The Board of Administration was made aware that the annual leave for an employee, whose employment was terminated, was over stated in the payroll system and had been paid out.
It turned out that the employee had taken leave during her period of employment and the employer knew that leave had been taken but no leave forms had been sent to the Board for processing and therefore leave was not being reduced in the payroll system.
The effect was that when the employee was terminated and the final pay processed, the payroll system simply paid out what it though was outstanding. Given the situation the Board found itself in, the amount was not able to be recovered from the employee and the Parish was left with the additional cost.
No doubt you understand the moral of the story but I will say it. Compliance with legislation such as the Holidays Act and the Employment Relations Act involves paperwork and compliance but we need to ensure that the paperwork is processed in a timely manner to not only fulfil the Church’s obligations legal obligations but also to ensure it does not cost Parishes more money in the long term.
PLEASE, PLEASE, if an employee or presbyter takes leave, ask them to complete a leave form, have it authorised and send a copy to the Connexional Office for processing.
There are three Conference decisions which may impact upon a number of entities within the Church and so I wish to highlight them as early as possible so that there is a no surprises approach if the Board of Administration seeks to set your entity within Xero or we assign an accountant to undertake the end of year financial reporting for your entity.
The relevant decisions are:
• In the event of an entity within the Methodist Church not supplying the appropriate financial reports by the due dates for the current and previous financial year, then Conference asks the General Secretary to make arrangements with that entity to transfer their accounting system to Xero (or other approved accounting system) commencing from the new financial year.
• If the entity is already using Xero and still does not prepare and send annual financial statements in accordance with the standards necessary to comply with Church Law, then Conference asks the Board of Administration to prepare accounts. The cost of preparation and filing will be charged directly to the entity.
• Conference notes that the financial information required to be completed and returned on the M4 Form need NOT be completed if the same information is contained in the Notes to the Accounts of the annual financial statements.
25 November 2015
The Methodist Church of New Zealand’s (the Church) insurance provides cover to the Church for damage caused to its property. When that damage was caused by the negligence or lack of appropriate oversight by somebody who has hired the Church premises for their own purposes, the Church’s insurer has the right of subrogation (claiming against) that person or organisation for the costs met by our insurer.
To protect those persons and groups using Church owned property, it is strongly recommended that the groups with a regular booking for the property be required to have a public liability insurance policy and that those more casual users be encouraged to take out such a cover.
Parishes should ensure that appropriate wording directing users to the need to have public liability cover is included in any hire agreement.
It is also timely to remind parishes that material owned by tenants but stored within Church owned premises is not covered by the Church’s insurance cover. We can only provide insurance cover for assets and property owned by the Church.
Methodist Church of New Zealand
Xero have advised us that their monthly fees will increase from 1 December 2015.
The retail cost of Xero have gone from $50.00 to $55.00 per month, plus GST.
As we receive a discount from Xero we have been able to minimise the increase to entities that do not report directly to the Conference of the Methodist Church.
As from 1 December 2015 the cost of Xero will increase from $40.00 plus GST ($46.00 inclusive of GST) to $43.48 plus GST ($50.00 per month inclusive of GST). Direct debits will be made with the amounts in December.
For entities within the Methodist Church that report directly to the Conference, the Board of Administration will continue to pay the cost of Xero.
Peter van Hout
5 November 2015