Chapter 8: Do You Have Any Idea How Much Money You Make?

Dec 7, 11 • BlogNo Comments

From the book, Weeds in the Garden, in Chapter 8 “When church fraud or embezzlement is mentioned most people immediately think of someone stealing from the offering plates. As a result, many, if not most churches do a pretty good job of protecting the Sunday offerings. In fact, many actually go overboard in tightly ratcheting down the money that comes into the church during worship services and Sunday School classes (pg. 102).

But what about …

  • Special event fees (conferences, banquets, etc.)
  • Fundraising activities
  • Mail in contributions
  • School or Mother’s Day-out registration and tuition

How are these funds handled? Who handles them? And is there EVER just one person in control of these funds?  The most effective control on cash is never to allow it in the possession of only one person for even the shortest amount of time.

One story I read about, while researching this topic, involved the ‘treasurer’ of a fund raising event for a church ‘borrowing’ several thousand dollars from the fund.  Strong control over cash from Sunday collections is vital, but who is maintaining this same diligence Monday through Saturday? Maybe a ‘trusted’ employee or volunteer? What challenges do you face with weekday receipts?

–Lisa Chapman is an auditor specializing in church accounting with PSK LLP.

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