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​6.3.3 ​Banking Relationship​​

​​​​​​​​​​​All funds, including weekly collections, tuition and fees, support receipts, sports program proceeds, scrip, bingo, gifts, and any other revenues are to be processed in approved bank accounts and reflected in monthly and annual reports.

Local accounts are bank and investment/brokerage accounts maintained by locations that are not on deposit with the archdiocesan Investment Pool. As part of the monthly bank reconciliation process, locations must confirm that they are not retaining more than three months' worth of total operating expenses in the aggregate (as specified in the annual report) in their local unrestricted fund operating accounts. All amounts in excess of three months' worth of operating expenses shall be transferred to the Investment Pool.

Bank Account Titles and Tax Identification Numbers

All banking accounts must be established under the name:

"The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles (a Corporation Sole) the [name of the location]"

Each location in the archdiocese is assigned a separate location account number by the Financial Services Group and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.

The location's EIN must be used on every school bank account.

Note: Locations may not use any other archdiocesan EIN or tax identification numbers without prior authorization by Financial Services Group and/or the Office of the Legal Counsel. The USCCB Group Ruling number may not be used on any documentation.

Subaccounts (e.g., fiesta and other parish or school groups) of the main location account do not get their own EIN.

6.3.3.1 Bank Account Signatories

Parish accounts – required signatories:

Elementary school and parish high school accounts – required signatories:

Archdiocesan high school accounts – required signatories:

For other allowable authorized signatories for the accounts listed ​above, see Parish/School Bank Accounts - Signature Cards and Petty Cash Guidelines.

In the event of any change in authorized signatures, new signature cards must be prepared.

To facilitate changes in signatories or the creation of additional accounts, the archdiocese has established global signatory arrangements for the archbishop and moderator of the curia with Union Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America and is pursuing similar arrangements with other banks with a substantial number of archdiocesan accounts. Locations should contact the Financial Services Group for information on these arrangements.

For other circumstances and to facilitate signatory changes, appropriate signature cards are obtained from the bank in which the account is kept and:

  • Filled out completely using current signature cards as a sample

  • Signed by the principal and/or pastor as required and other designated signer(s)

  • Sent to the Financial Services Group for the signatures of the other designated signers

After the signatures have been obtained, the revised signature cards will be returned to the location for delivery to the bank and copies of all signature cards are then retained by the location.

6.3.3.2 Bank Account Controls

No authorized signer should approve a check made out to himself or herself (except regular payroll) and may not approve check requests for himself or herself. Another authorized signer should sign the check and approve check requests, as applicable. An exception is made when the pastor is the only local authorized signer on a parish account.

Blank checks should be kept in locked locations and should not be signed in advance of preparation; checks should be made available to authorized signers only after preparation.

Elementary school principals are restricted from signing checks over $3,000. Any checks requiring payment of more than $3,000 must be signed by the pastor.

High school principals are restricted from signing checks over $20,000. Any checks over $20,000 may be signed by the high school principal, provided that the expenditure has been authorized by the proper person.

6.3.3.3 Bank Statements

Bank statements and any related credit card statements may be received by the location in hard or electronic copy, but in all cases the location should review all bank statements and copies of checks, electronic transfers, and other transactions.

For schools, the principal shall make a preliminary review and should confirm review by signature or electronic notation of review on the statement.

For parishes, the pastor/administrator and business manager shall make a preliminary review and should confirm review by signature or electronic notation of review on the statement.

Bank statements must be reconciled within 10 days of receipt by a financial staff member not directly involved in the receipt or disbursement of funds and all discrepancies are to be addressed immediately with the bank or the related credit card company.

For archdiocesan high schools, a copy of the bank statement should be forwarded to the Department of Catholic Schools, together with the monthly report, by the due date prescribed.

6.3.3.4 Credit Cards

A parish or school credit card can be used only for authorized parish or school transactions. Any other use, including any use for personal purposes, is subject to employee discipline, including termination. Any person who becomes aware of any irregularity with credit card use at a location must report the irregularity immediately to the Office of Financial Services, or report it anonymously by telephone at 855-420-8644 or via the EthicsPoint™ website. See Whistle-Blowing.

A personal credit card may be used for reimbursable employee expenses only with the consent of the pastor (for parishes and schools) or the principal (for high schools). They must be used with care and all transactions and reimbursements are to be included in the budget and the monthly and annual reports.

Permission and Authorized Signers

Prior to applying for a school or parish credit card, archdiocesan high schools are required to obtain permission from the Department of Catholic Schools and parishes and parish schools are required to obtain permission from the pastor. Only persons authorized to sign on the location's bank account may apply for a credit card. Credit card limits must be consistent with the financial signature authority for the location. If a location has more than one credit card, the total limits on all credit cards may not exceed the financial signature authority for that location.

The credit card(s) should be kept locked in the principal's office (for schools) or the parish business manager's office (for parishes) and checked out only by the authorized user, with the principal's or parish business manager's permission.

Documentation

Before the credit card is checked out, a purchase order should be filled out detailing the purchases to be made and then signed by the appropriate supervisor.

After the purchases are made and charged, the purchase receipt(s) must be turned in immediately to the bookkeeper and the credit card must be returned to the principal's or parish business manager's office. The bookkeeper should review the credit card charges against the monthly statement before making payment. If an invoice is missing, a detailed explanation of the charges must be attached and signed by the principal or parish business manager. The signed purchase order and the purchase receipts should be attached to the monthly statement and kept on file. All credit card transactions must be accounted for in the monthly and annual reports.

If the pastor, parish business manager, or principal uses a credit card, the same procedure regarding obtaining supporting documentation must be followed.

