The Diocese of Des Moines
Mission Management

August 20, 2013
Written By: April Young

Looking for Mission Management? 

 

The Diocese of Des Moines' Finance and Technology Departments have moved their blog to Wordpress.com. 

 

Go to http://dmdiofintech.wordpress.com/ for the latest entries and to "Follow" our blog!




July 24, 2013
Written By: April Young

Workshops have been announced for the 2013 ParishSOFT User’s Conference.  Again, this year there is some home-grown talent leading some of the sessions.  This year’s conference will feature THREE presenters from the Diocese of Des Moines: Roni Argetsinger and Laura Hofstrand, both from the diocesan offices, and Michelle Miller, of Christ the King Parish in Des Moines.

 

Additionally, this year are workshops specifically for clergy, including “Technology for Clergy,” for those that wish to beef up their e-vangelization skills, as well as workshops on communications, accounting, and ministry.  Learn more about the workshops by going to the link below.

 

http://conference.parishsoft.com/storage/downloadables/2013-Workshops.pdf




July 17, 2013
Written By: April Young

Registration is already open for the 2013 ParishSOFT User's Conference.  This year's conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland and participants can register for just $395.00 up until September 20th. 

 

Along with presentations and hands-on learning, participants will enjoy a Mass and tour of the Baltimore Basilica followed by an hors d'oeuvre reception at the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Center.

 

Check the flyer for more information!




June 27, 2013
Written By: April Young

In mid-June almost fifty parish and school bookkeepers, business managers, and finance council members were on hand at the Business Office Forum.  It was great to have them together for the co-learning and sharing opportunities.  Attendees learned about the difference between an independent conttractor and an employees and held round-table discussions on ParishSOFT's ConnectNow Accounting program.

 

If you were unable to attend the forums or would like more copies of the handouts, visit the Finance Department website at http://www.dmdiocese.org/business-office-forums.cfm.




June 7, 2013
Written By: April Young

Clergy compensation reporting requires the careful review of many facts and circumstances. New IRS rulings, housing-related expenses, and other allowances will also impact what religious organizations and individuals must report and when.

 

Join this complimentary online session which will provide insight on recent IRS changes concerning compensation and current reporting requirements.

 

Topics include:

 - Ministerial housing allowances

 - Key requirements to make the election

 - Best practices and tips to assist in meeting the requirements

 

Find more information by clicking here.




May 30, 2013
Written By: April Young

We hope you are all staying safe and dry with our recent bout of severe weather! 

 

Click here find an agenda for our Business Office Forums held June 18 and 19.  Again, kindly respond by Friday, June 14 to me at ayoung@dmdiocese.org or (515) 237-5028 with:

  1. Your name
  2. Your parish or school
  3. The forum you plan to attend

We’d also like to request some of your input for a couple of our sessions.

  1. Independent Contractor vs. Employee:
    1. Do you have a situation in your parish or school where you aren’t sure if a person is considered an independent contractor or an employee?
  2. What topics would you like to discuss at the ConnectNow Accounting Roundtables?  Have you found shortcuts or features of ConnectNow Accounting that you would like to make sure your peers are aware of? Are there any functions that you are struggling with and would like to discuss?

Please respond by Monday, June 10th with your suggestions or questions to April Young.




May 22, 2013
Written By: April Young

Please join us for another round of Business Office Forums next month!  Forums will be held:

 

Tuesday, June 18 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Corpus Christi Parish Hall

3304 4th Avenue, Council Bluffs

 

Wednesday, June 19 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Catholic Pastoral Center

601 Grand Avenue, Des Moines

 

RSVP by Friday, June 14 to April Young at ayoung@dmdiocese.org or (515) 237-5028 with

 

1. Your name

2. Your parish or school

3. The forum you plan to attend

 

Additional information, including an agenda, will be available next week.




May 8, 2013
Written By: April Young

Now that the last traces of snow are gone, it is time to start thinking about your parish or school's summer fundraisers!  While preparations are being made for some delicious food and exciting games, remember to also prepare for the safety needs of your parishioners, students, and community.  Catholic Mutual Group has provided some great resources to get you started!

 

Festival/High Risk Events Risk Management Best Practices

 

Catholic Mutual’s Guidelines for Parish Festivals

 




April 4, 2013
Written By: April Young

If you haven’t already heard, the Marriage and Family Life Ministry is hosting two Faith Finances workshops. “Faith Finances came about through the real life experiences of its founder Thomas E. Zordani. After facing a period of homelessness and finding himself and his family in an unimaginable swamp of debt, he began a painstaking journey to gain financial knowledge and wisdom from the ultimate learning source, the Bible! Nothing is more basic than the information regarding finances that is to be found in the Bible.” - http://faithfinances.net/

 

Workshops will be held:

9:00 to 1:00 at Saint Francis of Assisi (7075 Ashworth Road) in West Des Moines on Saturday, April 13, 2013

1:00 to 5:00 at Corpus Christi (Holy Family site, located at 2217 Avenue B) in Council Bluffs on Sunday, April 14, 2013

 

Costs are $15 a person and $20 a couple, and financial assistance is available for event cost. Childcare and snacks will be provided.

