Statistical Reporting for 2015 is Open!

December 31, 2015

stats300To Our Local Church Pastors, Treasurers, and Membership Secretaries: The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system is now open and available for input of 2015 information.  All statistical information must be entered and complete by Thursday, January 21, 2016.  In order to access the system, you can do so in the following manner:

  • Access http://ezra.gcfa.org to connect to the statistical system login screen.
  • Usernames have been assigned to each church as in the past. Two usernames are available to each church based on the church’s six-digit GCFA number, appended with the letter “p” for the pastor or with the letter “o” for office or other.  For example, a pastor’s username would be 242697p or the office username would be 242697o.  The initial password for each username is stats2015!.  Upon access, you will be asked to change the password before moving forward.  (Other information will be requested; simply follow the prompts for the contact information to be included.)  Once completed, you will be taken to the Statistics Home page.
Once you have accessed the system, a Church User’s Guide (updated to highlight some of the changes in the program) and Instructions for each of the lines of the Tables can be found on the Reports page under the Western No Carolina Conference section.  Additionally, a comparison of the forms from the previous quadrennium and this quadrennium is also included here.  There is also a FAQ document located for some of your questions, as well as a summary listing of common expenses and the line to which they should be assigned.  Additionally, this year, we have recorded a series of videos (six) to aid in your ease of use and understanding of some of the statistical lines.  One of the series speaks to review and accuracy, giving some helpful hints of lines to review before submission.  You can access these on our website at http://wnccumc.org/statistical-reporting-webinar/ and view at your leisure.  A few comments to remember for the 2015 reporting year:
  • GCFA has asked that all information be collected for all church types – Chartered, Mission, or New Church Starts (Unchartered). Radio buttons are included on the Church Info page to indicate your status if other than Chartered.  (If changed, these will be reviewed at the Conference office for accuracy.)  Campuses of existing chartered churches which do not have their own GCFA number – whether designated as new starts or not – should be included in the reporting of the lead or main church.
  • Information should be gathered from the appropriate persons even if they are not the person whom inputs the data. Therefore, financial information should be gathered from the Treasurer, membership data from the Membership Secretary, etc.  Although these persons do not have to sign off on the statistical report, they may be asked to speak to the reported amounts through inquiries regarding variances or validation errors.
  • All information reported should reconcile to information held by the church – whether membership, attendance, or financial records. If computerized membership records are maintained, the information provided should reconcile to that listing.  Financial records should be able to be reconciled to those year-end financial statements completed and audited at the local church.  Additionally, as the pastors must sign off and will be held accountable for the results, this information may be critical to their review before signature and submission.
  • Certain items such as pension and health benefit payments, conference and district apportionments, Special Sunday offerings, and General and Conference Advance specials will be prepopulated from our Conference reports based on your remittances over the course of the year 2015. These will not appear until the Tables are printed.  This upload is expected to take place between January 12 and 14, 2016.  You will be notified via the message board on the welcome screen of Ezra when this has occurred.  Please don’t submit prior to this upload being accomplished.  No changes should be made to these amounts once these have been populated.
  • Please make special note of additional inquiries in Table II, question 31. We have noted that parsonage and parsonage-related assets may not have been included in this line in the past by several of our churches.  Please verify that these have been and continue to be reported in question 31.  Questions 31a and 31b only break down these amounts between church (and other) property and parsonage property.
  • The system is designed to review for certain variances and validations once the “Save” button has been pushed. Should any variances or validations be noted in read, it is critical to include comments regarding the propriety of the variance or review the information for its accuracy to clear the variance or validation error.  Submissions will not be considered complete unless these variances or validations are cleared or contained comments/explanations.
  • Due to popular demand, the Conference office continues to include Line 60a – Grand Total in order for you to see your grand totals which will populate Line 60. A warning has been added to this line for percentage difference between the current and prior years.  If this warning comes up, you will have to provide an explanation in order to save and complete the submission process.
  • You will be required to enter a valid EIN before submitting your statistical reports for 2015.
  • Please take extra care for the accuracy of the information provided. This information will be utilized to calculate and apportion the Conference and district budgets in the coming year.  If changes are noted following submission, please make your district and Conference office aware of the changes.  No changes can be made to the information subsequent to July 31, 2016 as apportionments will have been set at that time for the calendar year 2017.
If you have any questions regarding the system and its input, please do not hesitate to contact your district administrative assistants (the treasure trove of information), myself or Yvonne Gritt at the Conference Treasury Services office. Jennifer Burton Conference Treasurer

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