A fundamental first step in completing a financial plan is the creation of a Chart Of Accounts. I’ve had more than a few conversations with church leaders on this topic.
In my experience, the primary thing to consider when creating a Chart Of Accounts is “Reporting.” I’ve run into more than a few financial types who want to break everything down into its category and subcategory, to the point of uselessness. The leaders in the organization who have to choose an account for their expenditure begin to wonder, “What’s the point?”
So, think in terms of reporting. What are you going to be required to present to whomever you present the financial performance of the church? Do your best to keep it simple. For example, if it’s not really necessary to separate lawn mowing from weed pulling or some other form of site maintenance, all you need is a site maintenance account … it’s not necessary to have a lawn mowing sub account and a weed pulling sub account. Make sense?
Over the years we’ve tweaked ours a bit, but it has worked well for us overall. Download a PDF version of it HERE.