Financial Policy

 

Eparchial Finance and Accounts

Policies and Procedures Manual

Published by: The Eparchial Curia of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne

                                                                         5 Clifton Grove, Preston,

                                                                                     Victoria 3072, Tel: (03)94805379

                                                                                        Email: finance@syromalabar.org.au

                                                                                     Website: www.syromalabar.org.au

First Print: September 2015

                                           Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne

                                                                     5 Clifton Grove

                                                                                           Preston, VIC- 3072, Australia

                                                                                          Phone: 0061-(03) 9480 5379

                                                                                                  Email: smbishopputhur@gmail.com

Prot. No.42/15/1

 

DECREE PROMULGATING THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL OF THE EPARCHY OF SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE.

After having duly completed the discussion in the Priests’ Conference, Pastoral Council, Diocesan Finance Council and Consulters meetings of 2014 and 2015 of Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne as well as in the other concerned forums, the undersigned Bishop Bosco Puthur, the Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne, hereby promulgates the Finance and Accounts, Policies and Procedures Manual of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne, as attached herewith. This Manual comes into force with immediate effect. All contrary dispositions notwithstanding.

Given from the curia of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne on the Eighth day of the month of September of the year of the Lord two thousand fifteen, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sincerely yours,

+ Bosco Puthur

Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle

 

PREAMBLE

This Finance and Accounts Policies and Procedures Manual of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne is intended to provide guidance to the users, especially those engaged in execution of Finance and Accounts function, in carrying out their day to day work systematically and consistently.

It provides key steps that should be employed in conducting various tasks of Finance and Accounts function, all the way from budgeting, keeping books of Accounts to preparation of Financial Statements and Reports.

The Manual also gives the policies that are necessary for proper execution of various arms of Finance and Accounts, the internal controls and the amendment procedures that are necessary for proper functioning of Finance and Accounts elements. It should be availed to all staff involved in carrying out Finance and Accounts services in parishes/ Missions.

 

CONTENTS

Section Particulars Page
I. PURPOSE 5
II. GENERAL NORMS 5
III. ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES 6
IV. BANK ACCOUNTS 6
V. FINANCIAL REPORTING 7
VI. BANK RECONCILIATION 8
VII BUDGETING 9
VIII. INCOME 9
IX. YEAR – END MEMBER STATEMENTS / REPORTS 11
X. CASH DISBURSEMENTS 12
XI REVENUE 14
XII. FUND RAISERS 15
XIII. RAFFLES 15
XIV. PRIEST ALLOWANCE 15
XV STOLE FEES / MASS STIPENDS 16
XV1 CATECHISM SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION 17
XVII EPARCHIAL SUPPORT 17
XVIII PIOUS & SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS ORGANIZATIONS, AND APOSTOLATES 18
XIX. LEGAL DOCUMENTS OF  THE PARISH 18
XX. CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION 19
XXI  LOANS AND OTHER BORROWINGS 19
XXII. REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS 19
XXIII. INSURANCE / RISK MANAGEMENT 20
XXIV. FACILITY INSPECTIONS 21
XXV CONFFLICT OF INTEREST 21
XXVI. INTERNAL AUDIT 22
XXVII. RECORD RETENTION 23
Annexure
1 RECORD RETENTION  DOCUMENTS LIST 23
2 Chart of accounts (COA) 26

 

Finance and Accounts Policies and Procedures Manual

PURPOSE

1.To promote the integrity of the Parish/Mission and its volunteers, and to instill confidence within the Parish/Mission community through a well-organized financial management procedure. The procedures described in this Manual are to be followed by all Parishes/Missions of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne, to ensure the adequacy of Parish/Mission financial controls. The local hierarch shall approve any deviation from this manual.

II

GENERAL NORMS

2.The Eparchial Bishop shall have the authority to revoke or to abrogate all or any provisions of this Manual, and to add, to remove, to amend this either in part or in full at any time in his discretion.

3.Any question on this Manual or any provisions or matters contained that are vague or not said in this Manual shall be directed to the eparchial finance office and the decision of the Eparch shall be final.

4.All the provisions in this Manual stated as binding or affecting a Parish/Mission are equally applicable in same force and nature to all Missions unless specified otherwise.

5.This Manual uses the term ‘Parish Priest/Chaplain’ in consistent to the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) to denote the title ‘Vicar’ as used in our custom and tradition, and therefore these terms are to be understood as same. The use of the term ‘Parish Priest/Chaplain’ refers to ‘Vicar.’

6.These rules use the term ‘Eparchy’ in consistent to the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) to denote the term ‘Diocese.’

