Financial Analysis

Making It Easier > Processes > Finances > Financial Analysis

All those numbers but what do they mean?

According to the writer Douglas Adams, the answer to life, the universe and everything may be 42 but the mysteries of local church finances are rather more complex! We have a budget and our annual accounts but they don't always tell us what is going on under the bonnet as it were. The Resources Team offers some helpful tools to explore these areas.
Review your Parish Dashboard
Money talk in church often means lots of numbers in rows and columns and comments by people who understand these things - and silent wondering by those who feel they dont!  To help churches get to grips with their finances each year the Resources team produce Parish Dashboards.

Parish Dashboards use the financial data supplied each year by the parish and present the information visually to provide up to five years worth of financial information about your church: five year trends for income and expenditure, the use of reserves and average levels of giving plus an overview of pattens of expenditure. A few 'starter' questions are provided alongside the charts to help your PCC or DCC begin to interpret the financial trends. 

The Finance Dashboard is normally generated in September after the receipt and collation of all the Parish Finance Return forms from the churches within our diocese. We provide dashboards for individual churches so DCCs have the information they need as well as PCCs.
Create your Church's Giving Profile
The Giving in Grace website is home to some handy tools that will help churches gather and interpret their financial data. Some of this data, such as income, expenditure and reserves can be found in your Parish Dashboard, but additional tools for financial analysis are also available on the Giving in Grace website should parishes wish to generate their own analysis. 

One critical piece of financial information is a Giving Profile, an anonymous, visual representation of the giving patterns in the local church. In most churches the direct giving of church members is the largest single source of income. Headline statistics of total giving and average giving levels are always a good start, but they never tell the whole story. Generating a giving profile for your church is a little more work, but will deepen understanding and will give confidence to those asking your members to review their giving.

A giving profile can only be generated by the local church; the spreadsheet to generate one can be found at the Giving Profile page within Giving in Grace.