Archives For MAGsays

Most of us realize that the local church is called upon to meet and help those in need and we, as Christians, all feel that it is our responsibility to provide to the church so that it can do what it is called to do.  We recognize and understand what the Bible teaches us about tithing.  We want to be servants, however, before we give, we want to know and be assured that our funds are going to be used in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

For this reason, it is important for a church to be financially accountable.  It should alwaysdemonstrate transparency and be a good steward of its contributions.

Here are some easy ways to provide Safeguards for Financial Accountability:

1)  Use a financial management software system for bookkeeping such as QuickBooks by Intuit.

2)  Nominate a financial committee or elder team on behalf of the church to review financial statements (at minimum) on a monthly basis.

3)  Establish policies and procedures – from how to properly count and record the weekly tithes and offerings, to how to handle an expense report for a church staff member.

4)  Use a…

Continue Reading

At MAG Bookkeeping, we see churches up close & personal. Sometimes what we see isn’t pretty. We also see the organized and tidy churches too.

Below are seven church-finance chores that we see … are commonly overlooked by church leaders … tied to managing/controlling your finances.

  1. Re-read your lease or rental agreement. Are you paying more than you should? Do you know the terms of your lease/rent?
  2. Know your employer-related requirements tied to benefits? Do you have an HR professional to help you guide this effort? Negotiating health insurance and other insurances are just one of many benefits of working with a knowledgeable HR professional.
  3. Review your insurance(s). Check your deductibles. Can you raise them to save some cost? How many policies are you carrying? For what?
  4. Check your service payments. Are you using that membership like you did before? Go through your monthly bills and cancel services you don’t need or use any more.
  5. Read credit card Agreements. Call customer service and get a better rate. If they don’t … cancel. Great rates are out there with minimal effort. You can save tons of money doing this – especially if you carry a balance.
  6. Consolidate…

    Continue Reading

ImperfectionTransparency coming straight at you! I suck at this. I expect much of everyone. I expect much of me.

And, unfortunately, my expectation gives very little wiggle room for imperfection. It’s an honest assessment of me … that has & does hurt my Team, my family, & friends.

One of the smartest people in the area of leadership … is none other than Robert K. Greenleaf. He wrote “The Servant as Leader.” And, in that book … here’s some pure gold … that always causes me to pause … and assess myself.

The interest in and affection for his followers which a leader has, and it is a mark of true greatness when it is genuine, is clearly something the followers “haven’t to deserve.” Great leaders, including “little” people, may have gruff, demanding, uncompromising exteriors. But deep down inside the great ones have empathy and an unqualified acceptance of the persons of those who go with their leadership. Acceptance of the person, though, requires a tolerance of imperfection. Anybody can lead perfect people — if there were any.”

Ouch. I fail. I am chief among sinners in this area.

Here are my question(s) for myself…

Continue Reading

How to Avoid Church Fraud

By MAGsays

Fraud TriangleYou should see the look on a Lead Pastor’s face when they realize that the same person who is doing their “books” is the same person who is depositing the offering. It’s a look of fear, embarrassment, and oh, CRAP!

Fact is, most church fraud happens around deposit. Meaning, money just doesn’t find its way into the checking account. It’s really that simple.

Concerned about church fraud at your church? Want to be more proactive? Consider these tips:

  1. Have 2 people deposit your money on a consistent day of the week … AND make sure they are not your bookkeeper. Create a “sign off” sheet that is handed in each week.
  2. Track your donor/giving in a separate Church Management Software (ChMS) solution … not in your accounting package. We recommend CCB. This way, you can track individual deposits against your aggregate deposit.
  3. Do “spot checks” in the counting room.
  4. Look for areas of “opportunity” where your system/process could be compromised. Document your gaps and create deadlines to fix. Then, report your findings to leadership.
  5. Review your financials every single month. Seriously, we can’t believe we are even saying this ……

    Continue Reading

Ever wondered how great salespeople get to be great? Here’s what I have discovered about great salespeople:

  1. They help me, not sell me.
  2. They ask super smart questions that force me to think differently. Dumb salespeople ask dumb questions.
  3. They are humble, not arrogant.
  4. They have an appropriate swagger (aka charisma) that draws me in and makes me want to buy from them.
  5. They listen to me. They confirm my answers. They frame up my needs.
  6. They put their passion/heart into their selling and believe in what they sell.
  7. They get into my world and understand my needs.
  8. They are organized. They have good grammar and punctuation. They care with their words.
  9. They treat me as a person, not a dollar sign or a commission check.

