Running a church accounting department requires a variety of skills. While a base level of technical knowledge is required, communication and leadership abilities are also necessary.
If you will be taking on a position as a church accounting department manager, the following considerations may be helpful. If that position is currently filled, you may want to use this list to assess your current church accounting leader’s strengths and areas for improvement—even if that leader is you!
Understanding the Role
The titles and responsibilities for this position can vary from church to church. Larger ministries may have an executive pastor as well as a controller in addition to various accounting positions such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll clerks. Smaller ministries may have a business administrator who is responsible for bookkeeping functions as well as facilities, IT, and human resources.
Whatever the specific title and responsibilities, however, the basic objectives of an accounting department leadership position generally include:
- Ensuring the integrity of financial matters so all accounting policies and practices are compliant with accepted accounting principles and related oversight (e.g. Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, etc.)
- Working with management on specific budgeting and expense reporting
- Working with auditors on successful completion of the annual audit
- Managing the finance team to best utilize the staff and volunteer resources available