Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

An Explanation of Fractional Services

Tiered Model- Optimal for Most Churches

 As we’ve mentioned before, at MinistryCFO, you are not hiring a person, you are hiring a team.

Each team includes a Bookkeeper, a Controller-level manager, and a CFO-level manager.

For those of you who live far away from the bean counting world, here’s a quick primer on each role:

Bookkeeping refers to the clerical work necessary for recording transactions, such as:  a) recording and paying bills; b) depositing donations; c) recording donor information into the donor database; and, d) reconciling bank statements.

The Controller-level work includes: a) training the bookkeepers; b) reviewing the work of the bookkeepers; c) designing and maintaining the bookkeeping system; and, d) troubleshooting complex financial transactions.

CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer.  The CFO-level work includes: a) assisting the Controller in any and all areas that the Controller needs assistance; b) communicating with bankers, board members, and the like; c) preparing monthly financial reports for management; and, d) contacting preferred vendors for better services and cost savings.

Here’s why this tiered model is optimal for all churches:

  • The per hour price point for a CFO-level employee is the highest because a true CFO has the requisite CPA (Certified Public Accountant) qualification, expertise and experience to oversee the financial operations of an organization.

  • The Controller oftentimes will not have the CPA qualification and expertise, but will have the requisite experience to supervise bookkeepers; therefore, their per hour price point will be higher than that of a Bookkeeper but lower than that of a CFO.

  • The Bookkeeper will have the requisite clerical skills and disposition but lack the qualifications, expertise, and experience and therefore will command the lowest per hour price point.

The good news is that most of the financial operations workload is performed at the Bookkeeping level as follows:

  • 75% to 85% of the financial operations workload of your church is conducted at the Bookkeeperlevel.

  • 10% to 15% of the financial operation workload of your church is conducted at the Controller-level.

  • 5% to 10% of the financial operations workload of your church is conducted at the CFO-level.

Below is a breakdown of the total MinistryCFO time spent at the three work levels:

CFO Level                         5%   – 10%

Controller Level                  10% – 15%

Bookkeeper Level              75% – 85%

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