Methodist Church Templates for Tier 3 and 4 Reporting Entities – 30 June 2016

The Annual Financial Accounts for 30 June 2016 are required to be completed and delivered to the Connexional office by the 14th October 2016.  This is much later than previous years due to two main reasons, one being that this year is the first year that all registered charities are required by law to have their financial accounts meet the requirements of the Charities Act and secondly, Conference is much earlier.  On balance it was felt that we should provide all Methodist entities time to produce their annual accounts as required by the Charities Act.

Annual Financial Account templates have been modified by the Connexional Office to suit the general needs and requirements of Methodist parishes and are available in three different formats for Tier 3 and Tier 4:

  • Excel spreadsheet,
  • Word document or,
  • Xero template (only applies if Xero is used for the parish’s accounting).

The Excel and Word templates can be found on the accounting blog site ( under Resources.  There are also the latest XRB guides (as at 24 June 2016) relating to the applicable tier being completed.  Also on the same Resources page ( are the instructions on how to complete the new Xero Annual Report template.

  • Xero Templates

If you’re using Xero as your accounting software you can use this template to complete the annual financial accounts.  In the long term this will be a quick way to complete the financial statements as the balances are drawn directly from the general ledgers in Xero.  Therefore there is no need to manually add up each revenue, expense code, etc. However, there is still the need to ensure that the financial statements and the wording within the financial statements relate to your parish.

To use these templates in Xero please email and she will set you up in Xero and make sure that templates are ready to be used by you.  Christine will NOT complete the annual financial statements for you unless you ask her to do so.  More on this later.

As stated above these are new templates and although they’ve been tested by the Connexional Office, as with any new system, there will be a few teething issues to be dealt with.  As these issues are found we’re feeding them back to Xero support so they can fix them or we may update the standard template to make them work better.

As a result we would suggest that if you’re in the following situations you should be cautious about using the Xero templates:

  • Fixed Asset Disposal – If your parish has disposed of fixed assets in Xero’s fixed asset register during the current or previous financial year, the Xero generated journals do not feed into the Statement of Cash Flows
  •  Those Parishes who were added to Xero in the 2015 Financial Year – When a parish is added into Xero the conversion balance doesn’t feed through properly into the Statement of Cash Flows for the 2015 financial year.
  •  Comparative Difference if you’re a parish which is reviewed or audited – balances for the 2015 financial year might be different to those produced in the Xero report because the template has been set up for Methodist Parishes as a whole and doesn’t take into account individual differences. This will not be an issue for those parishes who are not reviewed or audited but for those that are, the presentation can be adjusted to suit your parish.  This is covered in the Xero guide.

 Please email if you are in any of the above situations and still wish to use the Xero templates.

Excel and Word Templates Tier 3 & 4

The layout is very similar to that used last year but there are some additions/changes to the templates:

  • Word Document – This has been created for those who prefer to use Word instead of Excel. In this document, balances and information need to be entered manually into each sheet.

 There’s also a Tier 3 Cash Flow Worksheet which accompanies the Tier 3 Word document to help you calculate the cash movements for the Statement of Cash Flows.  Once completed the balances need to be manually copied into the Statement of Cash Flows in the word template.

If you prefer to write in the numbers rather than typing them in then you can do that but you still need to make sure all the numbers add and cross add and reconcile correctly.

  • Approval of Financial Statements – An approval sheet has been added to the templates to ensure the Parish Steward and the Parish Treasurer are happy with the completed balances in the financial statements. Once this form has been authorised there should be no further amendments to the financial statements.
  • “CF Workings” Spreadsheet in the Excel Template– This tab has moved to sit at the end of the sheets that need to be printed off, i.e. beside “Note8-14”. Once the cash flow movements have been entered into this sheet, the balances will still flow through to the Statement of Cash Flows. Please to do not print this sheet and include it with the annual return.  It is a workings sheet only and is used only to make the Statement of Cash Flows calculate correctly.
  • Alternative Notes – Included this year are alternative notes in the Notes to the Performance Report. Please read these carefully and make sure you understand the requirements.  After deciding which note is the most appropriate, delete in Word, (or hide in Excel), the note that does not apply to the parish.
  • Content – Again these templates have been created to cover most situations for a high proportion of the parishes. They aren’t specific enough to include every situation for every parish.  Please adjust the content to suit your own parish’s needs.
  •  Presentation – The annual report should be presented as neat and tidy as possible. Once the information in the templates has been finalised, please delete or hide any rows that are empty.  Please check the page layout of each sheet so when they’re printed off they will continue to look tidy.

An example of a complete set of an annual financial statements will be posted on the Resources Page of the accounting blog site next week (week beginning 28 June)  to help show you what a finished set should look like.

  • Help to Complete the Annual Reports

Once again this year we’re offering the services of a contract accountant to assist you in preparing the annual reports.  The cost is $500.  Please email if you are interested in this service.

Please remember this is not an audit or review of the accounts it is simply a service to help you compile your annual financial statements.


Just a reminder that if your operating expenditure as shown on the Statement of Financial performance is over $500,000 but less than $1,000,000 then you will need a review undertaken or you can elect to have an audit.

If the operating expenditure shown in the Statement of Financial performance is over $1,000,000 then you will need an audit.

Both the review and audit will need to be conducted by a qualified person.

The Connexional Office will be checking to make sure that the person signing the review or audit is a qualified person.  The people qualified to undertake an audit or review can be found at