Finance Newsletter - January 2023

Welcome to 2023
from your Conference Treasurer

We enjoy hearing from many of you this time of year as there are many year- end projects and new year deadlines.  We’ll answer your common questions below.  If there is anything else you need help with, please let us know.  We are here to help.
Thank you for all you do for your church in your leadership roles.

Sarah Sneider
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration


Wednesday, January 11 is the last day to make your 2022 apportionment or special gift payments

For those churches who would still like to send apportionments and special gifts for 2022, we will accept all giving received by mail which arrive in our office by noon on January 11, or until 5 pm through the Ministry Financial website
Starting on January 12, all payments received will be posted toward 2023.  Please contact Lisa Adler at or 608-837-7320 if you have questions on using this software, or if you would like her to key in one payment for you.
We ask churches to delay keying their 2022 electronic apportionment payments until after January 11.  Starting January 12, all apportionments received will be recorded as 2023 activity.

2022 Statistical Reports NEW website! Same deadline: February 28th

It’s that time of year again when each local church gathers their attendance, program and financial records and submits its statistical report to the Conference!  This process compiles data on Membership and Participation (Table #1), Church Assets and Expenses (Table #2), and Church Income (Table #3) for the entire denomination. This year, the year-end reporting will be done on a new website affiliated with our Brick River data system. You may access AC Stats program through your church dashboard, if you have access, or through the main page of the conference website. 

Login information: Login: 6-digit GCFA number
                              Password: stats2022

Our Conference Statistician, Donald Cramer, and Conference Treasurer, Sarah Sneider, will be offering several Zoom webinars to walk through the statistical report and answer any questions/share common problems.  These statistics are our primary tool to track membership and expenses of our churches and this information will be used to calculate the 2024 Apportionment.   Your help in submitting accurate and timely statistics by February 28, 2023, is greatly appreciated. 


Please select one of the following workshops:
Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 12:00 pm:  Registration
Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 4:00 pm:  Registration
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 11:00 am:  Registration
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 6:00 pm: Registration


Is your treasurer changing as of 1/1/23?

This finance newsletter goes out to all clergy, treasurers, finance chairs, office administrators and anyone who has specifically subscribed to the newsletter.  If you are no longer in one of these roles, please let us know the change and who is new in these positions. We are encouraging churches to make their own updates in the Church Dashboard, however, if you need our help, please let us know.  You may select to unsubscribe by clicking the link on the bottom of the newsletter.  But we do need to know the new person and their contact info.

How to check your 2022 Apportionments/Special gifts, 2023 apportionments and see your medical/pension billing

Ministry Financials is the on-line method for local churches to see their apportionment statements and medical/pension billing statements.  Once you log in, the statements available for viewing are on the right side.  You can also see on the opening page the amount due against your 2022/2023 apportionment.  Please verify that we have posted your payments correctly and let us know if you see any corrections needed.  If you have not used this software before, Click here for instructions. 

VANCO Reduced rates for local churches

Our Conference Council on Finance and Administration signed a contract with VANCO which allows all of the churches in our Conference access to reduced rates and no monthly fee.

1. If you are already a VANCO customer, send an e-mail to

            “Hello Vanco, my name is (insert name) and I am a part of (insert congregation name).  We are associated with the Wisconsin Conference of the UMC and would like to initiate moving our congregation to the Select Plan.  Please share next steps with me.”

They will be able to tell you what your savings would be

2. If you are interested in finding out more about the program, here is a link to the training video. Finance Trainings - Wisconsin Conference of the UMC (

Call 866-921-5430 to get started setting up a new account

Paychex Payroll Software

Paychex is a preferred provider of the General Conference and with this comes reduced rates for all conferences and churches who choose to set up their payroll system with Paychex.  If you are interested in looking at this, please contact our representative Natasha Schickler at nschickler@paychex.  She can provide pricing and set up information.

Do you have a copy of your Federal Tax Exemption Letter?

Many of you have contacted us to find out how to get a Federal Tax Exemption Letter or proof that you are a 501©(3) organization.  

There is an online form which is very straightforward for local United Methodist Churches.

You can visit UM GROUP RULING APPLICATION to get started. 

For ministries that are affiliated as United Methodist organizations, such as a church, childcare program, or a summer camp, the organization must have its own EIN, board, and organizing documents. Also, this tax exemption verifies your federal status and does not affect any state tax ruling.

IRS Standard Mileage Rates for 2023 has been raised to 65.5 cents

The IRS released its mileage rates for 2023 and increased the business use from 62.5 cents per mile to 65.5 per mile. Medical and moving stayed at 18 cents per mile and charitable mileage stayed at 14 cents per mile.  Your church may choose the amount to be used, not to exceed this level.  The Conference policy is to use the IRS rate for our employees.

IRS Publication 1828 – Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations

Publication 1828 from the IRS is full of useful information for church accountants.  Here is a link to this publication  Publication 1828 (Rev. 8-2015) ( Questions we typically get asked start on page 21 – Social Security and Unemployment, withholding tax for ministers, parsonage and housing allowance and other tax information for churches

Can a Church Rent Out or Sell Their Parsonage?

The answer is yes, and many churches are evaluating what to do with an empty parsonage.  There are many questions for your Trustees, SPRC and Finance committees to consider.

  • Will you need it again in the future?  How soon?
  • Are you willing to be a landlord?
  • If you rent to anyone other than another non-profit, the property will likely become taxable.  Check with your tax assessor to see what the annual property tax might be.
  • If you sell the property, you must get approval from your District Superintendent and there are limitations on the use of the funds.  We recommend you establish an account at the Foundation which can be used for current and future housing for your pastor and/or approved capital improvements. 
  • See the Book of Discipline, Paragraph 2542 for additional information.


Conference-Wide Insurance Program

All local churches in the Wisconsin Conference, along with the Conference camps, Conference Center, and other Conference-owned property, are required to be insured under the Conference-Wide Insurance Program, currently with Church Mutual.

Required insurance coverage within this program includes multi-peril property and liability insurance and umbrella insurance. Optional insurance coverage within this program includes directors and officers and employment practices liability insurance.
Although not part of the Conference-Wide Insurance Program, local churches are also required to maintain workers compensation insurance and auto insurance in compliance with the law.
The Conference Board of Trustees is responsible for determining and periodically re-evaluating the insurance carrier(s) for the Conference-Wide Insurance Program and the required and optional types and levels of insurance coverage under the Program.


Give Us Your Full Church Name When You Call or e-mail

You would be surprised how many churches in our Conference have the name First (26), Trinity (11), Zion (15), Grace (7) and Peace (5).  We would greatly appreciate if you use your city/town name and your full church name when you send us an e-mail or call.  THANK YOU!

Other Resources

Please check out our Finance pages of the Conference website for information that will be helpful to you in your role as Treasurer, Chair of Finance, etc.  Here’s the link. Finance & Administration - Wisconsin Conference of the UMC (  You will find reference information in the Handling Church Finance area.

Record Retention Guidelines
If you are ready to clean out some closet or file cabinets, but don’t know what you can get rid of, here are 2 good reference guides – the Local Church Records Schedule Local Church Records Schedule (2017-2020) ( and the Guidelines for Managing Records. Guidelines for Managing Record of the Local Church 2017 Edition - Wisconsin Conference UMC (


This newsletter is automatically sent to pastors, treasurers, and finance chairs for local churches in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is also sent to other persons who subscribe online.  If you were forwarded this message and are interested in receiving this periodic newsletter directly, click here to subscribe or copy this link to your web browser: