Introducing The Financial Four

This week, we introduce The Financial Four, an update from our volunteer Acting Director of Finance, Missy Sue Mastel. Look for these financial updates going forward, which will appear near the lead of our weekly HaLuach e-newsletter.

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Donation_CBSYellowDear Fellow Congregants,

Not many people get excited about doing their finances, but I do!

Many of you only know me as the wife of the Board President, Scott Horwitz, or the mother of those two weird and wonderful b’nai mitzvot, Josh and Sara Horwitz, who again read Torah this weekend in honor of their father’s 50th birthday. However, I'm also your volunteer Acting Director of Finance, a CPA and a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant), and I have run a successful forensic auditing firm for the last 20 years — the same 20 years we have been members of Beth Sholom. I have served on your Finance Committee and been a Board Treasurer, so when I say that your synagogue is my synagogue, I mean it with all my heart.

I thought it was time to share with you some of the financial highlights of the last few months, particularly those developments that have occurred since the Town Hall, so that you can have a feel for what we have accomplished together as a organization. Let’s call it The Financial Four — four things you should know about Congregation Beth Sholom finances and "where it all goes."

1. A+ on our 2015 review. Our 2015 financials were reviewed in March by the accounting firm of Crosby and Kaneda — we passed with flying colors. We have the beginnings of a new audit committee - two external, Jewish Community Federation professionals with extensive financial experience, who also reviewed and approved the report.

2. A Happy Lender. One week after our most recent bank meeting with First Republic, a set of March 31, 2016, financial statements were produced, including a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a statement of cash flows. The bank thanked us for our super-quick and up-to-date turn around!

3. Cancel and pay off the credit cards! In January, we stopped use on all credit cards and began work to account for and reconcile credit cards and their misuse. Thanks to some great volunteers including Ruth Jaffe, Suzanne Lissak, Gail Ravitz, Sandy Goldstein, Harriet Sollod, and Willy Waks, we have been able to get the credit cards under control, and as of May 6, 2016, they are all paid off. We hope to create new expense policies and controls in the coming summer months.

4. April Fool’s - not for this synagogue! While all synagogues run at a deficit, in order to balance the losses from the first half of the current fiscal year, CBS needed to find a way to create positive months for the second half. April was the first month in the last 15 where we actually brought in more money than we spent. We could not have done this without generous donations from congregants and the Board's new fundraising objectives, which will transform and rejuvenate our synagogue.

We still have a lot of work to do to get all of our controls in line. Working together, we will do exactly that, and we will make our synagogue community more robust in the process. I look forward to keeping you informed and answering any questions you may have.