Planning and budgeting
The overall direction and priorities for Mercy Central are set out in its 5-year strategy, “Living Life – On My Own Two Feet”.
Each year, in the final quarter, a plan and budget are agreed for the following financial year by the Mercy Central Trustees. These provide the means by which the strategy is progressively implemented.
A significant one-off donation received from Network Vineyard Church early in the life of Mercy Central has provided the ability to progressively develop the work of the charity, by using it to augment other income streams, which continue to be developed.
It is crucially important that the activities and programmes of Mercy Central are developed in a sustainable way to enable the charity to maintain and increase its impact in the local community. With this in mind, opportunities for growth in services will be constantly reviewed, while reserves levels will be progressively, but prudently, reduced over the coming years. The final reserves target will be assessed in the light of circumstances. However, given the risk of income variability and on-going commitments, the current target is for Mercy Central to maintain a level of unrestricted funds of between three and six months’ operating expenditure.
Financial reports on income, expenditure, outstanding commitments and reserves levels are available as required and routinely produced on a quarterly basis. Financial performance is a standing item for discussion at each meeting of the Mercy Central Trustees.
Financial processes and controls
All financial transactions are carried out online, and the Treasurer is responsible for making those transactions. As this means that only one signatory is required, the following processes and controls have been put in place:
- All expense claims are submitted on an expenses form, with corresponding receipts attached (which are retained securely for audit purposes for a period of seven years). These expenses are countersigned by budget holders before payment is made
- Any expense over £1,000 (with the exception of payroll) must be approved by the Chair or in his/her absence, another of the Trustees
- Bank statements are uploaded to Google Drive along with a copy of the balance sheet from Quickbooks so that Mercy Central Trustees can check at any point that the balances match
Salaries are agreed by the Mercy Central Trustees annually and implemented thereafter. Mercy Central staff are employed by NVC and seconded under a formal Secondment Agreement to Mercy Central. NVC invoices Mercy Central for costs incurred.
(Policy approved by Mercy Central Trustees – 30.04.18)