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Keeping The Books

In 1980 I began my college years. After taking an accounting class in high school, I decided to major in accounting at Miami University. After Principals of Accounting 101, I was not sure I had chosen the right major, but I chalked it up to “adjusting to college jitters.” It wasn’t until after Principals of Accounting 102 that I knew, accounting was NOT the major for me! Cost accounting was like a foreign language to me. So, my major became personnel management. This suited my personality much better. I preferred people over numbers, or so I thought. And, telling people what to do, a huge fault of mine, was an asset in my career as a manger.

 

Fifteen years later, after the birth of my first son, I started a new career as stay-at-home-mom. One of my roles in our family was to manage our household finances. Hum, I thought I didn’t like numbers? Of course, as a manager, I not only managed people, but also learned how to manage budgets for various departments.

 

. . .

 

Fast forward 15 more years and after the death of my husband, I found myself raising 2 boys, ages 15 & 12, on my own. I needed to not just manage the family finances, but also figure out how to contribute to them. I found a way to incorporate my role as the family finance manager into my own personal bookkeeping business for several clients. In 2012, I was asked to join the MUMC staff as Financial Secretary. It was the perfect position to add to my financial career and I also became the administrative assistant for a small logistics company a few years ago.  

 

Recently, one of my college roommates asked me, “How did you get into working with finances? You hated that in college.” Well, as I was preparing to write this blog, I realized the definition of accounting is “the action or process of keeping financial accounts,” management is “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people” and finance is “the management of large amounts of money.” Well there you have it, I am still using my management degree, only now I manage numbers instead of people. And, I’m managing the scheduling of 3 part-time jobs, too. God showed me the perfect tools for providing for my family when I was doubting my ability to do so. He gave me these skills, I just needed to learn to used them as He intended.

 

I truly enjoy working with an awesome team of weekly offering counters, our Business Administrator, Kristy Geis, and Harry Bruce, the Director of Finance. We work well together to be good stewards of the church budget. We can do this because we are blessed with a congregation of generous givers.

 

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together

and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will

be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV

 

Because of your generosity, as a church, we are able, to minister to the congregation in the walls of our building and, also to those in our community who may or may not know Jesus, yet.

 

My main responsibility is to supervise the counting of the weekly offering and to accurately record it in our church data base, provide reports to Kristy to maintain accurate records of the church finances and provide reports to the finance director, Harry, for planning and forecasting of the church budget. In 2014, we changed our church software for recording contributions among other things. One of the features of this new program is that contributions can be viewed on-line on the Mason UMC website. If you are already registered for ACS log-in, you can access your pledging/giving history. If not, you can create an ACS log-in on our website. You can check your giving/pledging as often as needed this way. Because this information is now accessible on-line, I no longer send quarterly giving statements. I always send year-end giving statements by January 31st of the following year, for tax purposes. And, I will send a YTD statement in September each year for you to check if you are up to date with your giving based on your pledge. You will receive this YTD statement by Saturday 9/15, this year. The default setting for statement delivery is via email. If you prefer regular mail, please contact me, if you have not already.

 

Other reasons you may need to contact me:

 

  • Instructions for how to give electronically – I maintain and enter the electronic giving records by communication from our electronic giving service provider.

  • Stock donations – we process these through West Ohio Conference on Development and I will provide you with the proper instructions for this process.

  • Offering envelopes – this is the most accurate way for giving via the offering plate. I maintain/update the envelope mailing list monthly, then email it to the envelope company. Contact me to be added to this mailing list.

  • Non-cash donations – contact me if you would like a non-cash donation added to your giving statement

 

Reasons I may need to contact you:

 

  • Pledges – during our annual pledge campaign, I enter pledges in the data base and I may need to contact you to clarify information on your pledge card submitted.

  • Annual Audit of MUMC financial records – some of you recently received letters for this process. Kristy and I thank you for sending the information requested to our auditor.

  • Memorial Fund Balances – if contributions have been made in memory of your loved one, you will receive a letter from me with the balance of the memorial fund for your loved one and a list of those who contributed to the fund.

  • If there is ever a discrepancy or question about your weekly offering, I will contact you.

 

I maintain weekly office hours, Monday 8:00 am – noon. Please feel free to contact me during this time. If that is not possible, email me at jmaclean@masonumc.org or leave a phone message with the church office. I do my best to follow up outside of my office hours if needed.

 

I appreciate the opportunity to serve MUMC using the skills with which God has blessed me. Praying this will be something I am able to do for many years to come.

 

God bless, Jennifer MacLean

 

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