Finance Committee, February 11, 2015

Minutes of the Finance Committee

First United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa

Wednesday, February 11, 2015--Carriage House


Present:  Greg Roth (Chair), Mary Brunet, Ryan Comiskey, Jack Dupre, Marjorie Noble, Larry Schmidt, Larry Thompson, Heather Young and Steve Zwick.   


Absent:  Nadine Walsworth


Greg Roth called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m., beginning with a few scripture readings and a prayer.


Approval of Minutes

Steve Zwick moved and Jack Dupre seconded to approve the January 2015 Finance Committee meeting minutes.  The motion was passed unanimously. 


Finance Report

Larry Schmidt reviewed the financial statements for January 2015.  During the month the main checking account balance rose by $133.54 to a new balance of $58,138.65.  The operating fund balance increased by $7,832.56 to a new balance of $16,463.31. 


Year-to-date (YTD) pledges and gifts were $57,942.05, which is 99.11% of the YTD budgeted amount.  Total YTD income was $65,544.49, which is 99.20% of the YTD budgeted amount.  YTD total expenses were $63,377.05, which is 93.99% of the YTD budgeted amount.  Overall, YTD total income has exceeded YTD total expenses by $2,167.44.


The following items also were noted:  Fair Trade Coffee was moved to an “04” account, because it is considered an Outreach Ministry.  Mary Brunet will investigate whether the Church’s accounting software can be used to automatically calculate month-to-month changes in key accounts.  (Larry S. currently performs these calculations by hand.)


Discussion of 2015 Operating Budget

After facing an initially forecasted operating budget deficit of $73,000 for 2015, on February 9 the Church Council approved a balanced operating budget.  Please see the February 9 Church Council meeting minutes for details on how this was accomplished.  The Finance Committee members discussed the 2015 budget at significant length.  The majority view among Committee members seems to be that the Church is using a variety of short-term, unusual fixes to close a budget gap that will likely reappear in the longer run.  Although individual members expressed differing opinions, the majority of the Committee members seemed very concerned that Church spending at current levels is not sustainable in the long run.


Vote on Staff Merit Pool Payments in 2015

As part of the Church Council’s effort to approve a balanced budget, the Council decided that a contingent $10,000 payment to the Staff Merit Pool would be made available in 2015. This payment is contingent on robust Church cash flows in 2015.  The Church Council delegated joint responsibility for implementation of this policy to the Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) and the Finance Committee. 


The Committee voted 6-2 to approve a motion that any surplus of income over expenses at the end of year 2015, not to exceed $10,000 in total, shall be made available to SPRC for merit pool payments.  Heather Young initiated the motion and Ryan Comiskey seconded.



Other Business

After Steve Zwick moved, and Jack Dupre seconded, the Committee voted unanimously to approve a proposal to rebrand the April Fools’ Ball to a May 1st event.  This was done to avoid conflicts with other fundraising events previously scheduled. 

Mary Brunet informed the Committee that she will soon contact an independent accountant to perform the annual financials compilation.  This is a lower standard of review than an audit, but the compilation is required by Bank of the West as a condition of the Church’s mortgage. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m. with a prayer by Heather Young.


Next meeting: 7:00 p.m. March 11, 2015, Carriage House


Respectfully submitted by Ryan Comiskey

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