a) Recordation of Financial Transactions
It is strongly recommended that all entities within the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas use an automated accounting system for recording financial transactions. Although a uniform accounting software system is not required, QuickBooks offers all the necessary accounting options to effectively record and report financial activity.
b) Accessing Parish Financial Records
All financial records documenting transactions should be available to the parish as needed. Records should not be kept offsite at the residence of employees or other locations where access to the records is limited. Financial records are the property of the parish and should be kept on the parish premises at all times.
c) Annual Budget Preparation
An annual financial budget can assist in projecting the normal income and expenses of the parish, as well as help forecast any anticipated increase in costs or capital expenditures. A properly completed annual budget can be the single greatest tool in controlling parish expenses. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas requires all entities to prepare an annual income and expense budget each fiscal year to be completed and approved by the Finance Council no later than May 1.
d) Financial Statement Preparation
Financial Statements are formal records of an entity’s financial activities and provides an overview of the entity’s profitability. Properly completed financial statements promote transparency and visibility within the parish community. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas recommends that, at a minimum, a quarterly balance sheet and income statement be prepared and reviewed by the Pastor and Finance Council. Current income statements should be compared to the annual budget and the same time period of the previous year. Cash flow reporting and other significant financial statements are available on most accounting software packages and should also be considered for review. Detailed payroll records are required as well.
e) Timely Financial Reporting
In the Code of Canon Law, Canon 1284 section 2.8 requires Parish administrators to draw up an account of their administration at the end of each year. Canon 1287 section 2.0 requires administrators to render accounts to the faithful concerning the goods they have given to the Church. Delays in fulfilling these obligations limit transparency to parish finances for both the parishioners and the Archdiocesan leaders. This can also be damaging to parish leaders’ efforts to model good stewardship. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas requires each parish and school to issue an “Annual Parish/School Financial Report” to be received no later than July 31st of the next fiscal year end. Additionally, parishes are required to prepare a year end report of like nature to the parish community. The required time frame for the parish community report is no later than September 30th of the next fiscal year end.
f) Organizational Reporting
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas requires that all parish related organizations (e.g. Altar Society, Mothers of Young Children, CYO, etc.) report financial activity, at least annually to the Pastor and Finance Council. Additionally, all parish related organizational activity is to be included on the Annual Parish Financial Report to the Archdiocese.