December 2019 Treasurer's notes

December 2019 Treasurer's notes

December 16, 2019


The last day to have your 2019 apportionment and mission giving reported to 2019 is January 8, 2020. After this date, apportionment payments can still be applied to 2019 balances, but they will not show on your December 2019 statement. They would instead show on your January 2020 statement. Once we have everything recorded through January 8, we will send a notification that the preliminary statement is available on our website. We will ask that you review that statement and let us know of any corrections needed. Please remember that NO NEW money can be added to your December statement AFTER January 8, 2020. The purpose of the preliminary statement is to make sure we have payments that were received before that date allocated properly.

Church statements are available on our website by following this link or by following the link in the email blast that is sent each month when the month is closed.


The Bishop’s Operational Team will be meeting this month to review and discuss all the comments made and received from the Vision 2032 Listening Sessions held throughout the state by Bishop Laurie Haller. It has been very important to us to hear what you think about downsizing the Conference to a more sustainable level and how to best do that.

Below is information on apportionment receipts which remain about the same. Your Conference leadership and many others will continue to work to find areas where we can “do things differently” to reduce structure and expenses. If you have ideas you would like to share, please email


As of November 30, 2019, your Conference Office has received $7,871,533 in apportionments (current and prior years) from a total budget of $14,288,286 or 55.1% of the total budget. This continues to be the lowest percentage received for the first eleven months of any year.

Percentage of Total Apportionments Collected (Current & Prior Years)

Year Apportionment Budget Total Collected Percentage
2019 $14,288,286 $7,871,533 (to date) 68.2% (projected yr end)
2018 $14,794,211 $10,973,012 74.1%
2017 $14,171,974 $11,120,639 78.5%
2016 $14,810,617 $11,801,335 79.7%
2015 $16,014,097 $12,577,435 78.5%
2014 $16,273,502 $12,874,487 79.1%
2013 $15,675,167 $13,274,114 84.7%
2012 $15,623,970 $13,303,847 85.2%

I report various information to the leaders of our conference as well as members of the Council on Finance and Administration. Below is some high-level information I thought I’d share about churches who have paid or not paid apportionments as of November 30, 2019.

Out of the total 747 churches apportioned:
100 have paid 100% of their total for 2019
220 have paid greater than 80% of their total
221 have paid greater than 20% of their total
93 have paid something but less than 20%
113 have paid zero


Your Conference staff continue to work toward transitioning to fewer district locations to reduce our overall expenses. We have vacated all of the offices. District Superintendents will be working from virtual offices, and the four District Administrative Assistants will be tele-commuting. These changes require a different way of working and accessing district office support and is a big change for all our staff especially on the district level. Please be patient with us as we work through changing and improving processes that may affect you.


Letters were mailed/emailed to all church Pastors, Treasurers, Finance Chairs, and church Secretaries/Office Managers the week of December 2nd, 2019 regarding the collection of Statistical Information from local churches for calendar year 2019. Please watch for this letter and keep it on hand as it contains vital information regarding the access to the Ezra system for reporting your information. The submission deadline for this year is Friday, February 14th, 2020. If you are not the person entering this information, please pass this letter along to whomever will be doing the on-line entry of the data.

AUDIT 2019

Our auditors have gathered the 2019 information for the Iowa Annual Conference and Board of Pensions. Part of this pre-work focuses on our internal controls within our Conference and particularly within the Treasurer’s Office to make sure that we are following our policies and procedures. Our auditors return in April for two weeks for field work and our goal is to complete the audit mid-May. We have chosen to have our audit done after the busy time for the CPA firm so that it reduces our costs.


The Conference Center building at 2301 Rittenhouse St, Des Moines, will be closed to the public for the upcoming holidays from Monday, December 23 through Thursday, January 2, 2020. There will be staff working in the Treasurer’s Office during this time period so feel free to contact our individual phone numbers and leave a detailed message or email us if there is something that needs cared for by year end. You can find all staff pictures, emails and phone numbers on the Conference website at

Staff Holidays: Dec 24 & 25, and Jan 1.
Building Regular hours, 8 AM to 4 PM Monday-Friday, will resume on January 2, 2020.


For the past few years, the Conference has offered a webinar providing instructions for your W-2 and Year-End Reporting needs. We would like to invite you again to attend a live webinar that will go over the information regarding clergy W-2 preparation, 1099’s and address any other questions you may have regarding year-end tax forms. At the Treasurer’s Office, we are available to direct you towards resources and answer general questions, but please seek assistance from a tax professional for questions regarding your specific tax circumstances. This live webinar will be offered on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm, and Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 12 noon. Please send any questions you would like addressed by emailing The resources discussed in the webinar are currently available on our website. You do not need to pre-register for these webinars, just click the link below for the Iowa Annual Conference Clergy Tax website page and then click the appropriate link for whichever session you wish to participate in. We will open the webinar 30 minutes in advance to give you plenty of time to get connected, so please connect early! These sessions will also be recorded and made available on the Clergy Tax page (


Normally, the new IRS mileage reimbursement rates for 2020 would have been released by now. However, that is not the case. Current standard mileage rates (effective on Jan. 1, 2019) for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:

  • 58 cents per mile driven for business use
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

It is expected that the 2020 standard mileage rates will be released prior to December 31, 2019.


Using the VANCO system is a great way to electronically submit your monthly apportionment/gifts remittance to the Conference – no postage cost, no checks to write, and less chance for error in applying your remittance. Please visit or contact Kristina Merfeld by email at for more information.

If your church wants to report giving to a non-profit organization in which the monies do not come through the Conference Remittance System, you can report it as a VOUCHER CREDIT. However, in the Vanco System, there is not a way to report voucher credit information, so we ask that you email Kristina Merfeld with any voucher credit information. Please be sure to include your church name and church number in the email and use a subject line of Voucher Credit Information. If you have questions, please let Kristina know.

If you would like to sign up to receive the Treasurer’s Notes monthly, simply go to: http://iaumc-, and sign up for Treasurer’s Notes or any Conference publication.