7.These rules use the term ‘Trustee’ to refer ‘kaikkaran’ for technical, civil, and legal reasons and purposes, and to achieve better clarity, and hence shall be used in official communications. This usage of the term ‘Trustee’ neither adds nor removes any status, right, privilege, duty, and/or meaning other than that of ‘kaikkaran.’ The use of the term ‘kaikkaran’ is to be maintained in the internal affairs as it holds the tradition and custom of our Church.

III 

ACCOUNTING  PROCEDURES

8.The fiscal year of the Parish/Mission begins on 1July and ends on 30 June.

9.All Parishes/Missions shall use the accounting software “MYOB cloud version” and the common ‘Chart of Accounts’ provided by the eparchial finance department, at the primary level to achieve uniform financial recording and reporting. Parishes/Missions may use appropriate sub accounts below the primary level to accommodate Parish/Mission level requirements.

10.Financial transactions shall be recorded by the Parish/Mission in its books of records, using accrual basis accounting for recognizing revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

11.The Parish/Mission shall use the software named ‘MYOB cloud version’ for any and all member related activities and financial transactions including but not limited to member details, contributions, Sunday offerings, pledges, etc.

12.All accounting entries shall be supported by documentation that is sufficient and comprehensive enough to describe the nature and purpose of the transaction.

13.The financial records of Parishes/Missions are subject to an Internal Audit.

14.The Eparchial finance department may delegate an Audit Committee to review the Parish/Mission financial records at any time.

15.Back up of electronic financial data shall be performed on a weekly basis.

16.Financial records are the property of the Parish/Mission and shall be kept on the Parish/Mission premises at all times. Records shall not be kept offsite at residences or other locations.

IV

BANK   ACCOUNTS

17.Each Parish/Mission shall establish and maintain a bank account(s) through which financial transactions of the Parish shall be entered.

18.The Parish/Mission bank accounts shall be established and maintained with the Parish Priest (PP)/Chaplain and the Kaikaran as the authorized signatories with Catholic Development Fund (CDF). Exemption to this rule should be expressively authorized by the Curia.

19.All Parish/Mission organizations shall maintain their financial transactions through a bank account operated by the PP/Chaplain and Kaikaran of the Parish/Mission.

20.Online account access for authorization shall be limited to the PP/Chaplain and Kaikarans only. However, the view only access could be provided to the associate PP/Chaplin, non-signing Kaikarans, accountant or any other person as deems fit. It is the duty of the authorized persons to protect in safe custody the online ID and Passwords.

21.As personnel changes occur in the Parish/Mission, the approved signatories on each Parish/Mission bank account, including the accounts where few transactions occur, are to be verified. Signatories who leave the Parish/Mission or relinquished responsibilities for the account shall be removed as authorized signatories.

22.All cheques shall be signed by two persons – the PP/Chaplain and the ‘principal Kaikaran’ (nadathukaikkaran).

23.Excess operating funds may be deposited in CDs or other high-yield accounts. Funds collected for capital campaigns or building funds shall be maintained separately from the operating account.

24.Access to unused cheques tock shall be restricted. When a decision is made to close an account, inventory of the remaining cheques tock shall be taken. The remaining cheques tock shall be shredded to prevent fraudulent use of the cheques.

25.A Parish/Mission may enter into an automatic debit arrangement. Controls shall be established to stop such arrangements when the business relationship is ended. A weekly review of the online accounts is to be maintained to identify any fraudulent activities.

26.All financial instruments including but not limited to, trust funds, foundations, or organization accounts must be reported to the eparchial curia and must be managed according to the directives established by the local hierarch.

V

 FINANCIAL  REPORTING

27.Quarterly financial reports shall be presented to the Parish/Mission Council and be approved.

28.All Parishes/Missions shall prepare quarterly and publish annually the results of their financial operations. A suitably qualified auditor to be appointed by Parish Priest/Chaplain with the approval of the Parish/Mission Council to audit the annual financial report and the auditor’s report is to be attached with the annual financial report.

29.Weekly collections, regular or special, shall be published in a suitable manner within two weeks of the actual collection.

30.A signed copy of the quarterly reports shall be given to the Eparchial finance department by November 30, February 28, and May 31.

31.To comply with the reporting requirements to Australian Taxation office (ATO), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), annual financial statements report approved by the Parish Council and General Body (Pothuyogam) shall be submitted to the Eparchial finance department by 31 September of the same year. The reports provided to the eparchy shall be signed by the Kaikaran and the PP/Chaplain.

32.The yearly internal audit report shall be presented to the Parish/Mission Council before the annual General Body and forwarded along with the passed/approved annual financial statements to Curia finance department.

