Detailed financial processes are outworked both in the day-to-day activity and the future planning of Arise Church. This is to help direct decision making, and ensure resources are stewarded well.
Our overall budget is made up of about 20 budgets representing different teams and areas of the church – each campus has a budget, and each area of the Nationwide office.
The budgeting process is a mix of top-down and bottom-up. Our Board sets some high-level parameters for the budget, taking into account the priorities for the year. Our finance team then works with each budget owner to forecast wants and needs to the following year – looking at average previous spend, any growth in congregation size or activity, and any areas for saving. These budgets are compiled, along with a list of any requests.
The Leadership Team will take a list of priorities and the Board will then sign off on the final budget, which is input into our accounting software and communicated and confirmed to each budget owner.
Any expenses that fall outside of the annual budget must be approved by someone with a sufficient level of delegated financial authority. DFA sits primarily with the Board with relatively low-level authorisation for management ($10k and under).
Salaries are a large part of our budget, and of course represent our incredible staff team. We have a process for setting salaries.
Each of the roles within our organization sits in a band with an associated salary range. The placement of roles into bands, and the salary range for each is informed by input from Strategic Pay, which is a remuneration consultant with market information from a variety of sectors.
Individual salaries/raises will be set based on that staff member’s ‘placement’ within the relevant band. This is determined with equal weighting of the below factors:
Historically, Senior Pastor salaries have fallen outside of this process, and outside of this budget. They were set independently by a remuneration sub-committee of the Board and Spiritual Oversight. This process will be reevaluated moving forward.
Although any staff member is able to have discussions with their line manager or the Board regarding their remuneration, they are unable to be involved in the final determination of their pay.
Arise Care is a significant part of our Church and we receive giving specifically ‘tagged’ for this area. Arise Care includes specific events such as the Big Hearts campaign and cause offerings such as disaster and humanitarian relief campaigns. Giving towards these specific events are allocated and used immediately for the purpose identified.
‘Tagged’ giving to Arise Care outside of these specific events operates slightly different. This is due to the need to identify, plan and outwork the increased activity that the giving would allow. Due to the time needed, and the desire to steward and spend wisely, any ‘tagged’ giving outside specific events is allocated to the following years budget, on top of the set budget.
Part of our Arise Care budget is our amazing Arise Care staff team, who carry the vision, help outwork the heart of our Church and provide important pastoral and community care. Their remuneration is additional to the Arise Care expenses identified on the financial statements, and included in the remuneration expense line.
Our event budgets are standalone and approved by the Board in the lead up. These budgets are set up to be break even – i.e. the income from the event would cover expenses.
Arise has a relatively low level of debt with a loan to value ratio of 31%. There is no remaining debt on the Arise Centre in Petone, and minimal debt for the Whangarei building and Christchurch land.
We make both principal & interest payments on our Christchurch loan. We currently pay interest only on our Whangarei building (as is common practice during the construction phase), however, we put a total of $4.25m in cash towards the building last year, making a bulk principle payment of $2m and paying $2.25m directly to the project rather than drawing down on debt.
Occasionally we have a ‘guest speaker’ at our Church. We are grateful for the many amazing ministers in New Zealand and beyond that have sown into our Church and lives, and are blessed to be a part of the wider body of Christ. All expenses associated with guest speakers – including flights, accommodation and gifts/honorariums – are from a Board approved budget. Earlier this year the Board strengthened the guest speaker policy and standardised amounts. Each honorarium is confirmed by a non-executive board member prior to being communicated and sent.
Arise Church is registered under the Charities Act 2005, which outlines specific standards that need to be met, including financial requirements. Controls are in place to mitigate risks and ensure processes are outworked accordingly.
All transactions for all budgets are reviewed in detail by the finance team each month. A profit and loss report for each budget area is then prepared and sent to the budget owner, along with a short narrative highlighting any areas of over expenditure and action points to bring it back in line.
Financial oversight and responsibility sits with the board. The board reviews and approves the annual budget and delegates the outworking of this budget to the finance team and budget owners.
Each month the board receives an update on finances, including a statement of performance and position which covers all transactions. Any over expenditure is highlighted and discussed, with actions set and communicated to minimise any variations. Expenditure outside of the budget requires prior approval according to the delegated financial authority policy. This authority primarily sits with the board, with relatively low levels delegated to management.
The board and the finance team are in direct contact and communication, with any additional information or updates provided as needed.
Each year, our financial accounts, processes, and controls are audited by an independent firm. This engagement tests and checks our systems, processes, and controls, as well as a sample of transactions and key accounts. The process also examines potential risks, and whether there are adequate controls in place to mitigate them, and the consequential impact on financial statements.
These are prepared in line with the Financial Reporting Act 2013, in accordance with the NZ GAAP and comply with the PBE IPSAS, as well as other applicable standards, as appropriate for a Tier 2 not-for-profit PBE.
Financial operations sit with the finance team. Expenditure incurred by senior, executive and high level management is reviewed and approved by a non-executive board member. All expense records are sent to the finance team (by mail or email), who then provide the required information to the non-executive board member to review and approve. Occasionally personal charges are incurred on credit cards, although this has been minimised. In this case, the charges are highlighted and coded to a recharge account with an invoice sent to the staff member for payment.
As with all other expenses, any executive/management expenditure requires a pre-purchase order and to be within the appropriate approved budget. These expenses are reviewed again and allocated by the finance team based off the approved PPO and budget.
The finance team is made up of people with the appropriate and required level of experience and qualifications. The team includes members of CAANZ (Chartered Accountancy Australia New Zealand) who are bound by professional standards and code of ethics.
All transactions are recorded and reconciled on our accounting software. This is only accessible to the finance team and auditors. Any changes made are automatically noted on the software, and are included in control and substantive testing performed as part of annual and ad-hoc audits.
Our 2021 Financial Statements have been audited by an independent auditor, who issued an unmodified opinion - meaning that the statements prepared meet all requirements and were found to represent a true and fair view.
The auditors were able to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence in regards to these risks and found no significant findings, or internal control improvement requirements, apart from a recommendation to formalise the internal manual journal process.
The 2021 audited Financial statements can be found on the Charities Register, along with prior years statements.View the 2021 financial statement
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.— 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
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