2015 Finance and Proposed Budget
The Diocese, with input and oversight from of the Executive Council and its Finance Committee, has continued to focus on improvements to the financial affairs of the Diocese during the current year. An overriding goal continues to be the achievement of increased transparency in all financial affairs and financial reporting of the Diocese.
The financial statements of the Diocese have been audited by the audit firm of Hood & Strong. A copy of the complete financial statements and the independent auditors’ report are available on the website of the Diocese.
In the pages following this letter I have included a summary of the financial statements of the Diocese for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Financial Results for Calendar 2014
The financial books and records of the Diocesan Corporation are composed of four separate funds:
- the Operating Fund
- the Custodial Fund
- the Endowment Fund
- the Deferred Gifts Fund
The Diocesan Corporation in total achieved an increase in total net assets of $111,801 during 2014. This increase was primarily due to the growth and investment returns from the investments of the Endowment Fund. As noted in last year’s convention reports, at the beginning of 2012 the management of the endowment’s invested funds was transferred to The Investment Fund for Foundations (“TIFF”), a nonprofit investment organization that serves only foundations, endowments and other nonprofit entities. Pursuant to the resolution passed by Convention in October 2013 that fifteen percent of the diocesan endowment be invested in socially responsible investments (SRI) over three years, ten percent of the Endowment Fund’s invested assets have been transferred to SRI funds managed by Fund X (a San Francisco investment firm) and were invested in 100% socially responsible investments. Another five percent will be transferred in early 2016.
The Operating Fund of the Diocese (which reflects the operating income and expenses of the Diocese) had a small surplus for the 2014 year. The primary sources of revenue for the Operating Fund are assessment income, gifts and the annual income distribution from the Endowment Fund.
At the end of 2014 the Diocese had outstanding loans to various parishes, missions and Diocesan organizations of approximately $3.5 million under its program of providing financial assistance for Diocesan organizations seeking assistance for capital improvements to their properties. The Diocese continues to provide both payroll and personnel benefits services to related churches and organizations within the Diocese, a service that is offered in very few other Episcopal dioceses. At the end of 2014 the Diocese had receivables of approximately $1.6 million for payroll/benefit advances under this program.
2015 Forecast and 2016 Budget
The Operating Fund is expected to operate at close to a break-even position in the current 2015 year, consistent with the approved 2015 operating budget
The proposed assessment rate for 2016 continues to be the lower assessment rate approved by Convention in 2011, with a top rate of 17% (versus a top rate of 20% in previous years).
The Program & Budget Committee and the Executive Council have recommended a 2016 Operating Fund budget that will result in a balanced budget for the year with a small surplus. A copy of this proposed 2016 budget is included in the following pages. This budget currently reflects a cost of living increase for salaries estimated at 3.0% and an expected increase in the cost of medical and other personnel benefits estimated at 8.0%. The actual cost of living increase as measured by the San Francisco Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the year ending June 30, 2015 was 2.3%, and in keeping with prior years’ practice, the actual percentage increase as of June 30 is submitted to Convention for its approval as the recommended COLA for 2016 salaries.
Financial Policies and Procedures
The Finance Committee of the Executive Council holds monthly teleconference meetings to review the financial affairs of the Diocese. Its monthly discussions include a review of the year to date operating financials, the aging of receivables from the parishes and missions, and the line of credit loan facility available to parishes and other Diocesan institutions. A summary of these meetings is then presented at each month’s Executive Council meeting.
Three other committees of the Executive Council also have significant involvement in the financial affairs of the Diocese:
- The Program and Budget Committee prepares the recommended Operating Fund budget for the coming year, which is then presented to the full Executive Council and subsequently to Diocesan Convention.
- The Investment Committee has oversight responsibility for the investments of the Endowment Fund.
- The Audit Committee is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the financial affairs of the Diocese are audited by an independent auditor and that appropriate accounting policies and internal controls are established and followed.
