Bookkeeping records, typically double entry and ledger accounts should be as simple as possible and therefore easy to understand, clear and transparent.
Underlying records will include paper-based records e.g. paying in slips, invoices, etc, but typically accounts are now maintained electronically, via spreadsheets and accounting packages. It is especially important as many income transactions of the PCC will be in cash.
- The Church of England National Stewardship & Resources team provides support on all aspects of financial stewardship, administration and management for Treasurers and is an excellent starting point.
Church funds may be divided into two distinct categories, unrestricted and restricted. Unrestricted funds may include designated funds and restricted funds may incorporate endowment funds.
- Unrestricted funds are general funds used to fulfil the aims and mission of the church and within these some funds may be designated or earmarked for a particular purpose by the PCC as Trustees.
- Restricted funds are monies raised or given for a specific purpose which must be used for that purpose, within which an endowment is a capital gift which cannot be spent and the income generated is typically restricted to a specific purpose.
The overall principle is that records should support the PCC in managing the money, paying bills, planning, budgeting and delivering the mission and public good of the church. The bookkeeping records must be in sufficient detail to enable the preparation of the Annual Accounts and independent examination or audit of the accounts and underlying records.