Financial Management for Episcopal Parishes

Revised Edition

James B. Jordan

Jul/2017, 304 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780898690880

• Written by CPA working exclusively with parishes of various denominations
• Updated to reflect changes in tax law
• What to do and how to do it for parishes of all sizes
• Real-life examples

Experience shows that open and transparent churches engender a greater feeling of trust and willingness on the part of the donor. The policies and processes in Financial Management for Episcopal Parishes, which can be implemented by any size church, allow clergy, vestry, and parishioners to establish and document procedures that enable a financially transparent organization.

The book defines the roles of the clergy, staff, vestry, and congregation and outlines what needs to be done by them to design and implement a system of checks and balances for financial oversight and stewardship, in order to protect donations and assets. Throughout the book, real-life examples of processes and procedures that did not work (and why) make for enjoyable reading of an otherwise business-like subject. Every reader will recognize some of them in their own church life.

Audience: Vestries and other church leaders

James B. Jordan, CPA, MBA, has audited over 200 churches of various denominations. He has lectured seminary classes at Virginia Theological Seminary and Sewanee, and teaches Continuing Education Unit courses in the classroom and online for Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He is a frequent presenter at Diocesan Ministry Fairs and at the Episcopal Business Administrators Conference. He lives in Noonan, Georgia.

Must Read for Episcopal Parish Leaders
Every Episcopal priest needs to read this, as does every treasurer, vestry member, bookkeeper and parish administrator. I use it in training new church bookkeepers who don't have ecclesial experience and it is fantastic. He leans hard on the side of doing things right—which is what is needed when churches tend to cut far to many corners in this area of their ministerial life. It is practical and yet complete. An EXCELLENT resource.
Amazon review by Jared C. Crameron

Effective Stewardship
Must reading for any Vestry member. The chapters explaining the Canons that apply to financial matters and roles and responsibilities alone are worth the price of the book.
Amazon review by Charles L. Mccomason

We in the Church have a responsibility to be good stewards of the money that is received
We in the Church have a responsibility to be good stewards of the money that is received. This book is essential for all Episcopal Clergy and any Vestry member. It is loaded with information, well organized, and easy to comprehend. The book provides for strategies, processes, and procedures that can be implemented regardless of the size of the church. The real world stories make it apparent why this is so important. BUY THE BOOK
Amazon review by Ed F. Milkovichon

This is a terrific book! It is essential for all parish priests ...
This is a terrific book! It is essential for all parish priests to know how parish finances work in order to promote a culture of transparency. If the parish priest doesn't care about finances, then it is going to be easy for fraud to occur and for financial mismanagement to deplete the budget. Every parish priest needs to read this book. It is a terrific resource that equips a parish priest with the skills necessary to manage church finances. It is easy to read, and honestly before reading this book financial language intimidated me. I was able to read and understand every page. It was not overly technical. It was accessible for people who have no background in church finance.
Amazon review by Alex Leachon

Get it, Read it, Adopt it!
I read it from cover to cover, with great enjoyment of the examples the author uses for the "Church of the Holy Smokes". The author is skilled in explaining "dry" issues, and makes excellent points about the risk of fraud and money mismanagement in churches -- not just those of the Episcopal variety. It should be mandatory reading for clergy and governing bodies of churches. The policies and procedures outlined, if adopted, will spare "good folk" from unfounded accusations and will protect churches -- and those who donate/tithe/give to support them -- from those for whom access to money can turn out to be too tempting. And the principles outlined can easily be applied not just to churches, but in most cases, to any non-profit entity.
Amazon review by Sunshineon

Crucial for Pastors
This book provides an excellent overall view of how to think about and structure your church's financial management plan. This is crucial for any pastor or priest. As this book points out fraud is prevalent in churches and had occurred in 1 of 3 churches that James Jordan had audited. I cannot stress the importance of this book and the work of James Jordan for churches to be financially responsible and good stewards of what God has entrusted to them.
Amazon review by Alexandraon

Invaluable source of information and guidance
This is a must read for the church clergy, vestry (board of directors), treasurer, finance committee members and anyone else who has oversight over the financial management of a church. There are concepts, policies, procedures, information and suggestions contained in this book that apply to ALL churches regardless of size or denomination. You will find eye-opening scenarios and actual events described by the author that will make you take a step back and re-examine the financial management and practices of your church. This is a must read because the changes you may need to make at your church will protect the financial health and integrity of the church and those who manage the finances.
Amazon review by Dennis Y.

Just What We Begged For in Seminary
Those of us preparing for ordained ministry in seminary often asked for courses or seminars on parish financial matters. This book is exactly what seminarians need to read and understand before discerning calls to ordained ministries. As a priest in my second parish since ordination in 2009, I feel fortunate to have taken a course by the same name by James B. Jordan through my seminary's online learning program: CALL, via the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. I recommend this book to seminarians, the newly ordained, old-timers who never learned best practices of financial management of parishes, vestries, treasurers, church bookkeepers and parish administrators. Respecting the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved with church money from the time it hits the collection plate, is counted, deposited, posted, reconciled and is spent or invested is critical. I learned how easy it can be for anyone with access to church money commit fraud and embezzlement if leaders don't take responsibility to insist on creating and following well-documented processes that include regular oversight. I'll use and recommend this book for as long as I serve in the Episcopal Church.
Amazon review by Casey McKeeveron

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