Have you ever wonder if accountants spend their nights dreaming up ways to drive the everyday person over the edge? Well, Sometimes we do!! Just kidding. I was checking to see
if you are paying attention.
The truth is that we do spend sleepless nights tossing and turning reviewing countless IRS publications, state issued bulletins, and other very dry boring books to make certain we can assist staff with their allowable and non-allowable expenses. However, I must admit that I really don't spend a lot of sleepless nights worrying about this sort of thing because all of you do a good job of providing us quick answers when we inquire. A few of the places we are especially picky are: mileage logs, gifts, and the ministry purpose.
Mileage logs are very complicated for us. While we trust that staff understand what is allowed and what is not allowed, we have to look at them from the view point of an auditor who may have it out for non-profits, especially Christian ones. So what are we looking for? We are looking for sufficient information that we can type into a search engine such as MapQuest and receive an answer that is close to what you listed. We are not going to be concerned with a difference of a few miles because we understand that there are multiple ways to get to one destination. If we cannot find the location when we type your information into MapQuest, we will ask for additional details on the destination.
Gifts are usually not difficult for us to process, as long as you remember you are limited to $25 per person per gift, you list the number of people who benefit from the gift, and you do not include ISI staff when giving a gift card.
Ministry purpose is very crucial to proving that the expense is related to ISI business. Therefore, we cannot allow vagueness such as "phone", "internet", "food", etc. Any of these one word answers could be for either a personal or a business use. Therefore we need more words to show how that particular expense is used for minister to students.
So, now you have a little bit of insight into the nightly dreams of an accountant at ISI. Hopefully, you will also better understand that we do trust each and every one of you. We know that you are creative individuals and enjoy thinking outside the box as your minister to students and find ways to continually make ministry alive, relatable, and interesting to those who otherwise would not even glance our way. Thank you for all of your hard work.