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Parish accounting

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Reporting and other financial requirements of the Church in WalesAll Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) are required to prepare and annual report and accounts, which must:comply with the Church in Wales Constitution and the Accounting regulations set out within the Constitution;be retained along with all of the accounting records for 6 years;be available for inspection by the Archdeacons;be available to the public on request.Accounting Thresholds for Church in Wales Parishes

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Overview - Standard Form of Accounts for ParishesFollowing a consultation exercise with parishes and approval of the dioceses and the Representative Body, a Standard Form of Accounts for Parishes was introduced from 1 January 2010.The Standard Form of Income and Expenditure sets out the categories of income and expenditure which should be used by parish Treasurers in preparing the accounts:Incoming Resources/Receipts

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Resources Expended/Payments

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Receipts and Payments AccountsParishes with an income of under £250,000 can avoid the burden of having to prepare full accounts, and instead they may produce a ‘Receipts and Payments Account’ for the year and a ‘Statement of Assets and Liabilities’ at the year end.Detailed interactive spreadsheets, designed for parishes with an income of under £250,000, and producing Receipts and Payments Accounts (as opposed to Accruals Accounts), have been updated for 2013 and include new features, including a link to an interactive cashbook.The following link will direct you to a linked interactive spreadsheet containing several worksheets, and include:Advice on use of the interactive spreadsheets (Excel)Standard Form of Accounts (Excel)Receipts (Excel)Payments (Excel)Cashbook (Excel)Annual accounts (Excel)Notes to the accounts (Excel)Independent Examiners Report (Excel)Annual Financial Return (Excel)Accrual AccountsParishes with an income in excess of £250,000, must prepare their accounts on an accruals basis and include a Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA), whose form and content is specified in the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) issued by the Charity Commission. The ACAT handbook gives comprehensive advice to Treasurers preparing their accounts on the accruals basis.Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers (ACAT) HandbookA copy of this Handbook was distributed to each Parish Treasurer in early 2010, and the Parish Treasurer will receive regular updates to the Handbook, which is funded by the Representative Body.If you are a new Treasurer, please ask the former Treasurer to give you the original copy provided. However, if you require a further copy of the Handbook and updates they are available (email: for around £12 p.a. The Handbook provides guidance for Treasurers and others concerned with the financial affairs of the Parish. However, not all of the Property Development and Insurance sections of the Handbook apply to the Church in Wales so please contact if you have a query. The Handbook can be used as guidance on completing the Annual Report and Accounts of the Parish but the Receipts and Payments/Statement of Activities should follow the Standard Form of Accounts for Parishes (see below), and the Annual Report should include some extra information as also set out below. The handbook is available on-line at the ACAT website in full, and is accessible once you register at the website as a user.Understanding Unrestricted and Restricted FundsParishes are often confused by the classification of General Funds and Restricted funds.General Funds / Unrestricted Funds are income or income funds which can be spent at the discretion of the PCC Members (trustees) in furtherance of any of the parish’s objects.Designated funds are part of the unrestricted funds which the PCC have earmarked for a particular project or use, without restricting or committing the funds legally. The designation may be cancelled by the PCC if they later decide that the parish should not proceed or continue with the use or project for which the funds were designated.Restricted funds: Restricted funds are funds subject to specific trusts, which may be declared by the donor(s) or with their authority (e.g. in a public appeal) or created through legal process, but still within the wider objects of the parish. Restricted funds may be restricted income funds, which are spent at the discretion of the PCC in furtherance of some particular aspect(s) of the objects of the parish, or they may be endowment funds, where the assets are required to be invested, or retained for actual use, rather than spent.Helpline detailsLouise DaviesEmail: 029 2034 8200.Andrew EmeryEmail: 029 2034 8200.