Finance and Administration - Parishes
Annual Statistical Return
Early in the year, each parish receives from the Synod Office an all-important annual statistical return package. In addition to the
statistical return itself (seeking, for example, the number of people on the parish roll, in full communion, identifiable givers,
and in the church school and parish groups, along with financial information), the package also includes the "pink sheets," the parish
contact information form and an administrative covering letter.
Please note that although the forms are fillable electronically, they need to be downloaded to your computer before you fill them out to ensure that they may be saved and printed. The completed forms must be submitted, with signatures where required, to the Synod Office by March 15. Don't forget to make copies for the parish files.
Find below the contents of the current annual statistical return package. Please do not forget to include an audited financial statement with the statistical return.
Budget (3 year Diocesan)
For many years a central pay system has been in place to administer the cost of priestly services on behalf of parishes. The net payments to clergy are deposited biweekly in their bank accounts. Parishes may elect to have members of their lay staff (e.g. caretaker, organist, secretary) serviced in the same way. There is no administrative charge for this service, which is offered by the accounting department of the Synod office. The advantage to the parish is that the parish is relieved of calculating employer and employee salary deductions, of forwarding such deductions to the appropriate authorities, and of handwriting salary cheques.
Clergy compensation guidelines
ePost instructions follow-up
Charities return (T3010)
All parishes must file a complete information return each year with Canada Revenue Agency's Charities Directorate.
All the information one needs on the procedure is clearly outlined at the
CRA Annual information return (T3010) webpage.
Blank form (print, complete, mail)
It is extremely important to file your T3010 return within 6 months of the previous year-end.
There are serious consequences for not doing so, including loss of charitable status — loss of the ability to issue charitable tax receipts for donations to your parish. A couple of parishes have, in fact, lost their charitable status in recent years, causing a great deal of upset and consternation among regular and major givers with every expectation of timely tax receipts.
With respect to T3010 returns, the Risk and Audit Committee recommends you
- include in Line 5050-Total gifts to qualified donees excluding enduring property your annual Parish Fair Share and equalization remittances to the Diocese
- report in Schedule 3 - Compensation all people employed by your parish, regardless of whether they are paid through the diocesan Central Pay fund or your parish account
- if filing online, be sure to print the final version before shutting down, as CRA does not save the completed form for you
- submit your T3010 form on time!
Consolidated Trust Fund
The Consolidated Trust Fund (CTF) of the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa is one of the Diocese's three separate funds. CTF holds
and manages investments for parishes, Synod, third parties and for various cemeteries. Synod is a registered charitable organization and is exempt
from income taxes.
Agreement between Owner and Contractor
This template has been prepared to facilitate the process of obtaining a written agreement with a Contractor chosen to undertake construction/repair work at your churches.
Why You Need a Written Agreement
Oral agreements invite costly misunderstandings because there's no clear written statement of what the Contractor has agreed to do, how much you have agreed to pay, or what the two of you will do if a dispute arises.
These misunderstandings might be innocent -- you and the Contractor may genuinely remember your agreement differently -- or they may be intentional. Either way, it will be your word against the Contractor's. It's much safer to rely on a written document that clearly sets out the details of what has been agreed to.
A good, solid written Agreement is also the foundation for a positive renovation/construction experience for both the parish and the Contractor. It helps build confidence and the relationship.
More importantly, it helps to prevent misunderstandings and false expectations that can lead to a breakdown in the relationship and jeopardize the project.
When hiring Contractors, keep in mind there are special considerations that cannot be omitted from the Contractor agreement, apart from the obvious items such as the nature of the work and the price. Examples are warrantees, dispute resolutions, insurance issues, etc.
Members of the Property and Finance Committee have prepared the agreement template, with the expectation that parishes will use this kind of agreement when hiring a Contractor, thereby avoiding potential pitfalls and lessening the likelihood of complications and differing opinions.
Here's hoping the parish and the Contractor used will find it a solid guide.
ECOPS (Equalized Cost of Priestly Services)
Equalization among parishes has long been an accepted principle and practice in the Diocese of Ottawa. ECOPS is the financial assessment system we have carefully developed to strengthen our congregations, ministry and mission.
ECOPS enables clergy appointments to be guided principally by ministry gifts and their "fit" with a parish. With ECOPS our bishop is able to appoint senior, experienced clergy with particular gifts to any parish in the Diocese without affecting that parish's ECOPS payments.
With ECOPS, the amount parishes pay for priestly services is a function of their share of the total diocesan cost of priestly services (excluding housing) and not a function of their particular incumbent's stipendiary costs. The Parish Fair Share percentage under ECOPS is the three-year average of a parish's assessable income expressed over the total of all the parishes' net assessable income.
