Information and if in doubt, get in touch!
Church Treasurers are encouraged to call the Synod Office if ever they need advice or guidance on any Finance matter. Please speak to our treasurer, or Denise Harman, the Finance Officer. If they are not able to answer your query themselves, they will do their best to point you towards someone who can or to a relevant website providing appropriate help.
All URC Church Treasurers are automatically members of The Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers (ACAT). It runs useful training courses and its website has lots of useful. To check the procedure for logging onto it please contact the Synod office.
Please also refer to the following documents which give guidance on common topics:
Church Accounts: The URC has created a Proforma for use in preparing Church Accounts. The format suggested provides all the information needed by the Synod and the Charity Commissioners in a simple and clear manner. It is strongly recommended that this format or something very similar is used. Failure to use a clear format may cause problems once the Church registers with the Charity Commissioners (see below)
Examination of Church Accounts: The Notes on the Role of an Independent Examiner provide guidance for those conducting the examination (mini-audit) of Church Accounts. Again it is strongly recommended that they are followed in order to meet Charity Commission Requirements.
Charity Commission Registration: Currently only larger churches with income (from all sources) of over £100,000 are required to register individually with the Charity Commissioners. Smaller churches are treated as having charitable status by belonging to the national denomination. However this is going to change. The Government has said that within a few years all churches – even the smallest will have to register and then submit their Report and Accounts to the Charity Commissioners and complete a return each year. The URC has prepared useful Guidance Notes to help Churches work through the Registration process. If you follow this guidance it is relatively straightforward.
The recently introduced Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS) is a great help to Churches in maximising the amount of Gift Aid that can be recovered each year. Again the URC has produced guidance on how to use this scheme.
Further guidance on GASDS and Gift Aid generally can be found on the HMRC website at: www.gov.uk/claim-gift-aid
TRIO is a financial
stewardship programme with proven success in a variety of demographic settings
in encouraging generosity in giving. It was developed by the Diocese of
Southwark and has been produced by the URC in the past.