Paper Trail

by Ruby D. Scully
(Waterflow, New Mexico USA)

I'm curious how others handle a disbursement that does not have an invoice.

For instance, at my small church we set aside funds from our tithes & offerings to be sent to the State convention, the local Baptist Association, to a pregnancy crises center and a Camp and children's home.

None of these have an "invoice" to pay from since it is funds set aside for these particular missions that the church has previously approved.

I wanted to have a better paper trail for these disbursements and created a "Check Request" to be completed. However the secretary and pastor feel that this is too much "paper" work and the computer generated check stub should be sufficient.

Since the church approved the disbursements, a check request is not required. I've been a bookkeeper for 38 years and for every check that did not have an invoice, a check request was prepared as part of the paper trail. The computer generated check stub is attached to it.

I need some feed back as to how others handle this type of disbursement.

Thank you so much for your feed back.

Comments for Paper Trail

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Thank you
by: Ruby

I'm going to see if we can implement a form like yours.

Thanks for your input.

supporting documents
by: Sandi

Our council uses the checklist (below, under selection of recipient) to ensure they do not jeopardize the Church tax exempt status (these questions came from various IRS Pubs, tax topics, and forms).

The 501(c)(3) application is not required by the IRS for churches but the church is required to follow the 501(c)(3) rules...

Some of the church concerns:

Ownership (be careful not to give to organizations that do not support its mission)

Inurement (do not give if it unduly benefits a person who has some close relationship to the organization)

Private benefit (do not give if it substantially benefits the private interest of any individual or organization)

Discriminatory (give equally to all who meet qualifications when funding is available).

Selection of Recipient
Name: _________________________
Address: _____________________________
Amount: $_______

Purpose-How does this further our mission: _____

Manner in which selected: ____________________

Relationship between recipient and members, officers or trustees: ____________________________

Any substantial contributor or grantor: __________

Is recipient a family member of substantial contributor or grantor? __________________________

Funds Controlled by: _________________________


by: Ruby

I was very tired when I read the form & misunderstood what was on the form.

IRS Requirements
by: Ruby

I'm surprised that you are saying that your form meets all IRS requirements. I am not aware of any IRS requirements for the church that gives to other religious organizations such as the State conventions, the local association, a pregnancy crisis center or church camp, to have documentation other than the check stub. I had a check request designed for this purpose, but didn't know there were IRS requirements to be met. This is new to me and I need to know more about that. We are a small Southern Baptist Church in a farming community and I've been trying to help this church handle God's money with the utmost accountability. It's been a rough journey.

contributions to other org's
by: Sandi

We have a disbursement form for church giving to other organizations it has the following on it:

Church Commitment for ______________,
(See council minuets from 3/2013)
This donation meets all IRS requirements

PAYABLE TO: _______________


** This is a 4 year commitment start day 4/2013 to be reviewed 3/2017 **

Notes: _________

Check Completed By: _______________/Treasurer

Date Paid______________
Amount $ _________

**If needed-Council Signature/Date: __________________________________________________

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