 

For more information, please see the Diocesan calendar http://www.dmdiocese.org/diocese-calendar.cfm or contact Adam Storey at astorey@dmdiocese.org or (515) 237-5056.




March 27, 2013
Written By: April Young

The Finance and Technology Departments will be closed on Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 1 in observance of Good Friday and Easter.  Our offices will open again for regular hours on Tuesday, April 2.

 

May you and your families be especially blessed during these holiest of days as we remember the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord. 




March 22, 2013
Written By: April Young

The 2013 ParishSOFT User’s Conference is set for October 20 - 23, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  This conference is an incredible opportunity to learn and network in a uniquely Catholic environment. The conference not only provides hands-on training from the “horse’s mouth” and to connect with parish and diocesan staff from all over the country.  Early bird registration is opening soon and is just $395.00.

 

Included in this year's conference is Mass and a tour at the Baltimore Basilica, America's First Cathedral.  For more information and a beautiful video on the Basilica, visit ParishSOFT's website.

 

And be sure to subscribe to ParishSOFT’s Conference news so you can be kept in the loop!




March 11, 2013
Written By: April Young

With the recent swath of winter weather, we can hardly believe that spring is just around the corner. But as we await the hope of the Resurrection this Easter, we also await, with hope, the melting of the snow and the new growth of spring.

 

And along with spring comes spring cleaning!  Although not always a favorite task, some of these simple steps can save your parish or school from potential liability risks and more costly repairs.

 

Below you will find a checklist of potential maintenance or repairs provided by Catholic Mutual Group:

 

Parking Lots

  • Look out for any holes or large cracks that can cause trips, falls, and water accumulation. Temporarily fill the holes with sand or hire a contractor (for blacktop) or mason (for concrete) to fill in the holes and cracks.

  • Repaint speed bumps, curbs and other raised surfaces with yellow safety paint to make them as visible as possible.

  • Poorly marked or hard-to-see barriers can actually increase the likelihood of an accident. Typical methods of cordoning off parking lots, like draping chains or cables across lot entrances, can be hard to see, especially in low light or poor weather. These obstacles pose a threat to cyclists, skateboarders, motor vehicles and pedestrians. If you are using chains and cables, use high visibility, flexible plastic tubing to cover the length of the chain or cable. In addition, consider attaching hanging signs to barriers to 1.) increase visibility and 2.) warn trespassers.

Stairs and Railings

  • Inspect exterior steps to ensure there is no cracking or chipping on the edge where the riser meets the tread. 

  • Check handrails to make sure they are not loose or damaged.

Roofs and Drain Pipes

  • Check for loose or missing gutters or flashing.

  • Repair damage to lightning rods.

  • Clear leaves and debris from exterior drains.

  • Inspect roofs and replace missing slates or shingles.

  • Service sump pumps before the spring rains come.

Walkways and Lawns

  • Remove and dispose of dead branches, trees or shrubs that may cause trips and falls.

  • Inspect sidewalks and lawns for damage or holes that may present a tripping hazard.

  • If pesticides are used for lawn care, post warning signs on lawns for at least 72 hours after pesticide use.

  • If there is a playground on your property, check the impact surface which often gets displaced in the winter. Make sure the surfaces around and under play equipment have a minimum of 9” to 12” of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.




February 22, 2013
Written By: April Young

We are pleased to invite all pastors, principals, business managers, bookkeepers, and parish finance council members to our next Business Office Forums.  In respect of our attendees' time and travel, we’ve decided to hold the forums in correlation with the ADA packet pick up. 

 

Please take a look at the dates and locations below and let me know which you plan to attend by March 1.  We will be sending out more information about our topics very soon!

 

Thursday, March 7 – 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.    

Saints Peter and Paul

106 West 6th Street, Atlantic

 

Thursday, March 14 – 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

LaMair Mulock Condon Co

4200 University Avenue, West Des Moines




February 15, 2013
Written By: April Young

A group of Des Moines area parish secretaries met on Thursday, February 14th to talk all things “parish office.”  This meeting focused around the use of the ParishSOFT Family Directory software tool.  Roni Argetsinger from the Diocese was invited to present on the new/upcoming web based ParishSOFT ConnectNow tools.  A “Round Table” discussion then ensued around various uses of the current ParishSOFT desktop software applications. 

 

Agenda items also included other aspects of this parish staff position too.  Attendees offered advice and optional methods of performing tasks to their colleagues.  The group felt that this type of gathering was so beneficial that they will continue to hold these meetings on an ongoing quarterly basis! 