33.The annual financial reports package provided to the Eparchial finance office shall also include copies of year-end bank statements, new loan documents, new property transaction documents, and parish statistics report.

34.When a PP/Chaplain leaves his office, he shall submit to the Eparchial finance office and to the new PP/Chaplain a financial report, which shall cover his time in office during that fiscal year.

VI

 BANK  RECONCILIATION

35.All Parish/Mission bank accounts shall be reconciled each month.

36.The reconciliation shall be performed by a person who has no cash receipt or disbursement responsibility on the account being reconciled.

37.A bank reconciliation shall also include:

37.1 examining the paid and cancelled cheques as to authorized signatures and alterations,

37. 2 Comparing paid and cancelled cheques with the check register to verify date, payee, amount and irregular endorsements, and

37. 3 Comparing date and amount of deposit on bank statements to cash receipts journal.

38.The reconciliation report shall be reviewed and signed by the Parish/Mission PP/Chaplain and an individual independent of the handling and recording of cash.

39.All cheques that remain outstanding for more than six months shall be investigated and resolved. Contact the payee if necessary; Cheques may need to be voided and reissued.

VII

 BUDGETING

40.Each Parish/Mission shall prepare a budget of anticipated income, expenses, and capital improvements prior to the beginning of each fiscal year.

41.A Parish/Mission budget shall be prepared in accordance with the goals, objectives, priorities, and plan of action, as determined jointly by the PP/Chaplain and the Parish/Mission Council.

42.The parish/Mission budget shall be reviewed and approved by the PP/Chaplain and Parish/Mission Council.

43.The signed budget for the succeeding year shall be submitted to the Eparchial finance office by the end of the current year with a variance analysis.

44.Actual expenditure shall be limited as close as possible to budgeted amounts. The Parish/Mission should review its budget on a periodic basis, at least half yearly, in relation or comparison with actual operating results.

45.Any adverse deviation from the budget of 10% or more, in actual operating income and expenditures, shall be addressed immediately by the PP/Chaplain and the Parish/Mission Council.

46.Long range planning for 3 to 5 years is recommended and encouraged.

47.The Parish/Mission shall prepare its budget using a uniform format as the financial report, at the primary level.

VIII 

INCOME

A.Offertory Collections

48.All donations collected by the ushers during liturgical celebrations shall be placed near altar clearly visible to people until picked up by the Kaikarans immediately after the mass.

B.General Collections

49.Christmas Carol, Christmas day, Easter Collections, Parish Feast, and Special Projects Collections (e.g. retreat) shall be recorded as clearly identifiable as such in the MYOB cloud version software as per COA.

50.Building Fund shall be recorded under the member ID as pledge in the MYOB cloud version software.

C.Special Collections

51.The collections for Mission Sunday, Sabhadinam, Holy Thursday and Good Friday Collections are to be recorded as separate as per COA.

52.Any special request from charitable organizations, institutions, Parishes/Mission, and individuals shall be scrutinized and approved by the PP/Chaplain. The Church may request individual contributions towards this purpose and record such contributions as special collections.

D.Other Receipts

53.All other cash receipts – fund-raisers, raffles, auctions, catechism school fees, registration fees, donations for out-letting facilities, or any other receipts for which benefits have been acquired by the donor – shall be recorded in the MYOB cloud version.

54.All receipts shall be kept in a safe or locked cabinet until deposited. Only the PP/Chaplain or his designated agent shall have access to the safe or cabinet.

55.Eparchial Collections, National Collections, and other Special Collections shall be forwarded to the Eparchial finance dept. within three weeks of the date assigned for the collection.

56.All mission collections collected shall be forwarded to the Eparchial finance office within three weeks of the date assigned for the collection.

57.The permission of the local hierarch is required to accept a gift that comes with an attached condition, or a gift that comes with obligations that can create a liability for the Parish/Mission.

E.Counting and Deposit Procedures

58.The count team shall consist of at least two members. If two members are not available to complete the counting process, the collection shall be secured in a safe locker by the PP/Chaplain until a team is available.

59.Cheques shall be restrictively endorsed by stamping ‘non-negotiable’ to the parish account. If the member ID is not recorded on the cheque, verify the envelope for the information and record it on cheque.

60.No cheques made payable to the Parish/Mission may be endorsed and converted into cash by priests or others nor deposited in accounts other than authorized church accounts.

61.Photocopies or scanned images of cheques and envelopes that held currency shall be made and retained.

62.The currency shall be counted and banded by denomination.

63.The currency, coins, and cheques shall be placed in a tamper resistant bag along with the original deposit ticket and delivered to the bank.