Thanks are due to the members of this year’s Program & Budget Committee, who worked diligently to prepare the proposed budget for the coming year. Members of this year’s committee were Roulhac Austin, Mike Chambers, Matthew Dutton-Gillett, Shelton Ensley, Joe Jennings, Jim McConnell, Joyce Parry Moore, Kathy Trapani, Mauricio Wilson, Tom Ferguson and Bob McCaskill.
All of the assets of the Corporation Sole except for its real estate holdings were transferred to the Diocesan Corporation in December 2009. A separate report on the financial position of the Corporation Sole follows this report.
The Diocese and its member churches continue to experience financial constraints, and it is likely that we will continue to see many of our parish churches suffer from the strain of limited financial resources. This calls for the Diocese to be particularly mindful of its fiduciary responsibilities for the financial welfare of the Diocese and all of its churches and missions.
I want to express my thanks to Tom Ferguson, Jim Forsyth, Tanya Avrutin, Sarah Crawford and all of the staff at Diocesan House for their hard work and assistance over the past year.
Robert McCaskill, Treasurer
In May 2008 the Special Convention of the Diocese adopted governance revisions stipulating that the Corporation Sole be merged or otherwise incorporated into the Diocesan Corporation to the extent feasible by January 1, 2011. However, the Convention resolution also provided that in the event that such a merger or other incorporation would result in a loss of assets to the combined entity, the Corporation Sole shall continue to survive to the extent necessary to preserve its assets.
As previously reported to Convention, a conclusion was reached that all of the assets and liabilities of the Corporation Sole could be transferred to the Diocesan Corporation without significant costs except for the real property holdings of the Corporation Sole. Transfers of real property in California are subject to significant real estate transfer taxes; religious and nonprofit entities are not exempt from these transfer taxes. In December 2009 all of the assets of the Corporation Sole other than its real estate properties were transferred to the Diocesan Corporation.
During 2014 the Corporation Sole received the balance of the insurance proceeds relating to the 2012 fire damage at Good Shepherd Church in Berkeley, and used these proceeds for the rebuilding and repairs to the church. The balance sheet of the Corporation Sole as of December 31, 2014 (shown in the following pages) reflects the 33 real estate properties which continue to be held by the Corporation Sole.
Robert McCaskill, Treasurer
- 5.0% assessment on the first $70,314 of a parish or mission’s operating income for 2014 as defined on Line A of the 2014 parochial report
- 17.0% assessment on all such income above $70,314, provided that:
- No parish or mission shall have an increase over 2015’s initial assessment (before appeals) of more than 50% or $17,500, whichever is less.
Resolved, That effective January 1, 2016, the minimum annual compensation for clergy employed full time by the Diocese of California and by any parish or mission thereof shall be increased by 2.3% as reflected in the 2016 Mandatory Minimum Salary Schedule shown below.
Resolved, That years of experience be defined as years of credited service with The Church Pension Fund.
2016 Mandatory Minimum Compensation Including Self Employment Tax
1. That any deviation below these minimums will be permitted by the Bishop for serious cause, with the Bishop using the Personnel Practices Commission as a council of advice.
2. That employers of all clergy pay to each cleric 50% of the self-employment tax assessed on the cleric's base compensation as a portion of total compensation (7.65% of base compensation). This amount is included in the schedule above.
3. The Personnel Practices Committee strongly urges all churches, whenever possible, to increase the clergy and lay staff compensation by 2.3% for 2016 to accommodate for inflation.
4. That the minimum transportation allowance be $0.57.5/mile for congregation-related travel and is to be adjusted in accordance with IRS published rates for 2016.
5. That associate clergy minimums are based on the cleric's years of service at two grade levels below actual congregation classification.
Note: The compensation increase is based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose for the twelve months ending June 30th, 2015.
Resolution as passed at the 1999 Diocesan Convention:
Resolved: That the proposed salary standards for clergy in the Diocese of California, as reflected in the joint report of the Personnel Practices Committee and the Clergy Compensation Task Force, are approved and shall be effective on a voluntary basis for the years 2000-2004, and shall become mandatory for 2005 and later years.