Dear Sisters in the League
The parable of the talents is one of my favourites. It reminds me to use the gifts that God has given me for His glory. As treasurers, we need to use our resources wisely for the benefit of our CWL councils.
I would like to welcome our diocesan treasurers
Kamloops: Terry Mae Sinclair
Nelson: Marion Nygren
Prince George: Anne Falvo
Vancouver: Karanda Tong
Victoria: Renee Johnson
Whitehorse: Monica Lauer
I have been a League member for 25 years. I have served as treasurer at the parish and diocesan levels. At the parish level I have also served as Resolutions/legislation, Organization and president. On the diocesan level I have also served as Legislation and Communications chair. I am an accountant by profession with a CPA designation, and still work 3 days a week. My three adult children have not yet blessed me with grandchildren. Just a “grand-cat”.
One of the things that I love to do is to sing. As some of you know, I have sung in my parish choir for most of my life. To me numbers are a lot like music. They have a rhythm and a flow, just like music. When the notes on the staff are right, there’s music. When the numbers in the various columns are right, things balance.
This is the time of year when both Provincial and Diocesan councils prepare their budgets. Parish councils should also be doing theirs. It can sometimes be intimidating for a new treasurer to prepare a budget. So here are a few tips, based on my experience:
1. Take a look at last year’s budget as well as both the last year and current year actual results. This will give you an idea of what is normal income and outgo for your council.
2. Use the sample budget from the National Guideline for Treasurers. It doesn’t cover everything, but you will get ideas of what you need to include.
3. Consider any special events that your council is planning for the coming year. Is your council celebrating a special anniversary? How much is that going to cost? Is your parish celebrating an anniversary or other event that CWL will be asked to support? How much will you be asked for?
4. Consider how much you will be asked for to support special projects in your parish, a new roof, new kitchen equipment, etcetera?
5. Try to estimate incomes on the low side and expenses on the high side. Be as realistic as possible. We all know that things happen, and plans change.
6. Your diocesan or parish policy and procedure manual should have a provision for
unexpected expenses up to a certain amount that can be paid with approval of your executive. Any item over budget and over this limit MUST be approved by the general membership. For example, the sample budget from National shows that the parish council expects to spend $100.00 on kitchen supplies. What happens if the coffee urn breaks down and has to be replaced at a cost of $250.00? That’s right, the members have to vote on the replacement.
7. Bottom line, income and expenses need to be in balance.