64.A copy of the deposit ticket shall be retained at the parish along with the collection worksheet.

65.Overages and shortages between collection worksheets and bank deposit receipts shall be reviewed to determine the cause. Notify the PP/Chaplain of any discrepancies.

66.The deposit shall be entered into the accounting system by the type of revenue. When recording, always use the date of the actual collection, not the date recorded anywhere else. All cash receipt accounting entries shall be supported with validated bank deposits tickets and other documentation to ensure an independent verification of cash deposits.

67.Member contributions shall be entered into the individual member contribution system (MYOB cloud version) with the individual ID number. Non-member/unidentified contributions shall be entered into the same system with a specific ID number created for such contributions.

68.Monthly contribution summary from the MYOB cloud version shall be printed and compared to the dollar amount recorded on the collection worksheets and be reconciled.

69.The complete collection shall be deposited at the bank. No money shall be kept at the Church for petty cash or any other purpose. Whenever possible, deposits shall be made daily, or at a minimum once a week.

70.A limited number of people shall maintain lock combinations and/or custody of keys to Parish safe(s). Dual control is strongly recommended. Combinations and keys shall never be stored in an unlocked desk drawer, hung on a wall, or in an unsupervised area.

71.Parishes/Missions must promote programs that involve the electronic payment of the offertory.

IX

YEAR – END MEMBER STATEMENTS /REPORTS

72.All donors shall be provided an annual contribution acknowledgement in writing stating the amounts and details. If there is a discrepancy, it shall be resolved immediately by the PP/Chaplain. A written summary statement shall be mailed at the yearend for the total donations in the year.

73.Any cash or check receipts received other than in the collection basket shall be acknowledged with a written receipt. 

X

CASH  DISBURSEMENTS

F.Operating Expenditure

74.All disbursements must be made through the bank account(s) by using Cheques / EFT.

75.Any cash receipts shall not be used for expenses or petty cash replenishment.

76.A petty cash account may be maintained, if necessary, for a maximum amount up to $1,000, which shall be funded and replenished by drawing a check from the bank.

77.All petty cash payments shall be supported by the signatory approval by a Kaikaran and the PP/Chaplain.

G.Capital Expenditure

78.Upon the approval of the PP/Chaplain at the recommendation of the Parish/Mission Council, the Parish/Mission may spend a maximum of $50,000.00on a given project, provided that such projects are financed through internally raised funds.

79.If any project is to be financed with borrowed funds, authorization must be obtained from the Eparchial Curia.

80.Projects in excess of $50,000 must be approved by the Eparchial Curia regardless of whether the funds are internally raised or borrowed

81.Approval of capital improvements/expenditures shall cover the total project cost regardless of the length of time on the various stages.

82.Any excess spending of 10% over the approved original project cost shall require prior approval of the Eparchial Curia by submitting a revised project cost highlighting the reason(s) for the upward cost revision.

83.Consulting with the Parish/Mission Council is required before entering into any contract that is nonrecurring and/or extraordinary.

84.A purchase order or purchase requisition shall be issued and approved where equipment, supplies, etc., are involved. Verify all items were received prior to presenting for payment.

H.Payment Procedures

85.Prior to issuing a check, a check requisition shall be completed, except for regular monthly billings from known vendors such as electricity or gas companies.

86.Regular monthly billings shall be handled similarly, but no cheque requisition shall be required.

87.Supporting documentation such as receipts shall be attached to the cheque requisition. The requestor shall sign and date the requisition.

88.Original documentation should be reviewed and requisition shall be approved by the PP/Chaplain or someone assigned by the PP.

89.The person(s) approving the requisition shall not be the person entering the data or issuing the check.

90.Cheques should not be issued without an invoice or cheque requisition form. Once the cheque is printed, compare the cheque amounts to the list of requisitions and invoices accompanying the Cheques.

91.The cheque stub and all documentation are retained as proof of the disbursement. Invoices shall be cancelled (defaced) upon payment to prevent duplicate payments.

92.Invoices should include certain minimum information such as vendor, date of service or purchase, description of service provided or goods purchased, and price of each item.

93.The number and date of the cheque shall be recorded on the invoice or requisition.

94.Access to unused cheque stock shall be restricted.

95.Voided cheques shall be defaced and retained so as to maintain proper sequential integrity. If an account is closed, remaining cheque stock shall be shredded prior to disposal.

96.Cheques shall be made payable to a person or organization. No cheque shall be made payable to “cash.”

97.All cheques shall require two signatures. Cancelled cheques and other evidence of discharged obligations shall be preserved for at least seven years.

98.It is never permissible to pre-sign cheques or to use a signature-stamp.

