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Budget vs. Actuals

When you look at a church's year-end budget vs. actuals, you're essentially comparing their financial roadmap to the actual journey they took. Here's a breakdown:

  • Budget: This is the plan, outlining how much income the church expected to receive (tithes, offerings, fundraising events) and how much they planned to spend on various ministries, staff salaries, utilities, and other expenses. It's like a map showing where the church intended to go financially for the year.

  • Actuals: This is the reality, reflecting the church's actual income and expenses throughout the year. It shows how much money actually came in and how much was spent on each budgeted item. Think of it as the record of the actual financial path the church took.

By comparing these two side-by-side, you can see:

  • Variances: Are there any significant differences between what was budgeted and what actually happened? Did the church receive more or less income than expected? Did certain ministries spend more or less than planned?

  • Financial health: Is the church generating enough income to cover its expenses? Are they operating within their means, or is there a deficit?

  • Efficiency: Are there areas where the church could be spending more or less effectively?


Overall, the budget vs. actuals report is a financial checkup for the church. It helps leaders assess their financial performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about future budgets.

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