Boards have the fiduciary responsibility to make sure the overall finances of the congregation are in order and the budget is on track. But the line-item spreadsheets given to board often have too much detail and don't give related information that helps the board make sense of the information. Dashboard reports are a tool that enable the board to see -- at a glance -- if the congregation's income and expenditures are on track compared to recent history, and how the overall financial health compares historically based on the ebb and flow of spending and giving patterns over the course of a church year.
Board are more interested in trends, not details, unless things are off track. At that point they might want to dive into the details of a detailed line-item spreadsheet.
Elements of a Monthly Financial Dashboard Report
A trend analysis shows the overall year-to-date revenue and expenses compared to the budget and to three or more previous years' year-to-date numbers.
Since congregations are funded primarily by the financial gifts of members, friends and visitors, tracking these numbers enables the board to notice if there is a drop or increase in giving.
Ratio of Assets to Liabilities
Some debt is healthy in a congregation, but too much debt, or an unexplained increase in debt can be a warning sign.
There may be other considerations, trends or patterns that don't show up in the numbers that can be explained in the notes.
Download this sample template (Word).