99.Cheques must not be issued in advance, antedated or post-dated.

I.Compliance Regulations

100.When a PP/Chaplain is appointed, he will be treated as an employee of the Eparch and PAYG declaration forms, superannuation details and private insurance details will be sent to Eparchy for further processing. This would apply to any other employee of the Parish/Mission. For any contract work, the contractor should be registered with ATO with a valid Australian Business number (ABN) and compliant with other required approvals.

101.Annual compliance statements with regard to labor laws will be managed by Eparchy 

XI

 REVENUE

J.Lease Income

102.Leasing of the church facility consecutively for a period of one week or more shall be treated as long-term lease.

103.All long-term leases of buildings, facilities and equipment shall be covered with a lease agreement.

104.The proposal for a long-term lease shall be approved by the PP/Chaplain and the Parish/Mission Council.

105.The PP/Chaplain shall submit the proposal with details to the Eparchial Curia for approval. A written approval by the Curia is to be obtained prior to signing the lease agreement.

106.The Parish/Mission shall retain a copy of the duly executed lease agreement and a copy is to be given to the tenant.

107.Revenue from the long-term lease shall be treated as rental income. All the expenses related to the leased property shall be treated as rental expense.

K.Facility Usage Income

108.The application for the one-time facility usage shall be duly signed by the applicant and be approved by the PP/Chaplain or his designee.

109.The Parish/Mission Council shall decide, in compliance with the local rules and regulations, the terms and conditions, security deposits, insurance, safety measures, license, and usage fees.

110.If damages/breakage had been caused, the cost to repair and/or replace damaged property shall be taken from the security deposit or insurance proceeds.

111.The facility usage income and expenses shall be recorded under separate ledger accounts (refer COA).

112.Public liability insurance from the hirer is to be obtained or necessary arrangements have to be made before letting the facilities.

XII FUND RAISERS

113.All fund raising income shall be treated and recorded as Parish/Mission income, not withstanding the purpose for which these were raised.

114.All transactions for fund raising activities shall be recorded through the Parish bank accounts.

115.An accounting of each Parish/mission fund raising activity shall be made to the Parish/Mission Council at the completion of such activity.

116.Applicable licenses, insurance and tax requirements shall be complied in all Parish/Mission fund raising activities.

117.Amusement contractors during festivals shall be required to have casualty and liability insurances, based on local government guidelines.

118.Extraordinary fundraising requires the permission of the curia. Major fundraisers, capital campaigns, and larger fundraising for a Parish/Mission or auxiliary organizations are considered extraordinary.

119.Extraordinary fundraisers shall be accounted on a project basis, separating income and expenses.

XIII RAFFLES

120.Raffles are to be conducted in compliance with the local, state, ACNC and ATO rules and regulations.

121.The kaikarans shall consult respective state agencies to identify required licenses and reporting requirements and comply with the rules. 

XIV PRIEST ALLOWANCE

122.Priests assigned to serve within the Eparchy shall receive financial support from the respective Parish/Mission in accordance with the Clergy Care Guidelines approved by the Bishop. This compensation schedule shall be updated periodically.

123.Parishes/Missions that make use of full-time services of priests should pay the following benefits. These expenses are to be reimbursed based upon approved receipts/vouchers or as per Clergy Care Guidelines. In order to streamline the statutory duties, for priests employed by the Eparchy, monthly allowance and statutory superannuation is to be remitted before the end of the month to the nominated Eparchy bank account.

1) Monthly Allowance – Reportable on PAYG

2) Annual Spiritual Retreat

3) Annual Paid Vacation for 30 days

4) One day off per week

5) Room and board

6) Telephone

7) Private health Insurance

8) Motor vehicle including maintenance

9) Statutory superannuation

124.All Parishes/Missions shall report to the Eparchial finance dept. before 5 July, the total of the monthly allowances so that PAYG summaries can be issued

125.The PP and Asst. PP shall, upon receipt of the form PAYG statement, prepare and file the annual tax return before the ATO deadline of 31 October of the relevant year. We suggest the use of Professional Tax preparers in assisting the tax preparation.

XV

STOLEFEES / MASS STIPENDS

126.The stipend for a Holy Mass shall be prescribed by Clergy Care Guidelines from the Eparchy. Mass Stipend for invited priests should be as per Clergy Care Guidelines.

127.The Stole fees /mass stipends shall be collected and kept by the PP/Chaplain.

128.Solemn Masses in connection with Feasts and Festivities (Novena Masses) for which a higher amount is collected from the faithful are to be accounted to the Parish/Mission and the Mass Stipend is to be reimbursed to the invited priest celebrating the Mass as per Clergy Care Guidelines. 

