Home Church Management Church Financial Statements: The Essentials

Church Financial Statements: The Essentials

by Aplos Success Team

Essential Church Financial Statements

This article is intended to help you start tracking your church financial statements. We’ll start by going over the reports your organization needs to operate. Pretty much every type of organization needs two reports, but churches actually need a third report for their accounting.

Learn more about our church reporting tools, budgeting features, and accounting solutions. Try Aplos free for 15 days.

Balance Sheet (or the Statement of Financial Position)

Churches call the traditional balance sheet a statement of financial position. It uses the accounting equation “Assets = Liabilities + Equity” to show a snapshot of your organization’s financial health. It also shows the current balance of each of your funds if you’ve been implementing fund accounting for your church.

Furthermore, an easy way to illustrate this is by saying the things you own, minus what you owe, equals your overall worth. This report will quickly show if your organization owes more than it owns.


See how financial reporting works in Aplos.

Income Statement (or the Statement of Activities)

The income statement, also known as the statement of activities, shows:

Income – Expense = Net Income (Increase in Net Assets)

Your net income equals the money you receive minus the money you spend. Net income also goes by net assets for churches. When viewing this financial statement, it will quickly show whether your church is making more than it is spending.


See how financial reporting works in Aplos.

Statement of Functional Expenses

The statement of functional expenses is where you really see where fund accounting differs from traditional accounting. Furthermore, this report shows not only how much money you’ve spent, but breaks each expense down by fund and category. For instance, it can show the administrative costs across your whole organization. It can also show how much each fund has spent using these accounts. These reports can be very simple to make, assuming you’ve created an effective chart of accounts for your church and have recorded everything properly in your accounting software or on a spreadsheet.

Check out our Ultimate Guide on Church Accounting if you’d like to learn more about proper fund accounting for your church. Also, you can read further on the topic of financial statements.

[Free Webinar] Master Reporting for Your Church

Learn how to customize your chart of accounts to get the reporting you need, and discover options to get more granular reporting for your ministries or locations. During this webinar, you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the essential reports needed to manage a church
  • View the essential parts of a chart of accounts and how it impacts your reporting
  • Learn how to implement granular tracking to better understand the financial health of your ministries

You may also like


geof giles July 4, 2019 - 4:32 pm

does a 501c3 church have to divulge its finances to its members? or can this be a secret

Clay Harmon July 8, 2019 - 11:48 am

Nonprofits do have to submit financial statements including director, officer, and key employee salaries to the IRS on Form 990. The IRS and the nonprofit must disclose Form 990 information to the public.


Leave a Comment