Report on Equalized Cost of Priestly Services - October, 2015 (pdf)
Per Diem Clergy
Parishes are responsible for their own annual financial reports, which should be audited under the terms specified in Bylaw B.5.02 Section 9, and also Regulation 5.06.
At the end of each fiscal year, Deloitte & Touche accountants audit three financial reports for the Diocese:
- Consolidated Trust Fund (CTF), which helps parishes manage and invest their trusts, income from bequests, and proceeds from the sale of rectories or other parish property
- Extension Fund, which provides loans to parishes for capital projects.
- Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa. Financial data on Community Ministries, mortgages/promissory notes and parish capital assets are included in this document.
Consolidated Financial Statements, Synod - 2014 (pdf)
CTF Financial Statements - 2014 (pdf)
Extension Fund Financial Statements - 2014 (pdf)
Three fiscal policies, in particular, bring parishes onto ground watched closely by the Property and Finance Committee:
Five-year budget template
To help parishes create a five-year financial budget, there is now a powerful and easy-to-use Excel template available from the Diocese of Ottawa accounting department. It incorporates standard budget categories and calculations that accelerate in-parish financial planning. Its macros let you see, immediately, the impact of any suggested expenditure or revenue over the stretch of years. A preliminary worksheet where you record your own budget assumptions helps make the process both straightforward and deliberate. An additional feature accommodates parishes with outstanding or contemplated loans: the automatic calculation and inclusion of loan financing costs.
Download the latest version of this useful planning tool by clicking the link below. Once you have opened, renamed and saved the file, work your way through the modeling exercise starting with the Model Assumptions tab.
If you require help, simply contact the Director of Financial Ministry by email or at (613) 232-7124 Ext. 241
Forms and advisories - Quick links
Please let the webmaster know if there are other forms you would like to find here.
A parish on occasion might be looking for sources of funds for a capital project or other purpose. There are two organizations that the Synod of Ottawa would mention as compatible funding agencies, both of which provide grants. For more information on these, please consult their websites:
Ontario Trillium Foundation
The diocese administers a modest grant program called Let This Be A Sign Unto You. Parishes in the diocese are invited to apply to the Communications Officer at any time during the year for a subsidy of up to $750. The subsidies are for new signs only.
Sign program guidelines (brochure to come)
Funded by the diocesan operating budget, support grants may be provided to parishes demonstrating a need for assistance. Applications should be submitted to the Synod office, after the Parish Fair Share assessment statement has been received, no later than November 1.
Support Grant Application (doc file);
Housing and rectories
Insurance & risk
The Church Extension Fund provides loans to parishes for construction of new buildings, and the expansion or renovation of existing buildings. The Fund is administered by the Property and Finance Committee and therefore applications, with appropriate documentation,
must be submitted through the Director of Financial Ministry. More information More information
Parish Fair Share
The Synod's operating budget is funded from various sources such as investment income, grants, fees and contributions from all parishes. Contributions from parishes are called "Parish Fair Share" or PFS. The calculation of PFS is complicated, in part because the Diocese takes into account the ability of each parish to pay. When parishes report their income at the end of a fiscal year, the figures are reduced through very specific deductions then finalized as "assessable income". The assessable income total for each parish is the basis of the proportional percentage of the total of all parishes' net incomes.
The PFS calculation is based on the average of the parish's assessable income for the most recent three years. The purpose of averaging is to even out the anomalies that tend to create significant swings in some parishes' apportionment figures from one year to the next. Once these percentages are known, the Synod's budget is proportioned out to each parish.
Parish Fair Share Review Guidelines (April 2016)
Parish Fair Share Explanation
Property and Finance Committee submissions
Parishes must obtain the approval of the Property and Finance Committee before withdrawing any significant amount from the Consolidated Trust Fund (CTF), undertaking any mid- to large-size capital projects, withholding a gift or bequest, or receiving a loan from the Church Extension Fund (CEF). The committee is also pleased to respond to other specific finance-related requests from the parish corporation i.e. churchwardens and incumbent. It meets usually on the second Wednesday of each month (July and August excluded). Your covering letter should summarize the request, clearly stating if it seeks
The deadline for submissions is:
- a withdrawal from the Consolidated Trust Fund,
- an approval for a project,
- permission to withhold a gift or bequest, or
- some other decision
* first Monday of the month (July and August excluded) at the Synod office
Before making a submission be sure to review the
Application Form instructions
and the Decision Rights details
For the application form, click here
For the Decision Rights Matrices, Decision Rights Matrices
Roles and responsibilities
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