Nonprofit and Church Accounting Blog

This accounting blog...

  • informs you when any new web pages appear on my site,
  • shows you the latest question, comment, or tip posted by readers...(please feel free to browse the questions below and answer the ones you feel comfortable answering),
  • let's you know when an error is found in my free financial spreadsheets and how to correct them.

Nov 18, 2019

Is the Pastor Responsible

Myth or fact, is the Pastor responsible for any church bank accounts if the church goes bad, audited, go in default?

Continue reading "Is the Pastor Responsible"

Nov 18, 2019

Small church guidelines for gifts to pastor

How should a small church (tithes and offerings less than $75000 annually) handle and report monetary gifts to its pastor and immediate family? The

Continue reading "Small church guidelines for gifts to pastor"

Nov 18, 2019

Are salary and gross income the same?

We pay our ministers certain stipends. We pay a stipend for FICA and one for cell phone use that is included in his income and reported on the W2.

Continue reading "Are salary and gross income the same?"

Nov 18, 2019

IRS Disallows Charitable Contributions

Hi, a member of our church is being audited by the IRS. The member gave the IRS the annual contribution statement that I provided to him. The statement

Continue reading "IRS Disallows Charitable Contributions"

Nov 18, 2019

Church scheduling

Does Aplos include software allow scheduling different people (greeter's, band, Sunday School teachers, ect.) on a particular Sunday and show last date

Continue reading "Church scheduling"

Oct 19, 2019

procedure for booking fund income & expenses

When funds are deposited to the general account, is the opposite entry to an income account? When funds are dispersed from the general account for a fund

Continue reading "procedure for booking fund income & expenses"

Oct 19, 2019

Benevolence for Member's Auto Repair a "Luxury"?

We recently know of an elderly couple that asked for benevolence at their church to help repair the a/c unit in their car. They were turned down because

Continue reading "Benevolence for Member's Auto Repair a "Luxury"?"

Oct 19, 2019

Security Procedures

As the Bookkeeper,I do enter the accounting data, write the checks, and reconcile the monthly bank statements for a church thrift store that is a start-up.

Continue reading "Security Procedures"

Oct 08, 2019

Self-employed pastor per guidelines with 100% housing allowance

My question: Schedule C Expenses must be allocated against tax free income such as housing allowance. Assume the pastor falls within guidelines as self-employed

Continue reading "Self-employed pastor per guidelines with 100% housing allowance"

Oct 08, 2019

Reporting of Pastoral Housing Allowance

Can 100% of a pastors income be reported as housing allowance?

Continue reading "Reporting of Pastoral Housing Allowance"

Sep 24, 2019

Timing of donation vs the donation receipt

Can I issue a donation receipt for a donation of non-cash items in 2019 when the donation will not be received until 2020?

Continue reading "Timing of donation vs the donation receipt"

Sep 13, 2019

Do any other churches out there utilize a "IN/OUT" Fund for monies that pass through the accounting system?

In a previous church as the Business Administrator our system had a fund set up for pass-through monies. For example, Altar Flowers, people paid for them

Continue reading "Do any other churches out there utilize a "IN/OUT" Fund for monies that pass through the accounting system?"

Sep 12, 2019

How to report housing for a pastor

Our pastor does not receive a salary, he turned it down so that his father (our former pastor) would continue to receive his salary. Recently our new

Continue reading "How to report housing for a pastor"

Aug 31, 2019

Financing a Parsonage

I'm a pastor and currently receiving a weekly amount for housing allowance. The home I live in is personally owned and not receiving the benefit of a parsonage.

Continue reading "Financing a Parsonage"

Aug 31, 2019

Accounting for money given for specific use

We often receive money for special programs for the community. We also receive money for scholarships to church camps and flowers at Easter and Christmas.

Continue reading "Accounting for money given for specific use"

Aug 31, 2019

How to do W-2

If a pastor of a small church had a housing allowance only for pay (and it was the smallest of housing expenses actually pd, housing allowance designated

Continue reading "How to do W-2"

Aug 31, 2019

Opt out of Social Security - Housing Allowance

Clergy opts of of Social Security, so that does that make the housing allowance not subject to SE tax and ordinary tax? Came across my first clergy client

Continue reading "Opt out of Social Security - Housing Allowance "

Aug 21, 2019

Housing Allowance Approvals

We began paying our pastor a salary on January 1, 2019. He will receive a 1099 for 2019. At the time, we discussed housing allowance but failed to get

Continue reading "Housing Allowance Approvals"

Aug 21, 2019

expense money for pastor

If money is left in yearly expense account for pastor how do we disburse it?

Continue reading "expense money for pastor"

Aug 21, 2019

Accounting for church building fund

1. What is the accounting entry to record cash received for church building fund? 2. Is this fund reported as income in the income statement?

Continue reading "Accounting for church building fund "

Aug 10, 2019

Gift for Volunteer Elder

We have an outgoing volunteer elder/pastor. We thought it would be nice to gift him with $2,500.00 gift. This would come out of our general fund. So,

Continue reading "Gift for Volunteer Elder"

Aug 10, 2019

Required Love offering

My organization uses a church building that is offered to us for free. My organization REQUIRES each family to pay a set amount twice a year as a love

Continue reading "Required Love offering"

Aug 10, 2019

401K donation earmarked to pastor

An individual is having his 401k make distributions to a church in order to take a charitable contribution but not pay income tax on the distribution.

Continue reading "401K donation earmarked to pastor"

Aug 10, 2019

Housing Allowance Change in July

Our church has semi-annual business meetings--one in January and one in July. In the July business meeting in 2019, it was recommended that the pastor's

Continue reading "Housing Allowance Change in July"

Aug 10, 2019

Question

How is the best way to handle and record one time large gift. We need to separate it from our regular giving so it does not inflate our future budgeting.

Continue reading "Question"

Aug 10, 2019

collecting SSDI and taking a Sr. Pastor Position do I have to report Housing allowance

I have been collecting SSDI for 20 years, I have Muscular Dystrophy, I was asked to take over as Sr. Pastor of a small church. The church wants to pay

Continue reading "collecting SSDI and taking a Sr. Pastor Position do I have to report Housing allowance "

Aug 10, 2019

Retired pastor receives gift from church.

Church donates a home to retiring pastor, what are the tax consequences to him?

Continue reading "Retired pastor receives gift from church."

Jul 05, 2019

Need help completing pastor compensation contract correctly.

We are paying our pastor a salary and giving a housing allowance. On the contract, do we add both amounts to arrive at his total income or do we only include

Continue reading "Need help completing pastor compensation contract correctly."

Jun 30, 2019

Can you pay your pastor's housing allowance if he does not actually receive a paycheck from the church?

Is the pastor still considered an employee of the church if he does not receive a salary, and if he is considered an employee of the church can he be paid

Continue reading "Can you pay your pastor's housing allowance if he does not actually receive a paycheck from the church?"

Jun 30, 2019

Retirement Plan Contributions

Can a church contribute to a private-owned retirement plan of its pastor without reporting/filing the contributions to the IRS or DOL?

Continue reading "Retirement Plan Contributions"



Need training on how to use QBO or Aplos effectively for a church or better yet ...need an expert in either of those accounting software to do your monthly bookkeeping and/or payroll? See more on our accounting services!