6.3.3.5 P-Cards

P-cards are debit cards and are preferable to credit cards. Not all locations may qualify for P-card use. Contact the Financial Services Group for guidance.

6.3.3.6 Petty Cash

Petty cash should only be used for small, unplanned, occasional purchases. All petty cash activity must be:

  • Carefully monitored in a petty cash log

  • Recorded in the log

  • Reconciled monthly

  • Recorded in the general ledger

Petty cash accounts should not exceed $300 in an elementary school, high school, or parish.

For additional information, see Parish/School Bank Accounts - Signature Cards and Petty Cash Guidelines.

In lieu of petty cash, locations should obtain and use a P-card or location credit card for such items as postage and small office needs and then account for the same items in the monthly and annual reports. Cash and the credit card or P-card are to be kept in a locked, fire-resistant cabinet or a safe.

6.3.3.7 Payroll

For information about payroll refer to Payroll-Record Requirements.

Payroll Services

Locations are required to use one of the archdiocesan-approved outside payroll services (ADP, Paychex, and TCM). Each location needs to assure that it has contracted for the payroll service to provide the full range of services required by the archdiocese. See Checklist for Payroll Services (HR intranet; username and password required).

Classification of Paid Staff

Paid staff members must be properly classified for wage and hour purposes according to the classifications identified in Staff Categories, Employee Classification, and Wage Rules.

Paid staff must also be properly classified according to workers' compensation classifications (which are not the same as exempt/non-exempt). See the list of California Workers' Compensation Standard Classifications.

6.3.3.8 Archdiocesan Assessment and Special Collections

Assessments


In accordance with canon law, the archdiocese levies an assessment of 10% on the ordinary income of parishes for the support of archdiocesan services (Canon 1263). Prior to 2008, the assessment was 8% but it has been increased, with the concurrence of the archdiocesan Finance Council and other consultative bodies, to 10% in order to facilitate the ongoing ministries, programs, and services of the archdiocese. The parish assessment is also used to fund the archdiocesan assessment required by the California Catholic Conference and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The parish assessment billing is included in the overall monthly billing from the Archdiocesan Catholic Center; this is generally referred to as the Monthly Invoice.

Special Collections

The archdiocese conducts several special collections during the year, such as the Holy Land Collection (Good Friday), Peter's Pence (Collection for the Holy Father), and National Needs Combined Collection. The receipts for these collections are to be forwarded to the archdiocesan Office of ​Financial Services within 45 days of the date of the collection. These funds may not be commingled with the parish's general collection.

Near the end of each calendar year, the moderator of the curia sends a letter with the dates when each of these special collections are to be taken up in the parishes. 

6.3.3.9 Purchases of Supplies and Materials

Do not make any purchase or place any order without authorization from the pastor, principal, or his or her delegate. Before issuing authorization, the purchase order must be evaluated with respect to specific budget provisions and/or unallocated funds of the proper account. Subject to the guidelines in the budgeting process, each location must establish clear and precise processes for purchasing, receiving, storing, and distributing supplies and materials of any kind that the location uses by:

  • Using numbered purchase requisitions, supply requisitions, and purchase orders

  • Verifying that the contents of any shipment agree with the purchase invoice

  • Providing for adequately protected storage and stock records, usually in some form of perpetual inventory

  • Accepting all cash in the location office only and issuing receipts; moderators of ministries or extracurricular activities and other individuals may not collect or keep cash in their offices

  • Requiring supporting documentation before disbursements can be paid (e.g., prior written approval of purchase orders, invoices, check requests, or receipts by the pastor or principal or by a designated approving location employee)

  • Keeping all supporting documentation in the location business office

All disbursements should be made by written or electronic check that is entered into the location's cash disbursement system (e.g., Quickbooks or Quicken). Do not make disbursements from incoming cash receipts for any reason.

6.3.3.10 Vehicles

Purchase Policy


The archdiocese owns and insures certain cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles used at locations throughout the archdiocese. The vehicles are registered in the name of The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, a corporation sole. Currently, the archdiocese provides vehicles to priests in active ministry and arranges for vehicles to be provided to priests at retirement. Particular policies concern the pricing, insurance, and other conditions of such priest ownership. See the Transportation section in​ Clergy – Priests​.

Vehicles used in archdiocesan operations, such as at the cemeteries, as well as vehicles used at schools and other locations are managed by the Archdiocesan Catholic Center (ACC) through the moderator of the curia and the chief financial officer. No vehicles may be acquired or transferred without appropriate consents from the ACC.

The authorized purchaser must notify the archdiocesan Insurance Department immediately when an archdiocesan, parish, or school car is purchased. Send the completed Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles Automobile Addition/Deletion/Change Notice ​​to the insurance department and mail, fax, or email it to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

All California Certificates of Title (or the older Ownership Certificates often called "pink slips") for vehicles used by parishes and schools are retained by the location. All certificates for ACC automobiles are retained by the archdiocesan Insurance Department.

Leasing Policy

Vehicles may not be leased or financed.

Policy When Selling Cars

Since the Department of Motor Vehicles requires the legal owner of the vehicle to sign the Certificate of Title (or the older Ownership Certificate often called​ a "pink slip"), the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability, and the Bill of Sale, the ACC assists locations by completing and filing the aforementioned forms for the location.

The location must deliver the unsigned Certificate of Title (or the "pink slip") to the moderator of the curia at the ACC. The Insurance Department is notified and it processes the papers to release the archdiocese from liability.

All archdiocesan cars are sold "as is" to third parties and there are no warranties whatsoever. ​