Finance & Admin Tidbits

Not only is the joyous season of Christmas almost here, but also that not-so-joyous time for administrators and bookkeepers called year-end closings! Below are a few short reminders that deserve your attention.

In case you were not able to attend diocesan convention, you can learn what took place on the diocesan website.

The Rev. Kirby M. Smith
Diocesan Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer
Finance Resource Guide: Coming Soon
With the help of a grant from the Lilly Endowment National Initiative to address the economic challenges facing pastoral leaders, the Episcopal Church Foundation will release the first edition of the Finance Resource Guide (FRG) in the spring of 2019. A companion book to the Vestry Resource Guide , the FRG is grounded in scripture and inspires congregational leaders to improve their financial management skills. Included are practical action steps for all sizes of congregations and real-life stories illustrating how these steps can be used. The FRG also offers several innovative tools to foster conversation and to move a group past conversation into action. Click here to learn more.

Add New Employees to the CPG Employee Roster
Take note, all administrators handling Church Pension Group (CPG) issues. The Church Pension employee database is being integrated with the one used for the Medical Trust, which is where we get our health coverage. New employees need to be entered first into the Employee Roster on the CPG website before they can be entered into the Medical Life Participant System to receive medical benefits. Call 855-215-5990 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. if you have questions or email them .
Housing Allowance Resolutions
Vestries and bishop’s committees need to approve housing allowances for their clergy. This needs to be done before the new year. A resolution or documentation in the meeting minutes should suffice. These are good only for a year unless otherwise stated. Some folks find it helpful to include in the resolution something saying that the amount for the housing allowance will remain the same unless changed in the future. The amounts can be changed at any time by the vestry or bishop's committee, but you don’t want to be caught with a time period that doesn’t have an authorization in place. Be sure to include an actual dollar amount for the allowance.

Clergy Life Insurance Policies
Clergy receive life insurance as part of being enrolled in the Church Pension Group (CPG). Most clergy have policies in the range of $100,000-$150,000. For any amounts over $50,000, the imputed value needs to be reported to the tax authorities. Imputed values are the calculated values of benefits provided by an employer for a particular year. CPG will send notices to each clergy person with the imputed value. Our staff has sent out totals to each church administrator as well. These amounts should be added to the 2018 W-2 as a taxable item. If you use a payroll service such as Paychex or ADP, they can help you with how to report this. If for some reason it’s not included on the W-2, clergy should let their tax preparers know the amount so it can be accounted for properly in their tax returns.