Arise Church is resourced by the generous giving of our congregation. Together, this has enabled us to see individuals and cities impacted with the truth and love of Jesus Christ. We are thankful for the sacrifice, support and partnership of our church, and are grateful to God to be a storehouse for his Kingdom.
We are intentional in applying biblical stewardship, ethical standards, board governance and professional accountability throughout our operations. In light of the recent season, we want to update you on our systems and processes and continue on the journey of providing further clarity and transparency. A summary of some key processes and controls can be found at arisechurch.com/give.
As a registered charity, Arise adheres to the Charities Act 2005 and Financial Reporting Act 2013, along with other applicable standards and laws for a tier two public benefit entity.
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, whether there are adequate controls in place to mitigate these, and the consequential impact on financial statements.
Our 2021 Financial Statements were issued with an unmodified opinion - meaning that the statements prepared meet all requirements and were found to represent a true and fair view. An interim review is currently underway to provide direction on how we can further strengthen our systems, processes and controls.
Annual statements and audit opinions can be found on the Charities Register.
Board Approved Principles & Budgets
All expenditure is guided by Board approved principles and budgets. The Board delegates the outworking of budgets to the finance team and budget owners, and maintains oversight through monthly reports, management statements and regular meetings.
Every transactions is required to have a pre-approved purchase order number (PPO) from within the budget. Senior, executive and high level management credit card transactions have an additional layer of scrutiny, with review and sign off by a non-executive Board Member. Expenditure outside of the budget requires prior approval according to the delegated financial authority policy.
A summary of our 2021 expenses is below. Over the last few years we have been intentional in streamlining our operational expenses to create space for savings and ensure we are sowing into the future. In 2021 a surplus of $4.3m (excluding depreciation) was generated, allowing us to reduce our debt and invest into long term assets.
Remuneration & Professional Development
Remuneration makes up the bulk of our budget and represents our incredible staff team of 100+ employees. The setting of salaries is based off a banding system that draws on data from a remuneration consultant along with other inputs. Senior Pastor salaries have been set by independent non-executive members of the Board, with written and recorded input and guidance from Spiritual Oversight, although this process is under review.
Arise Care is a significant part of the heart and vision of our church and represents our community care projects and initiatives. At times, people have it on their hearts to give specifically to Arise Care, either as large one-off gifts or with recurring donations.
ARISE Care includes specific events such as the Big Hearts campaign and cause offerings such as disaster and humanitarian relief campaigns. Any 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 overall remuneration expense line.
Guest Travel & Koha
Occasionally we will have a ‘guest speaker’ at our church. We are grateful for the many amazing ministers in New Zealand and beyond that have given their lives to build the kingdom of God. We honour their sacrifice and what they sow into our church and lives. All expenses associated with guest speakers – including flights, accommodation and koha/honorariums – are from a Board approved budget. Earlier this year the board strengthened the guest speaker policy and standardised amounts. Each koha is confirmed by a non-executive Board Member prior to being communicated and sent.
Low Debt to Value Ratio
Arise currently 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 did 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.
To assist in strengthening our operations and undertake any necessary change, a financial sub-committee has been re-established. This committee allows us to draw on external expertise, increase capacity, assess operations in greater detail and provide an environment for thorough discussion around financial strategy, budget direction, policy, and day to day management.
We are committed to providing further transparency to our church, and are thankful for the direction, wisdom and insight provided by financial professionals and congregation members.