Chapter 5: Are you a Geek? Maybe You Should Be!

Nov 16, 11 • BlogNo Comments

How tech-savvy is your Church? What oversights are in place to keep your Church in-step with new technology? In his book, Weeds in the Garden, Verne Hargrave points out that although advances in information technology have simplified accounting and record-keeping for Churches, it has also created additional risks.

“The area where churches may be the most naïve are cyber threats from outside the walls of the church. Few give enough thought to a basic twenty-first century fact of life; by opening one single internet account, if care is not exercised, the world has been invited into your living room. Today, except for the very smallest of congregations, all churches are vulnerable to hackers wanting to take advantage of the perceived, and in many cases, real naiveté….

Churches also make online purchases, sell goods and event tickets online, and an increasing number receive offerings online.  Without question these steps have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of churches. Using fewer staff and volunteers and spending much less time, churches can do a better job of collecting and tabulating gifts, managing church activities, reporting results, and most importantly, reaching out to the unchurched. However, each of these new ways of doing business represents a new porthole through which fraudsters can gain entrance to church data and assets.”

Technology can greatly simplify matters for churches; however, it also opens up new ways for hackers and those with impure motives to steal money or data. What is your church doing to protect its members? Who is looking out for your church?

–Justin Baldwin, CPA is a Senior Auditor specializing in church accounting with PSK LLP.

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