XVI

 CATECHISM SCHOOLS

129.Registration and tuition fee collected shall be accounted and recorded in Parish/Mission books as well as the cost of tuition books, resources, facility expenses etc.

130.Religious Education tuition fees shall not be treated as part of offertory collections

131.All teachers and associated volunteers should obtain Children’s check (compliance to work with children)

XVII 

EPARCHIAL SUPPORT

L.SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

132.All Eparchial Special Collections should be submitted to the Finance office of the Eparchy within thirty days of the stipulated date of collection.

133.At the end of the fiscal year, all fund balances for each Eparchial special collection should have a zero balance.

134.The special Collections are Mission Sunday, Sabhadinam, Holy Thursday and Good Friday Collection etc.

M.Annual assessment

135.The 10% of ordinary revenue of the Parish/Mission is to be paid to the Eparchial curia along with annual financial reports. They are the offertory collections and general collections as per C 48& C49.These amounts will be credited to Eparchial Pastoral Revenue account.

136.The ordinary revenue means all income except the special collections. (This would include, but not limited to, Sunday Collections, Holyday Collections, Christmas Carol, General Contributions, Offertory Box Collection, Auction of Offering Items, Interest Income, Rent Income, Parish/Mission feasts, Parish/Mission retreats etc.)

N.Annual Bishop’s appeal

136.The Annual Bishop’s Appeal shall be conducted according to the directives from the Eparchial Curia. Any funds received at the Parish/Mission shall be sent to the Eparchial finance office promptly. 

XVIII

 PIOUS & SOCIAL ASSOCIATIONS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND APOSTOLATES

137.Any Pious and Social Association, Organization, and Apostolate that has a Parish/Mission level unit is under the direct direction of the PP/Chaplain and so is accountable to the Parish/Mission. The assets of each and every organization sponsored by a Parish/Mission are assets of the Parish/Mission. (This Manual uses the term ‘Organization’ hereafter to refer to all these entities with a parish level unit.)

138.Organizations are accountable to the PP/Chaplain and to the Parish/Mission Council. An annual report shall be submitted by every organization to the PP/Chaplain. The annual report should include both the activities as well as the financial results of the organization.

139.The PP/Chaplain shall be an ex-officio member of all organizations of the Parish/Mission. The PP/Chaplain or may delegate an Assistant/Associate PP to represent him for any of these organizations.

140.All income received by the organizations of a Parish/Mission shall be considered as Parish/Mission income in accounting.

141.The PP/Chaplain shall be the primary signatory and receiver of information on any bank account held by these organizations. All original bank statements are mailed to the Parish/Mission where a copy is maintained and then distributed to the organization.

142.The procedures for income and expenditure outlined in this manual are to be followed for all the financial transactions of the organization.

143.No Parish/Mission or organization in the eparchy may validly form a civil corporation or legal entity in any form or establish any other entity such as foundations or trusts without the permission of the Eparchial Bishop.

XIX 

LEGAL DOCUMENTS OF THE PARISH

144.Parish/Mission will be established as an unincorporated entity and have its own governing document (Constitution) based on the rules contained in “Palliyogam” rules promulgated by Syro-Malabar Bishop.

145.The use of the Parish/Mission legal documents such as tax identification number, Australian Business numbers are to be clearly identified and verified.

146.The PP/Chaplain receives copies of the resulting documents, for example, bank statements and licenses.

147.The Parish/Mission should maintain a log identifying the recipient of the legal documents and the purpose for the request.

148.The PP/Chaplain is responsible for submitting the quarterly business activity (BAS) statement to ATO

XX

CONSTRUCTION  AND RENOVATION

149.Parishes/Missions shall follow all the procedures outlined below for new building construction and renovation.

150.Submit a preliminary letter to the Eparchial Curia outlining the proposed project for permission.

151.Develop and present the business plan in the Parish/Mission Council for approval.

152.Submit the plan, construction budget, and plan of capital campaign to the Eparchial Curia for approval. If construction financing is required, details must also be submitted for approval.

153.Eparchial approval must be secured prior to putting the project out for bid.

154.The final drawings and bid results with recommendation shall be presented to the Eparchial Curia for final approval of the project.

XXI

LOANS AND OTHER BORROWINGS

155.Parish/Mission is authorized to borrow funds only with the approval of the Eparchial Curia.

156.A special resolution to borrow funds shall be duly adopted by the Parish/Mission Council.

157.The adopted resolution shall be sent to the Eparchial Curia for approval prior to signing any contract.

158.Duplicate copies of the notes shall be kept on file at the Parish/Mission office.