February 6, 2013
Written By: April Young

I open up my email and see a message that reads, “Roni Argetsinger wants to connect with you on Linked In.”  I think, “Cool! I like Roni.  I’d like to connect with her on Linked In.  I’ll bet that she’s connected to some parish staff or staff from other dioceses that I could connect with, too.  I’ll just click on this link here…”  The problem is…..Roni didn’t send this email message to me!  And the link doesn’t really direct my web browser to the official Linked In website!

 

Phishing emails are very common and are a popular way to contract viruses onto your PC or network.  Securing the Human provides some great information on what email phishing attacks are and how to protect yourself from them.  http://www.securingthehuman.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201302_en.pdf

 

Security the Human provides crucial user education from the SANS institute.  “The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Its programs now reach more than 165,000 security professionals around the world. A range of individuals from auditors and network administrators, to chief information security officers are sharing the lessons they learn and are jointly finding solutions to the challenges they face.”  For more information visit http://www.sans.org/about/sans.php.




January 30, 2013
Written By: April Young

According to the IRS the Standard Mileage Rate increased one center per mile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.  While the diocese does not impose a standard rate for all reimbursed mileage, the Priest Compensation Letter does make it a policy to follow the IRS rate when reimbursing priests for mileage.  Effective January 1, 2013, any priest who submits monthly mileage in excess of 400 miles per month will be reimbursed for the excess business mileage at the current rate allowed by the IRS at 56.5 cents (current IRS rate for 2013) per mile.  Priests who provide weekend assistance are to be reimbursed at the current IRS rate ($.565 for 2013).

 

Please visit the IRS website at the link below for more information:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/2013-Standard-Mileage-Rates-Up-1-Cent-per-Mile-for-Business,-Medical-and-Moving




January 23, 2013
Written By: April Young

It is that time of the year for W-2’s!  Here are a few important reminders before you start preparing W-2s:

  1. 403b deductions should be recorded on an employee’s W-2.  The total amount withheld from an employee should be recorded in Box 12 of the W-2 with code “E”.  Instructions on how to do this in ConnectNow Payroll are in the Payroll Training guide (attached) on page 33. 
     
  2. Health Insurance premiums do not need to be recorded on W-2’s (for the majority of the parishes & schools in the Diocese).  Only employers who are issuing 250 or more W-2’s need to record this amount on the W-2.  Parishes with Schools might want to double check to make sure they have less than 250 W-2’s.
     
  3. For Parishes/Schools that utilize ConnectNow Accounting for Payroll:
    1.  Before running your W-2’s please follow the below instructions from ParishSOFT. 

From Payroll, click Forms > Edit Employee W-2 information > Reprocess All.

The program doesn’t automatically update the W-2’s each time payroll is run (this would be a major process every time they needed to reprint a w-2 before April 15th of the year!).  So the clients need to tell the program to pop the new year’s information in by Reprocessing All before they begin.
 

Once they Reprocess All, the system will insert that Calendar YTD info into the W-2 automatically.

  1. No longer do you need to use pre-printed forms to print W-2’s in ConnectNow!  Copy B (the one given to the employee) of the W-2 should be printed on blank white perforated paper that can be cut into fourths (per IRS guidelines).  You can purchase this through ParishSOFT or at most office supply stores.   You should be able to use this same paper for multiple years (since it is blank).   All other copies (including the W-3) can be printed on plan white paper. 

If you have any additional questions, please contact ParishSOFT (for ConnectNow Payroll users) or the Diocesan Finance Department at finance@dmdiocese.org or (515) 237-5028




January 18, 2013
Written By: April Young

In an effort to communicate on a more regular basis and to use the resources available to us, the Diocesan Finance and Technology Departments have begun a blog! 


Included in this new blog will be information previously shared by Diocesan Finance and Technology Newsletter, including risk management, ParishSOFT ConnectNow Accounting and Census programs, internal controls, tax information, reminders about special collections, and links to valuable resources.  Communicating in this manner will also enable us to provide more information in smaller bits.

Mission Management will replace our newsletter and will be the main form of communication to you, our wonderful parishes and schools, so we encourage you to “Subscribe” simply by going to our blog, entering your email address, click “Subscribe” and hit Submit!  Once you subscribe, you will be notified that the blog has been updated each time we add a new story.

 

We also invite you to comment and enter into dialogue with us on any topic!  You may do so by clicking on “Post a Comment” at the bottom of each story.  A window will pop up that will allow you to enter in your information and comments or questions.  The beauty of a blog is to have a place where all can share comments and ideas as well as learn from their peers.


We are proud to join the other great diocesan blogs as we use technology to share stories and information with our parishes, schools, constituents, and peers.  Watch for regular updates!