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It doesn’t take much to convince a church leadership team that working with a CPA is a good idea. It takes the enormous pressure of financial responsibilities off of your shoulders and brings a knowledgeable and trained professional in to make sure you stay compliant and responsible with your financial practices.

What kind of CPA should you work with, though? Before you go out and hire the first qualified accountant you can find, we challenge you to restrict your search with one added parameter: look for a Christian CPA

Here’s why.

1. Christian CPAs Observe Stricter Ethical Financial Practices

All accountants are expected to follow GAAP protocols. These are the accounting standards, methods, and practices set down by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and they include basic principles that should guide most accountants.

Of course, just because there are rules in place doesn’t guarantee that someone will follow them. This is true in every area of life, and accounting is no exception. Accountants can bend the rules and, at times, even break them, leading to detrimental consequences for their clients. 

By working with a Christian CPA, you have the added peace of mind that they are operating not just as a financial professional but as a believer. This adds a layer of sincerity and transparency to their financial planning that is hard to achieve without strong, faith-based ethical standards.

2. Christian CPAs Speak the Language

When you work with a Bible-believing CPA, you can expect them to understand the lingo. Churches are well-known for speaking with their own vernacular, something that many fondly refer to as “Christianese.” 

While fun, using phrases like “covered in the blood” and “laying on of hands” is confusing for someone outside of the church. A Christian CPA will already be comfortable with this Biblical “dialect” and will be able to understand what’s going on within your ministry without the need for an interpreter.

3. Christian CPAs Have a Stewardship Mentality

Christians have a natural call to be good stewards. This means they have a Bible-based worldview on how they should earn, manage, and spend their resources — including their money. 

It’s a concept that applies on a ministry-wide level as well as a personal one. It’s also something that you want your financial team to be on board with if they’re going to help manage your ministry’s finances.

A Christian CPA will understand the importance of being a good steward of money. They can grasp the need to make wise decisions based on Biblical principles. This gives them the confidence to speak up and challenge financial decisions, whether it’s blowing a Christmas budget, making an unnecessary hire, or anything in between. 

4. Christian CPAs Understand Church Potential

Running a church may feel like a business at times, but at the end of the day, the spiritual, non-profit mentality changes a church’s overall focus and investment strategy. Practical operations may be beholden to paying bills, maintaining your building, and so on. But at the end of the day, your goal isn’t to grow revenue streams or have a larger profit margin.

A Christian CPA is able to differentiate between the importance of running a tight ship and the need to differentiate from secular business success metrics. While money is important in the sense that it keeps your church running, it isn’t the end goal. A good, Christ-centered CPA will be able to maintain your ministry’s financial “ship of state” without making it the primary reason you exist as a legal organization.

5. Christian CPAs Provide Kingdom-Minded Guidance

When you work with a Christian CPA, you can expect them to not just follow Biblical guidance but get in on the process, too. When they are operating in the Spirit and willing to pray and seek the Lord, your CPA can become a trusted source of financial consulting.

You can come alongside your CPA confident that they are operating with a Kingdom-building mentality. When that happens, you can pursue the Lord’s will for your church’s finances together. This turns even practical things, like planning year-end giving campaigns or finding tax deductions, into Kingdom-focused, God-honoring activities.

Working With a Christian CPA

There may be many benefits to working with a Christian CPA. Finding one, though, can be a bit of a challenge. 

That’s why at Chaney & Associates, we partner exclusively with churches and faith-based non-profits. We operate as a Christian accounting firm that enables you to focus on your ministry while we focus on the finances.

If you’re concerned about passing off your finances to a traditional accountant, it’s a reasonable hesitation. The last thing you want to do is sow discord among your staff by bringing in a secular, world-minded individual to oversee financial decisions. Instead, reach out to our team, and we can begin to build a partnership that you can trust will keep every penny focused on your church’s ministry.

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