January 2017 Issue

Issue 50 of Administration Matters

HR Series – checking references

Checking references is an important part of the hiring process. While it may feel like just one more step, checking applicants’ references can actually save time, money, effort and a lot of embarrassment. >More

Internal control weaknesses

Many ministries have questions about internal controls and how to effectively address or prevent vulnerabilities. Being willing to consider these issues is an important first step in addressing any weaknesses. >More

Emergency planning

Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country and it may lead to hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail or flooding, as well as those associated to winter storms such as freezing rain, sleet and snow. Congregations should develop an emergency plan based on their local weather hazards and practice their plan. >More

Writing minutes like a pro

Do your hands cramp up at the thought of recording meeting minutes? When you’re writing out your notes, use some of the following tips to take effective minutes with confidence at each and every meeting! >More