Financial Policies & Procedures

As members of the Arkansas Conference we have the privilege of working together to make disciples of Jesus Christ equipped to transform the world with excellence and passion.  We have a common desire to create vital congregations where these disciples can be nurtured and sent out.  We have placed needed attention on such things as worship attendance, professions of faith, and small group participation, and have encouraged congregations across our state to renew their efforts to start innovative ministries that will create new disciples for Jesus, and to do so with passion.  Now it is time to ensure we are conducting these ministries with excellence as well.

All of us have been called to be good stewards of the resources we use to carry out our ministry, and we know that wise accounting, management, accountability and transparency of those resources is vital if we are to conduct our ministry with excellence.  However, without best practices even our most sincere desires to be good stewards can be easily and quickly undermined.  Over the past several years, far too many embezzlement cases within our conference have threatened our efforts to carry out our mission with integrity.  In no case did those in charge want or expect this to happen, and yet in each case a lack of adequate financial policies, checks and balances, led to an abuse of the trust that is such a vital part of our church culture.  

On this page are a number of documents that may help you and your church develop strong internal controls for your church finances.  Here you can find:
separate sample internal control policies suitable for small, medium, and large churches; sample budgets and monthly income/expense reports suitable for small congregations; tools to help you develop basic procedures for year-end reviews.
All congregations are expected to have a written finance policy filed in their District office and in effect in their church by July 1, 2013.  While this will take some effort, we believe it will be worth it as together we strive to conduct all of our ministries with excellence and passion.

Bishop Gary Mueller, Arkansas Conference
Rev. Mackey Yokem, NW District Superintendent
Rev. Phil. Hathcock, Director of Connectional Ministries
Mr. Todd Burris, Arkansas Conference Treasurer
Mr. Tony Hilliard, Arkansas Conference Chancellor
Mrs. Karon Mann, Arkansas Conference Lay Leader
Mr. Lamar Pettus, Conference Board of Trustees Chair
Rev. Jim Polk, Conference Finance and Administration President

Downloads: Arkansas Conference Audit and Internal Control Guidelines Basic Agreed Upon Procedures for All United Methodist Churches Basic Internal Controls for All United Methodist Churches Key Components to a Financial Safeguard Program (.pdf) Sample Large Church Finance Policy Manual Sample Medium Size Church Finance Policy Manual Sample Small Church Finance Policy Manual All Files (.zip)