March 2018
Church Finances for Uncertain Times

Healthy Finances

This article is also available in Spanish here. Este artículo está disponible en español aquí.

In this video, Wendy Pineda, CPA and personal finance workshop leader for ECF’s Spanish Financial Literacy Bootcamp, shares her experience as a church treasurer. She discusses personal finances, too, explaining that the three most important things we should know are our monthly income, our monthly expenses, and how much debt we have. When we understand our own finances, we can translate that knowledge to healthy church finances.

Pineda says, “What makes healthy finances is knowing where the money is going, not just having enough money in the bank.” Just like at home, it is important to make sure that we know what the church has in its inventory and what services it is paying for. Sometimes, she finds that churches incur unnecessary expenses because they aren’t paying attention to that. She suggests that the administrator or a volunteer who works in finance should check on the church’s inventory and the vendors it uses once a year.

Permitting anyone to sign a check for the church and not requiring a second signature are financial mistakes that Pineda sees often in churches. It is always best to have a second pair of eyes and important to follow procedure when a second signature is required.

Pineda thinks that the biggest financial mistake individuals make is buying more on credit than they should. It is important to understand that if we are at our credit limit and we can’t pay that down, it is probably not a good idea to agree when creditors offer to increase our credit limit.

In conclusion, Pineda says that checking our bank accounts should not be scary. “It’s just a number, and once you see it, you can fix the problem. And if there is a problem, there are apps, books and people out there willing to help.”

Watch the whole video here.

Wendy Pineda, CPA, has a Master's Degree in Accounting. She is an avid marathon runner and cyclist. Wendy started her church finance experience at Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in 2003 and remains active in the Episcopal Church as event coordinator, consultant, member of Latino/Hispanic Ministries’ Council of Advice and Kanuga’s Board of Trustees. Since 2012, Wendy provides tax and accounting solutions for small business, non-profits, and individuals as Lead of tax services at DWG CPA PLLC.


This article is part of the March 2018 Vestry Papers issue on Church Finances for Uncertain Times