XXII

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS

159.The Eparchial Curia must approve all Parish/Mission real estate sales and purchases.

O.Real estate sales

160.The approval of the Curia is mandatory for sale of any Parish/Mission property. The request for approval is to be made by PP/Chaplain after the Parish/Mission Council approves the proposed sale.

161.Reports of at least two licensed appraisers who are familiar with property and prices in the area are to be obtained before arriving at a sale price.

162.Services of a competent real estate broker may be arranged, if necessary.

163.Copies of all documents including appraisals, title commitments, deeds, and contracts shall be sent to the Eparchial Curia.

P.Real estate purchases

164.The approval of the Curia is mandatory for purchase of a property. The request for approval is to be made after the Parish/Mission Council approves the proposed purchase.

165.Due diligence is to be taken in following all the government rules and regulations, zoning requirements and brokerage.

166.The realty service and appraisals shall be arranged, and due diligence is to be kept, if the purchase of the property does not involve the supervision of a bank or financial institution that renders a loan.

167. The title to property shall always be in the name of the Incorporated entity i.e. ‘The Trustees of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas ABN 67 291 009 733’.

168.A copy of the deed shall be submitted to the eparchial curia for records.

169.If the new property is to be used for Parish/Mission purposes, a stamp duty tax exemption and local council exemptions shall be filed. Any Parish/Mission property that is used for religious purposes is tax-exempt. However, any new property purchased is not automatically tax-exempt. The appropriate governmental agency shall be contacted to file the necessary documents. (State Revenue office / Local council).

XXIII

 INSURANCE/ RISK MANAGEMENT

170.The Parish/Mission shall have sufficient property and public liability insurance on all Parish/Mission properties throughout the year.

171.Medical Insurance shall be available to all full-time clergy at the expense of the Parish/Mission.

172.Locations that experience repeated occurrences of theft or flooding are encouraged to obtain and activate prevention devices, i.e., alarm systems or backup sump pumps.

173.All Parishes/Missions shall maintain a detailed inventory of assets. All assets shall be tagged with the name of the Parish/Mission and asset tracking number in the inventory register.

174.Proper replacement value of existing assets and cost of new assets shall be recorded in the inventory of assets. This value shall be recorded in the balance sheet.

175.Parishes/Mission shall immediately report any property, automobile, or general liability losses to the respective insurance company.

176.Data and record back up shall be done periodically.

177.Sufficient disaster recovery measures shall be implemented at each Parish/Mission and mission based on the risk factor.

VOLUNTEER SAFETY

178.Volunteers should be encouraged to complete their work in a safe, thoughtful manner. Volunteers should not engage in hazardous activities, which normally include electrical, mechanical and plumbing, activities involving ladders or scaffolds and activities involving dangerous equipment or chemicals.

XXIV

FACILITY  INSPECTIONS

179.The Kaikaran or a designated person should inspect facilities regularly and report to the Parish/Mission Council. The results of the inspection shall aid in planning for upcoming expenses. 

XXV

CONFLICT  OF INTEREST

180.Parish/Mission Council members owe the parish a duty of loyalty. The duty of loyalty requires a Parish/Mission Council member to act in the interest of the Parish/Mission rather than in the personal interest of any member or some other person or organization. In particular, the duty of loyalty requires a Parish/Mission Council member to avoid conflicts of interest that are detrimental to the Parish/Mission.

181.Members of the Parish/Mission Council may serve in other volunteer service roles in the Parish/Mission if, in the judgment of the PP/Chaplain, such multiple services will not create conflict of interest situations.

XXVI

INTERNAL AUDIT

182.In order to provide an assessment of, and to express opinion on, the accuracy and fairness of the information presented in financial reports, and to report on the adequacy of internal controls and adherence to policies and procedures, an internal audit committee shall be formed.

183.Church leaders have a stewardship responsibility to their members to ensure that the church’s resources are used in a manner consistent with the church’s mission and objectives. Accountability and transparency are necessary to evidence the discharge of these responsibilities, to maintain the credibility as stewards and to instill confidence on the part of donors.

184.A properly functioning Internal Audit Committee will help the church to fulfill its stewardship responsibility by helping to assure that resources have been used in the proper fashion. To be truly effective, an Audit Committee must be given the resources of talent, time, and access.

185.One of the most important characteristic for an auditor to possess is integrity. For an audit to be useful and effective, the persons performing it must do so in an objective and impartial fashion, and with the highest degree of integrity.

186.Any member of the Parish/Mission, meeting the criteria outlined in the Procedure Rules, may perform the internal audit as long as that member is not involved in any of the day-to-day financial or management functions of the Parish/Mission.

