A big concern for me with the Paycheck Protection Program loans was how churches would actually receive forgiveness. Churches accepted these loans without knowing what strings would be attached. The good news is that forgiveness is surprisingly simple!
If you applied for the loan, watch this now because it will give you ideas on maximizing your forgiveness. You will end up with less forgiveness if you:
Reduced your FTE during the crisis without a plan to return back to normal FTE by June 30th.
Reduced an employee’s salary/wages by more than 75% during the crisis without a plan to return it back to normal by June 30th.
I just ran across one of my pet peeves…the duplicate vendor. Whenever I run across one, it makes me feel like I’m being careless and sloppy. How could this happen. Just accept it that duplicate vendors happen and now let’s fix it.
I’m sure other church software systems have their own way of fixing this. Some you are forced to to just inactivate the vendor you don’t want. With QuickBooks, the fix is not at all intuitive…which is kind of ironic. You have to name the duplicates the exact same thing.
The first stock gift I ever received as a church treasurer was several shares of Coca-Cola Company stock from a wonderful member named Char. Char wasn’t a multi-millionaire. She was just like so many ordinary people that happen to own stocks, bonds, or shares of a mutual fund. You don’t need to have a Bill Gates in your church to receive a stock gift. Ordinary people make these extraordinary gifts each year. Because of Char’s example, I actually made my own stock gift a few years later to support the church’s capital campaign.
I was fortunate enough to have David Nash (a financial guru) to guide me on receiving this gift. Not every church will have a David Nash. You don’t need special knowledge to accept a stock gift. You just need the right connections. If you are a United Methodist in the Dakotas, the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation is your David Nash.
One of the things I take pride in is keeping accurate accounting records and reporting anything that’s out of the ordinary. Something that undermines this is when I accidentally post something to a past period that I’ve already reported on. Unexplained transactions posted in the past makes you look like you’re playing fast and loose with the books.
I don’t know if this is a change in accounting philosophy, but it seems like newer accounting systems assume that closing the books is optional. For QuickBooks Online, you need to dig around in the Account Settings…which I’ll show you in the video. I’ll also show you how to void a check in a closed period…which is needlessly complicated.
Normally I aim for helping church finance committees, pastors, and other leadership. With this pandemic, a lot of energy has gone towards helping the church as a small business, but what about the church as a group of individuals? If you go to long without considering the well-being of the individual, the church is going to struggle.
While there’s a ton in the CARES Act to benefit folks, I see three that are probably the biggest ones directed to individuals. Most of this is with the United Methodist pastor in mind, but they definitely do apply more broadly.
Many churches recently applied for the Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration (SBA). It’s all well and good to receive those funds, but will you receive forgiveness from the SBA? The forgiveness will depend on your churches ability to properly track expenses related to this program.
I used to be an auditor for the State of North Dakota. The government isn’t too forgiving when you don’t follow their rules. If you don’t watch the video, here’s my key advice: Read the loan agreement and take notes. I know we usually don’t read those long documents, but this pain could save you from a whole lot more future pain.
Last week the question was: How can churches apply? That was my first thought as I heard stories of churches struggling with the restriction about meeting together as a result of COVID-19. Three days later I started getting the question: Should my church apply for government relief? That’s a good question, and probably a question I should have asked first.
Honestly, I’m a little biased towards churches applying for the Paycheck Protection Program. From what I’ve read and seen, if your church is struggling as a result of this pandemic, it seems like a good thing to apply. There are valid concerns that need to be addressed about whether or not to apply. Hopefully this video helps flesh those out without being too biased.