I love sales; it is a blast. It is by far one of the hardest professions in the world. It’s a great game of chess.

There are a million parallels, but I liken great salespeople to great pastors. They are bringing you along, identifying with you, challenging you, and convincing you of a better way.

If you want to sell me anything, pay attention to the ideas listed above.

QUESTION: What drives you nuts…

Continue Reading

Mean people suck, especially when you are forced to work with them.

Mean people (aka Toxic) come in various forms … passive-aggressive, jealous, forceful, rude, loud, selfish, hateful, & so on.

Think organization morale is the only problem you have with a toxic employee? Guess again. What about loss wages in productivity? Added wages in “dealing” with the problem person. Why are you keeping people like that on your team? Whatever reasons you have … you’ve likely never considered the other side of their toxicity on your other employees.

Look at this research … here’s how employees respond to toxic co-workers:

  • 80 percent lost work time worrying about the offending employees’ rudeness
  • 78 percent said their commitment to the organization declined
  • 66 percent said their performance declined
  • 63 percent lost time avoiding the offender
  • 48 percent decreased their work effort

Worse yet, when you keep people like this on your team, that need to go … you demonstrate to your team that you are sanctioning incompetence. And, the impact of that … (people perceiving you as scared and an inadequate leader who won’t act) … will cost…

Continue Reading

Here’s the deal – you can’t control everything.

I know, you are a leader and you think you can. But here is what I see everyday … when we speak with leaders that ask us about our virtual executive assistant service …

  • Exasperated leaders trying to do it all never feel like they get ahead
  • They have employees who don’t ever feel like they win
  • Work/home life balance way out of whack
  • Frustrated by mounting deadlines and initiatives
  • A nervous feeling like the other shoe is going to drop

Sound like you? You’re not alone. It is common to hear and see leaders that think that the only way to get ahead is by controlling everything. What a weary place to be!

How do you slay the beast of control? You simply start to trust others. You find qualified people and you delegate to them. But don’t miss this … delegate results not tasks. When you give responsibility to others to help you achieve your outcomes, you kill the falsehood that says you can do it all & control it all. It’s a lie.

You are not your work or job! You…

Continue Reading

Rethink Hiring StaffToday’s business climate demands-especially in the area of staffing-agility.

Finding the right person is an overwhelming hurdle that some organizations choose not to attempt and other organizations must endure hoping to find the right fit. The good news is that new approaches to staffing are emerging to help businesses connect with the right person, minimize risk, save time, and ultimately move you closer to accomplishing your objectives. It starts with focusing on the results you want to accomplish rather than worrying about the seats that need to be filled.

Get your FREE PDF download or Kindle download today!

Download the eBook

Continue Reading

Delegation Matrix

By MAGsays

The other day, I was trying to help a young guy in my mentoring group … to understand & think through time management. This is what I came up with.

Time management, is a lot of things. But, one thing for sure, that I know is time management, is the ability to DELEGATE. I’ve written a ton about delegation. So, in an effort to consolidate my one-on-one time with my mentee … here’s my two cents on delegation coupled with my “Delegation Matrix.” I hope you find it useful.

Quadrant 1 –  KEEP the things you love & only you can do them.

Quadrant 2 –  DELEGATE the things you love but you know that others can do. This is easily, the place/quadrant that you should lead, coach, and develop … primarily because you love what you are giving them, and likely there is passion in this set of actions/efforts/results expected.

Quadrant 3 –  DELEGATE the stuff you hate that you know that you think you should be doing or find yourself doing. These are the things that you procrastinate on ……

Continue Reading

MentorsCurrently, I mentor young guys who are newly married, business-types & entrepreneurs, and love God. They are go-getters. They have passion. They want to be great. Truth is, they are great … they just don’t know it yet. The potential they possess, at times, leaves me speechless. My heart is excited for their future possibilities.

The other day, I had a friend of mine ask me who my mentors are. I have a handful. They are close to my heart for different reasons. Ever since my dad developed cancer when I was in college, I have intentionally sought out amazing, older men who had lives I admired. Their friendship and counsel have made me the man I am today. My family has significantly benefited because older men invested in me with their time and words.

Here are 6 tips I offer you … on seeking out mentors in your life:

  1. Be strategic. Every man or woman who is successful … does NOT have ALL the answers. You need to be strategic and map out WHY they would be a good mentor for you … in a specific area of your life.
  2. Grant permission. Mentoring…

    Continue Reading