187.In addition to the PP/Chaplain, the following members of the Internal Audit Committee shall be appointed by the PP/Chaplain.

188.Two or three members with accounting and financial background.

189.The Internal Audit Committee shall have adequate knowledge of the Procedure Rules of the eparchy and other stipulations of the Eparchial finance office/bishop.

190.Upon completion of the annual audit engagement, the financial statements are to be presented to the PP/Chaplain for approval.

191.The financial records of Parishes/Missions and institutions shall be subject to regular audits by the Eparchial finance office.

192.The Eparchial finance office shall have the right to review the finances of a Parish/Mission before the outgoing PP/Chaplain leaves.

193.Established principles of internal audit should be followed by the audit committee with regard to purpose, procedures and reporting formats, if not specified expressively.

 

XXVII  

RECORD RETENTION

194.All records shall be stored in a secure area where these records are safeguarded against physical damage and deterioration.

195.There should be a formal strategy for providing backup of electronic data with secure offsite storage of all data backups.

196.Records retention schedules represent the period of time that records must be kept according to legal and/or organizational requirements.

197.The following retention schedule complying with the civil law should be followed.

 

Annexure  1 

RECORD RETENTION  DOCUMENTS LIST

Financial and Accounting Records  Retention period

 

Banking

 

Bank deposits

 

7 years
Bank statements  

7 years

 

Chequeregisters/stubs  

7 years

 

Bank reconciliation 7 years

 

Internal Audit Reports Permanent

 

Chart of Accounts Permanent

 

Financial Reports – Annual Permanent

 

Financial Reports- Quarterly 2 years

 

Contribution Records 7 years

 

Copies of Cheques and Cash envelopes

 

7 years
Insurance policies Permanent

 

Accident reports and claims Permanent

 

Mortgage records Permanent

 

Accounts payable invoices 7 years

 

Credit card statements/charge slips

 

7 years

 

Invoices/paid bills – major building construction

 

Permanent
Invoices/paid bills – general accounts

 

7 years
Cash books 7 years

 

Cash journals 7 years

 

Cash receipts records 7 years

 

Mortgage payments 7 years

 

General ledger Permanent

 

Journals, general and specific funds Permanent

 

Constructions contracts Permanent

 

Construction bids and proposals Permanent

 

Repair and maintenance work contracts 7 Years

 

Rental agreements 7 years

 

Deeds Permanent

 

Title policies Permanent

 

Blue prints and plans Permanent

 

Inventory of furniture, fixture and equip. Permanent
Legal

 

Articles of Incorporation and minutes

 

Permanent
Legal correspondence Permanent

 

 

 

 

Annexure 2 – Chart of accounts

Name of the account Type Comments
Assets account
Cash at CDF bank a/c
Cash in hand
Term deposits
Other advances
Assets Header account musical instruments, lap top etc.
Acc. depreciation on assets Header account musical instruments, lap top etc.
Charity funds Header account name of the person or fund
GST Paid
Liability accounts
GST collected
Loan accounts Name of the loans
Diocese accounts Header account
Retained earnings
Building fund Header account Ward-wise
Eparchial Pastoral Revenue Account Header account
Income and expenditure
Income
Interest received from bank
Youth program income Header account Program-wise
Mission Sunday collection
Good Friday collections
Retreat income Header account name of the retreat
Tithes – visiting Bishops/ priests
Marriage preparation course
Collections- House blessings
Income from Holy Mass Header account name of the place within the Church
Parish day  income Header account Different types
Parish feast – income Header account Different types
Carol income Header account ward-wise
Christmas income
Fundraising income Header account name of the fund raiser
Easter income
Night vigil income Header account name of the churches
Catechism income Header account Nature of income
Expenditure
Holy Mass expenses Header account for rent, refreshments
Pastoral expenses
Petrol expenses
Car Maintenance
Insurance expenses
Water expenses
Electricity  & gas expenses
Tithes to visiting priest
Telephone & internet expenses
Accounts expenses
Maintenance and repairs
Catechism expenses Header account refreshments, books, stationery
Meeting expenses
Youth program expenses Header account Program-wise
Good Friday expenses
Easter expenses
Retreat expenses Header account name of the retreat
Parish day expenses Header account refreshments, light& sound etc.
Parish feast – expenses Header account refreshments, light& sound etc.
Carol expenses Header account Ward-wise
Xmas expenses
Mission Sunday expenses
Parish Priest Salary
Parish Priest Super
Night vigil expenses Header account Place-wise
Fundraising  expenses Header account name of the fund
Ecumenical expenses
Interest on loans Header account loan wise
Bank charges
Eparchy expenses Depreciation Header account