If your car isn’t running properly—or running at all—wouldn’t you like to know that the mechanic has been trained to diagnose the problem accurately and efficiently?
The same goes for filing your taxes. When considering people who can prepare your tax return, wouldn’t you like to know that they have been trained in taxes? They should understand what is considered income and which deductions you can legally take to minimize your tax liability. It would be important to you that they were up-to-date on the most recent laws and regulations.
Everyone, from tax preparers and mechanics to doctors and surgeons, needs to receive ongoing and informed training to do their job well. This is also true of the individuals responsible for the financial matters in your church.
Ministry is what church is all about, but it can’t happen effectively if finances collapse. Many effective ministries have been minimized or closed because of poor financial decisions. Good decisions require good information, and adequate training will help ensure such information is available.
Key Training Elements
Training for your financial staff can include a few key elements.
As recently as a couple years ago, I knew of churches that were keeping their financial records on paper. There are still some that only use a spreadsheet. While inexpensive basic accounting software is available to speed up various processes, such as bank reconciliations, and minimize errors, these churches are unaware of it. Whether you have a small church or a large, complex ministry, understanding the available accounting software options and learning how to best use your current system is helpful.